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Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Yankees advance to World Series

The New York Yankees celebrate
The Yankees will go for a record 27th World Series crown from Wednesday

The New York Yankees have reached the World Series after beating the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 to seal a 4-2 series triumph and the American League title.

They will take on National League champions Philadelphia in the "Fall Classic" from Wednesday evening.

It is the first time in six years the Yankees have made the end-of-season finale, and again they were ably assisted by star pitcher Andy Pettitte.

He pitched into the seventh inning for a 16th career post-season victory.

It was a performance that put the 37-year-old from Baton Rouge on top of Major League Baseball's all-time list.

New York, winners of a record 26 MLB championships, trailed in their home stadium on Sunday until a two-run single from Johnny Damon in a game-turning three-run rally in the fourth erased a 1-0 deficit.

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, who won two games in the series, was named MVP.

At times we played good baseball. At times we shot ourselves in the foot. The Yankees are a team that you can't give extra outs to

Angels manager Mike Scioscia

"This is a great time," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters under a spray of champagne in the team's clubhouse. "But we're not done yet."

After he had spoken, second baseman Robinson Cano led a group of team-mates back on the field to spray champagne on some of the fans among a record crowd of more than 50,000 at the new Yankee Stadium.

Some sharp fielding by the Yankees, including several sparkling plays by Cano and right-fielder Nick Swisher, helped the Yankees, while a defensive breakdown once again cost the Angels dearly.

"I want to congratulate the Yankees," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"They played an incredible series. They outplayed us and they deserved to win. At times we played good baseball. At times we shot ourselves in the foot.

"The Yankees are a team that you can't give extra outs to. We did it in a couple of games and obviously it cost us."

The Angels, needing a win to force a game seven, drew first blood when Jeff Mathis continued his excellent series with a double to right-centre leading off the third inning and scored on former Yankee Bobby Abreu's two-out single.

After leaving five men on base over the first two innings against shaky Angels starter Joe Saunders, New York surged ahead in the fourth and were not to be denied as they claimed their 40th American League pennant.

The win for Pettitte, his fifth career victory in a series-clinching game, moved him past John Smoltz to the top of the post-season wins list.

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see also
Phillies return to World Series
22 Oct 09 |  Baseball
Yankees & Angels complete sweeps
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Twins pip Tigers in epic play-off
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Resurgent Rockies into play-offs
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Philadelphia secure World Series
30 Oct 08 |  Baseball
Baseball fixtures/results
10 Oct 06 |  Baseball
Baseball - the basics
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Baseball jargonbuster
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