Chun-Hsiu Chen's 11th-inning homer just cleared the fence Tuesday night, but it was enough to keep the Mahoning Valley Scrappers alive in the New York-Penn League Championship Series.
Chen was 0-for-4 in Monday's 3-0 loss to Staten Island, leaving four men on base and wasting several chances to tie the game. His redemption came less than 24 hours later as Mahoning Valley edged the Yankees, 3-2, to force a decisive third game.
"Chen had had a real poor night the night before and had had a tough summer. I think he took last night's loss personal," Scrappers manager Travis Fryman said. "Baseball, for me, is a beautiful game for things like today, goat one day, hero the next.
"It's one of the great things about baseball. In football, you have to wait six days for another chance; baseball, you just have to wait 24 hours."
Corey Burns (1-0) picked up the win in relief, giving up one hit and fanning four over 3 1/3 shutout innings.
Scrappers starter Marty Popham allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts in five innings. He kept the Yankees scoreless until the fifth, when DeAngelo Mack delivered a two-run single.
Mahoning Valley answered in the bottom of the inning as Casey Frawley doubled home Jason Smit and scored on a base hit by Argenis Martinez.
"If you've been around baseball enough, you know if you can answer a club back it has a way of shifting the game back to you," Fryman said. "We hadn't gotten a run yet in the series, so getting those runs went a long way to picking up the energy of the team."
Ronny Marte (0-1) faced one batter and took the loss for Staten Island.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Mahoning Valley.