Orioles tie ALDS with 3-2 victory over Yankees
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BALTIMORE -- A night after they beat up one of the best relievers in baseball, the Yankees went mostly silent at the plate against a rookie they had pounded the last time they saw him.
And as a result, after a 3-2 loss to the Orioles Monday nightbefore a thunderous crowd at Camden Yards, this best-of-five ALDS is tied at one game apiece.
The Orioles, who went 29-9 in one-run games during the regular season, won yet another one. The Yankees and Orioles now have split 20 games in 2012. Said O's manager Buck Showalter: "I'm just real proud the guys continue to compete and do it with a lot of let-it-fly mentality. There's no back-off in them at all."
Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Stadium, which also will be the site of Game 4 and, if necessary, Game 5. "We get to go home,'' Joe Girardi said. "We've played well at home and we'll have to continue to do that if we want to move on.''
Said Mark Teixeira, "We're not going to hang our heads. We definitely would have liked to have gotten the second win here. You want to win every game, but we're not going to feel too bad about splitting here. Definitely a missed opportunity, but if you take it so negatively, you're not going to bounce back. We're going to go in with a lot of confidence Wednesday."
Orioles closer Jim Johnson, who was charged with five runs in the ninth inning as the Yankees won Game 1, 7-2, pitched a perfect ninth in Game 2. He struck out Alex Rodriguez (1-for-9 with five strikeouts through two games) to end it.
Said Nick Swisher: "We knew we were in for a tough battle. These guys aren't going to just roll over. Tonight the place was rocking. We had some opportunities and we just couldn't get it done."
Andy Pettitte, making his first postseason start since Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS against Texas, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. His hiccup inning was the third, when lefthanded-hitting Chris Davis' two-out, two-run single turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
Pettitte didn't feel as though he pitched well enough to win. "No, because I didn't,'' he said. "The game came down to a mistake to Davis. That was a serious mistake by me that cost us the game."
Orioles lefthander Wei-Yin Chen, who allowed seven runs to the Yankees Sept. 7, gave up two runs (one earned) and eight hits in 61/3 innings. Said Girardi: "We had some [opportunities] and we weren't able to come through. [Chen] made some pitches when he had to.''
As they did in Game 1, the Yankees took a first-inning lead. Derek Jeter started the rally by lining Chen's 0-and-2 pitch into right-center for his 194th career postseason hit, extending his record. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a chopper that first baseman Mark Reynolds failed to barehand, with the error putting runners at first and second.
Rodriguez, 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1, sent a low liner that was caught by second baseman Robert Andino with a dive to his right, and he easily doubled Jeter off second. But Robinson Cano, who finished the season on a 24-for-39 tear, then lashed a double into the rightfield corner.
Third-base coach Rob Thomson sent Ichiro and the relay throw to catcher Matt Wieters had him beat by plenty. But Ichiro made himself like a mosquito avoiding a swatter, somehow maneuvering his body away from Wieters' initial tag attempt, and went behind the plate. Now on the right side of it, he reached back, lifting his left hand to avoid another tag attempt as Wieters dived toward him and touching home with his right hand for a 1-0 lead.
Has Ichiro ever thought about running over a catcher? "I've never done it before,'' he said. "If you look at the size of me and the size of the catchers, I'd probably have to have some kind of weapon to make something happen at the plate."
Pettitte needed only 22 pitches in shutting out the Orioles in the first two innings. He then retired the first batters in the third before Andino dumped a broken-bat single into center. Nate McLouth singled and J.J. Hardy walked, loading the bases for Davis. His two-run single to right electrified the white-towel-waving crowd and gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Rodriguez might have kept it from becoming a 3-1 lead. Adam Jones grounded a single past Jeter, who was slow moving to his right in pursuit. But although third-base coach DeMarlo Hale frantically was waving for Hardy to score, he held up -- perhaps deked by A-Rod, who looked as if he were about to receive a throw at the bag. Pettitte then got Wieters to pop up.
The Yankees threatened in the fourth but didn't score. With one out, Mark Teixeira singled, Russell Martin walked and Curtis Granderson singled to load the bases. But Eduardo Nuñez popped to short and Jeter grounded into a forceout at third to end the inning.
The Orioles made it 3-1 in the sixth when Wieters doubled to right-center and scored on Reynolds' ground single to right.
Nuñez led off the seventh with a bloop double, swiftly taking second when rightfielder Davis dived and caused the ball to carom away. Jeter then singled to left to make it 3-2.