Former Oriole Dellucci lends Yankees a hand with Garcia hurting

Game 3 fracas, Wakefield change New York lineup

ALCS notebook

October 14, 2003|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

BOSTON - With Karim Garcia's left hand still a little sore, former Oriole David Dellucci started in right field for the New York Yankees last night in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

Garcia was written into Sunday's lineup, but manager Joe Torre scratched him before rain caused the postponement. Juan Rivera would have taken his place.

Last night's assignment went to Dellucci, who had appeared in two playoff games this year without getting an at-bat. He scored Thursday after pinch running for Jason Giambi at Yankee Stadium.

Last night Dellucci scored again, coming around for the Yankees' first run on Derek Jeter's fifth-inning double. He reached his first two times up, being hit by a Tim Wakefield knuckleball before a one-out single in the fifth.

Garcia, also a former Oriole, cut his hand during a bullpen fracas in the ninth inning of Game 3. Though the incident began between Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson and Paul Williams, a member of Boston's grounds crew, Garcia jumped the fence and ended up in the middle of it.

Torre monitored the way Garcia swung during batting practice. "He's better than yesterday," Torre said, "and I think he could be available."

Torre had another reason for starting Dellucci. Garcia has struggled against Wakefield, and Rivera didn't have much luck against the knuckleballer in Game 1, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

"As far as Dellucci, he hasn't had any at-bats against Wakefield unless it was spring training," Torre said. "He may be a little more of a controlled swinger than Juan Rivera and he's a good defender, so we thought we would try something."

Not fine with them

The Red Sox have noticed the discrepancy in fines levied after Game 3, and they expect the players involved to appeal.

Pedro Martinez was fined $50,000 after hitting Garcia in the back and later pushing Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground. Manny Ramirez was fined $25,000 for moving toward the mound after Roger Clemens threw high, which brought players out of both dugouts and bullpens.

Garcia and Zimmer were fined $10,000 and $5,000, respectively - more of a slap on the wrist than a hard shot to the wallet.

Asked if it appears that Major League Baseball is assessing more blame on the Red Sox, manager Grady Little said, "If you go by those numbers, it certainly looks like it."

Pitcher Derek Lowe, who starts today's Game 5, said $50,000 was a lot "for one pitch."

"He'll probably go through the due process, whatever that is, to get it lowered."

Silence isn't golden?

Some of the Red Sox are privately complaining about speaking on behalf of Martinez and Ramirez, who have been boycotting the media.

"If you've played here as long as some guys have, you get kind of used to it," Lowe said. "This isn't the first time we've got asked questions about certain guys on our team."

"There is a lot of discussion about that in our clubhouse," Little said, "and hopefully in the future we can get that rectified."

Referring to the fines, Little added, "After they saw those numbers on that sheet of paper, I think that will make anyone start talking."

Slumping Soriano leads off

Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano returned to the leadoff spot after dropping to ninth in Game 3.

Soriano became the first player in the designated hitter era to have 38 homers during the regular season and bat ninth in the playoffs.

It was done with good reason.

Enrique Wilson hit first in Game 3 because he was 10-for-20 lifetime against Martinez. And Soriano has slumped in the postseason.

After going 1-for-4 last night, he is 8-for-34 (.235) with 12 strikeouts, and 1-for-15 (.067) with six strikeouts in the ALCS.

ALCS pitching line

Today Time/

Starter Line W-L ERA

New York Wells (L) 4:18 16-7 4.04

at Boston Lowe (R) -110 17-9 4.38

Note: Statistics include postseason

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