Yankees strike form to raise Series hopes

Too old. No offense. Unreliable bullpen. The New York Yankees had heard the taunts and read the headlines the past two weeks. Then they went out and proved them all wrong, at least on the night that mattered most.

Too old. No offense. Unreliable bullpen. The New York Yankees had heard the taunts and read the headlines the past two weeks. Then they went out and proved them all wrong, at least on the night that mattered most.

Now the Yankees are one step away from another World Series. The game's most famous team, tired of being eulogised as over-the-hill champions, broke out of their offensive malaise on Sunday night for a half-inning and then held on to defeat Oakland Athletics 7-5 in a decisive Game Five of their American League series.

The Yankees advanced to a meeting with the Seattle Mariners, who posted a three-game sweep of the heavily favoured Chicago White Sox. Game One of the American League Championship Series is set for today in New York.

The Yankees, trying to become the first team to win three straight World Series titles since the 1972 to 74 A's, wrapped up their AL series hours after the New York Mets beat the San Francisco Giants in a National League division series.

"A lot of people were trying to say that our run was over, but you're not going to beat us that easily," the Yankees' Derek Jeter said. "We're still the champs until someone beats us."

Chuck Knoblauch's return to the line-up sparked a six-run first inning, and the maligned Yankees bullpen came through with five scoreless innings.

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