PHILADELPHIA - Alex Rodriguez waited all game for this hit. Heck, he waited his whole career.
Rodriguez delivered the biggest hit of his life, a go-ahead, two-out double in the ninth inning off Brad Lidge , and the New York Yankees took advantage of Johnny Damon's alert dash to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 on Sunday night for a 3-1 lead in the World Series.
Derek Jeter delivered all game and Mariano Rivera closed it out as the Yankees moved within one win of that elusive 27th championship and the first since 2000. Rodriguez could really savor this victory - seething after again being hit by a pitch, he struck back with his potent black bat.
The Yankees will try to clinch it tonight when A.J. Burnett faces October ace Cliff Lee.
Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz hit late home runs for the Phillies that tied it at 4. Then it moved to the ninth and the Phils brought in Lidge - a postseason star last year who had struggled all season before regaining his touch this October.
But November was not so kind to him.
Both teams were warned about throwing inside after Rodriguez was hit in the back by Joe Blanton in the first inning.
Rodriguez, hit by Cole Hamels and Chad Durbin in Game 3, came up with a runner on third and the Yankees already ahead 1-0 Sunday night.
He was hit with the first pitch, stood near the plate with hands on hips and stared at the Yankees dugout.
Umpires met near the mound, and plate umpire Mike Everitt signaled the warning.
Jorge Posada followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.