MIAMI – Once the New York Yankees (search) got Josh Beckett out of the game, the hits started coming.
Hideki Matsui snapped an eighth-inning tie with a two-out RBI single, Bernie Williams busted it open with a three-run homer in the ninth and the Yankees beat the Florida Marlins (search) 6-1 Tuesday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series (search).
Williams broke Mickey Mantle's major league record with his 19th career postseason homer, though all of Mantle's home runs came in the World Series.
"I'm not sure about the record," New York manager Joe Torre said. "I think it's tough to compare. ... Not that Bernie's numbers aren't terrific, but I think they should be separate categories."
Williams also has 65 RBIs in the postseason, surpassing David Justice's career mark of 63.
"It feels very gratifying, obviously," Williams said. "And especially after this year, very frustrating having the knee surgery and then trying to heal while playing at the same time. Very exciting. But I think this team has been very good on putting personal goals aside for the benefit of the team, and I think this should be no different.
"This is a nice note, but we're still looking at the big picture here."
New York managed three hits -- all by Derek Jeter -- and only one run through seven innings against Beckett. The run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada in the fourth.
But Jeter's double inside first base chased the right-hander with one out in the eighth, and all of a sudden the offense took off.
Jason Giambi drew a walk from rookie left-hander Dontrelle Willis, and Jeter went to third on Williams' fly to center.
Matsui, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Game 2, grounded a single between third and shortstop, scoring Jeter as Yankees owner George Steinbrenner pumped his first in a luxury box.
"Experience is all about patience," Torre said. "Josh Beckett was not easy tonight. He didn't give up anything. We just didn't expand our zone. We stayed within ourselves, and, of course, Matsui, this guy's incredible."
After coming over from Japan before the season, Matsui led all major league rookies with 106 RBIs. He's 5-for-11 in the World Series (.455) and he leads the Yankees with 11 RBIs this postseason.
"It's a compliment that everybody thinks I'm a big-game player, but what I just focus on is to just try to do, based on the situation, what's best for the team," he said through a translator.
Marlins reliever Chad Fox got out of the eighth with no further damage, but New York wasn't done.
Playoff hero Aaron Boone led off the ninth with a home run, and runners reached on a walk and a hit batsman.
Williams sent a drive over the center-field fence for his fourth hit of the Series and a 6-1 lead.
"He's that guy that just appears like he's not paying attention and all of a sudden he'll explode," Torre said.