Just when the Los Angeles Dodgers thought their lead was safe in the hands of one of the game's best closers, the mighty Yankees snatched away a win.
Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning after the Yankees rallied with four runs in the ninth off Jonathan Broxton and New York beat Los Angeles 8-6 in 10 innings Sunday night in a stunning ending to manager Joe Torre's first series against his old team.
"What a game!" the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez said. "That's as good a win as we've had in a long, long time."
Mark Teixeira led off the 10th with a single off Ramon Troncoso (1-2) and Alex Rodriguez grounded into a force play. Torre brought in left-hander George Sherrill, whose second pitch was driven into the left-field pavilion by Cano for his 15th homer.
"I was just looking for a pitch to hit," said Cano, a lefty who didn't know he was 0 for 11 against Sherrill. "I came through at the right time."
Rodriguez added, "It looked like a right-handed power hitter hit that."
Mariano Rivera (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to get the victory.
"He's the greatest," A-Rod said. "He never seems to disappoint."
The AL East-leading Yankees took two of three from the Dodgers, the opposite result of when the teams last met in the 2004 regular season at Dodger Stadium. The Yankees won Friday's opener 2-1, then lost 9-4 Saturday, giving Torre his first victory against the team he managed to four World Series titles before leaving in 2007.
"A great comeback," Yankees starter Andy Pettitte said. "It was fun to watch and guys were fired up. It was almost like a playoff atmosphere the way they were locked in."
The Dodgers have lost eight of their last 10 games.
"They're dangerous and they keep coming at you," Torre said about his old team. "There's no soft spot in that lineup, so you don't count your chickens until you can get 'em all in the barn. Unfortunately, we came up a little short."
Broxton entered the game in a non-save situation with a 6-2 lead, but faced nine batters and threw 48 pitches. He began the inning by striking out Teixeira, but the next five Yankees reached base.
"It feels like it's our first come-from-behind win we've had all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a big win for us."
Cano hit an RBI double and Chad Huffman had a two-run single with the bases loaded to bring New York within a run. Colin Curtis followed with a grounder to first and James Loney stepped on the bag before firing home too late to get Curtis Granderson with the tying run.
"It's upsetting. I didn't get the job done. I let the team down," Broxton said. "They hit some balls that found holes. We had a four-run lead and I just couldn't hold on."
Torre said Loney could have done two things with the grounder that scored the tying run.
"He could have gone straight to the plate or he could have gone for the double play," he said. "Unfortunately, once he stepped back, he lost his momentum to the plate. It was just one of those things."
Ronnie Belliard hit a solo homer in the fourth for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers capitalized on two botched bunt plays by Pettitte in the third, when they batted around. They bunted three consecutive times and Pettitte made errant throws on two of them.
"I feel like I gave the game to them with the bad throws I made," he said.
Johnson doubled to lead off before Pettitte misplayed Clayton Kershaw's sacrifice bunt. The veteran pitcher's throw to third got past Rodriguez, allowing Johnson to score the Dodgers' first run.
Rafael Furcal reached on a bunt single and Belliard laid down another bunt that Pettitte fielded with a quick glance at third, and then made a throw to first that went into the runner and got past second baseman Cano, who was covering at first.
Kershaw scored on the play and Andre Ethier's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Kershaw allowed a two-run homer to A-Rod and four hits in seven innings, struck out five and didn't walk anyone for the first time in his career.
Pettitte gave up five runs and six hits in five innings, equaling his shortest outing of the season. The 38-year-old left-hander struck out five and walked three.
"I want to go seven, eight innings, so I'm kicking myself for sure," he said. "I'm kicking myself on the throws and a few pitch selections."
Rodriguez hit a two-out, two-run homer in the sixth - his 11th of the season and 594th of his career - that left the Yankees trailing 5-2.
Manny Ramirez had to duck out of the way of a pitch thrown over his head by Damaso Marte in the seventh, then Derek Jeter got buzzed by Ronald Belisario as he was squaring to bunt in the eighth.