1. Archive

Balk in 13th keeps Yanks in first

Joe Torre didn't see it. Paul O'Neill didn't get it. The New York Yankees will take it.

A bases-loaded balk by Ed Vosberg with two outs in the 13th inning forced in the go-ahead run as the Yankees beat the Phillies 6-3 Monday night.

"We got a break and it was big for us," Torre said, adding that he was looking at his lineup card when the balk was called. "That was a nice present."

O'Neill singled to start the 13th off Amaury Telemaco. Enrique Wilson then popped up a bunt to Telemaco, but pinch-hitter Gerald Williams walked and Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Vosberg entered and got Bernie Williams to foul out to first baseman Travis Lee. Vosberg got ahead of Tino Martinez 0-and-2 before plate umpire Bruce Froemming called a balk, forcing in O'Neill.

Martinez followed with a two-run single.

"I don't even know a lot of the balk rules, but it was pretty obvious to a lot of people," O'Neill said. "I knew something was weird."

Said Vosberg: "I thought I stepped off. He thought I flinched."

The three-time defending champion Yankees are 2-3 since the All-Star break and lead the AL East by a half-game over Boston.

Philadelphia, which tied the Cubs for worst record in the majors last season, leads the NL East by one game over Atlanta.

Mike Stanton allowed two hits in 2 innings as New York's bullpen gave up four hits in seven scoreless innings.

Mariano Rivera worked the 13th for his 30th save in 34 chances. Ramiro Mendoza pitched three innings of one-hit ball for the Yankees.

"We had great relief pitching," Torre said. "That's been the key to our success."

After Sunday's sloppy 9-3 loss that featured a costly error by Jeter, a wild pitch by Mark Wohlers and three passed balls by Jorge Posada, Torre held a closed-door meeting that lasted more than 20 minutes.

It didn't work right away.

Posada committed his 14th passed ball in the first inning, leading to an unearned run. Scott Brosius made his 19th error in the fifth, but starter Randy Keisler escaped trouble by retiring Lee on a liner to center with two runners on.

Posada had no trouble seeing the ball when he was batting, however. He gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer in the fourth against Randy Wolf.

But the Phillies cut it to 3-2 in the fourth on Gary Bennett's first homer, and Marlon Anderson tied it at 3 with a two-out homer in the sixth.

Anderson, who hit nine homers last season with the Phillies and Triple-A Scranton, has nine this season, as many as cleanup hitter Scott Rolen and Pat Burrell.