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On This Day in History | 2001

O’Neill, ever the perfectionist, reacts after a frustrating at bat (Photo courtesy of the Eagle Tribune)

On this day 12 years ago the Yanks topped the Red Sox in thrilling fashion before a near-capacity crowd at the Stadium. After enduring 5.2 stingy innings from Tomo Ohka, whose only earned run was a 5th inning solo shot by Jorge Posada, the Yanks tied it up in the 7th on a solo blast by Scott Brosius, who tagged Rich Garces on a shot to left-center.

The score remained knotted at 2-2 as the game moved to extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Boston broke though against Mariano Rivera when Jason Varitek singled in Trot Nixon for a 3-2 edge. In the Yanks’ half of the 10th Paul O’Neill came to bat with 1 out and connected with a 1-2 pitch from Derek Lowe.  Thinking he had flown out, O’Neill slammed his bat down in disgust, while the ball continued to carry, and carry, over the head of Darren Lewis and into the right field stands. It was a classic moment for a player who was always his own harshest critic.  Two batters later David Justice atoned for his 4 earlier strikeouts by taking Lowe’s first pitch deep for a game-winning homer. The Yanks’ 4 solo home runs provided their only runs in the 4-3 victory.

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