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Sports

Mussina's luck finally changes

| Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003

MIAMI - For the longest time, this had all the makings of another heartbreaker for Mike Mussina.

Down early. Hardly any run support. A rainy night.

And yet somehow, the ace who could never quite win these games won Game 3 of the World Series. Mussina outpitched young ace Josh Beckett and the New York Yankees broke it open late, beating the Florida Marlins 6-1 Tuesday night for a 2-1 edge.

Derek Jeter doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Hideki Matsui's single in the eighth inning, then Bernie Williams hit his record 19th postseason homer to clinch it in the ninth.

By then, Mussina's work was done. Mariano Rivera finished it off in rapid fashion, closing with two innings as the Yankees won before a crowd of 65,731 that had mostly left by the final out.

Now, after their second straight victory, the Yankees will try to take firm hold of the Series behind Roger Clemens.

Clemens pitches Wednesday night in the final scheduled start of his Hall of Fame career. Carl Pavano, who grew up in Connecticut rooting for the Rocket and later watched him while a prospect in the Boston system, goes for the Marlins in Game 4.

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