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YANKEES TIE IT UP

Homers by Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui back A.J. Burnett.

The alternative was obvious, so the Yankees knew what they had to do. It didn't matter that old nemesis Pedro Martinez was on the mound in grand theater to rival Broadway. Didn't matter there were doubts about the reliability of their starter, A.J. Burnett, in critical situations. Didn't matter the potency of their lineup was suddenly being questioned.

"It's a terrible cliche," first baseman Mark Teixeira said, "but it was a must-win."

And they did, 3-1.

The Yankees got home runs from Teixeira and Hideki Matsui and a pinch-hit RBI single by catcher Jorge Posada to ruin Martinez's dramatic, diva-esque return Thursday night. They got seven strong innings from Burnett. They got six outs from closer Mariano Rivera, helped by an eighth-inning double play that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel insisted wasn't.

Most important, they got even, squaring the World Series at one game apiece with play resuming Saturday in Philadelphia.

"It's going to be a war," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "It's a five-game series now."

Having lost Wednesday's opener, the Yankees faced a daunting deficit: 40 of 51 teams that led 2-0 won the Series.

"If we went in there 0-2, it would have been a tough road for us," Teixeira said.

Which is exactly what the Phillies were hoping.

"I always like to be 2-0 over 1-1, but it is what it is," Manuel said. "I've got to accept it."

Martinez created his own drama going into the game and nearly delivered, working into the seventh. "I did everything I could,'' he said. But Burnett did more, battling through a shaky start (61 pitches in three innings) to work a solid seven, allowing four hits and striking out nine.

"I knew it was a big game, it's no lie," Burnett said, admitting he was more fired up than usual. "It was the biggest game I've ever thrown in for this team. "

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead when Raul Ibanez, continuing to show why he's an upgrade over Pat Burrell, doubled with two outs in the second and Matt Stairs slapped a ball past Rodriguez at third that a) should have been caught and b) scored an error.

But the Yankees, seemingly inspired by catcher Jose Molina's fourth-inning pickoff of Jayson Werth (adding to the baserunning blunders made by Yankees opponents this postseason) that ignited the to-that-point quiet crowd of 50,181, responded with a pair of solo homers.

Teixeira, hitting .181 for the postseason to that point with two extra-base hits, tied it with a drive leading off the fourth.

Then Matsui, who got caught in traffic en route to the stadium and made it on the field just before batting practice, put them ahead to stay with a two-out blast in the sixth on a 1-and-2 pitch.

"Winning tonight's game was very important for us," Matsui said through his interpreter.

The Yankees added to their lead with a seventh-inning rally that chased Martinez. Jerry Hairston, who started ahead of struggling Nick Swisher in right as manager Joe Girardi tweaked his lineup, singled and Melky Cabrera did the same.

Posada, who was also on the bench as Girardi stuck with Burnett's personal catcher, greeted Chan Ho Park with a pinch-hit single to center to make it 3-1.

The Phillies battled, getting two on with one out in the eighth before Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter turned an inning-ending double play with Chase Utley called out on the back end and Manuel disagreeing, and replays supporting

"I'm not saying nothing about the umpiring. I'm just saying he was safe," he said. "That's all I'll tell you."

The Yankees felt good, certainly better. "Our club has been resilient all year," Girardi said. "The one thing we've been able to do is we've been through some tough losses and we've seemed to bounce back. It was just business as usual for us today."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

* * *

Going the extra inning

Thursday marked Mariano Riveraês 14th two-inning postseason save:

Date............................Round..............Gm. ..............Opp.

Thursday.......................WS..................2..................Phillies

Oct. 25, 2009...............ALCS.................6..................Angels

Oct. 9, 2005.................ALDS.................4..................Angels

Oct. 21, 2003.................WS..................3..................Marlins

Oct. 14, 2003...............ALCS.................5..................Red Sox

Oct. 11, 2003...............ALCS.................3..................Red Sox

Oct. 4, 2003.................ALDS.................3..................Twins

Oct. 2, 2003.................ALDS.................2..................Twins

Oct. 30, 2001.................WS..................3..................Dêbacks

Oct. 15, 2001...............ALDS.................5..................Aês

Oct. 13, 2001...............ALDS.................3..................Aês

Oct. 25, 2000.................WS..................4..................Mets

Oct. 6, 2000.................ALDS.................3..................Aês

Oct. 9, 1999.................ALDS.................3..................Rangers

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