Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pie Gets Rid Of The Hughes Blues

Tonight's game between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees started out well enough, but Phil Hughes put the Yankees in a 5-0 hole midway through the game. Hughes is thankful to get a no decision tonight after the Yankees bullpen held the Orioles in check and Nick Swisher capped a dramatic comeback with a 10th sacrifice fly for a 6-5 Yankees victory.

The Yankees chipped away against starter Jake Arrieta and cut the Orioles lead to 5-4 entering the bottom of the 9th. DH Jorge Posada greeted closer Kevin Gregg by drilling his first pitch over the outstretched glove of Adam Jones in right-center field for a game tying home run. Posada has seven hits this season, five of which are home runs.

Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 10th and would earn the victory when the Yankees got to left-hander Mike Gonzalez in the bottom of the inning. Mark Teixeira drew a lead off walk and red hot Alex Rodriguez followed with a rope double to left to put two runners in scoring position with no one out. Buck Showalter went against the percentages and decided against intentionally walking Robinson Cano to set up a force at any base. The former Yankees skipper got a break when Cano lined out to short, but Swisher's fly to right scored Teixeira easily when Nick Markakis' throw traveled well up the 3rd base line.

Though his fastball was only clocking at 90, Hughes retired six of the first seven batters he faced and threw two scoreless innings. But in the 3rd, with one on and one out, Markakis drilled a home run into the seats right for a 2-0 O's lead. The Orioles manufactured another run an inning later when Luke Scott reached on a lead off double and came around on a ground out by Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds' sac fly.

Hughes would exit early for his third straight start when Markakis' 2-out double plated Cesar Izturis with the Orioles 4th run. Vlad Guerrero added an RBI single off Bartolo Colon to close out Hughes' night with five earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched. But Colon (3 IP), Joba Chamberlain (1.2 IP) and Rivera would blank the O's the rest of the way with a little help from the Yankee Stadium backstop

Chamberlain entered the game with runners on the corners and one out in the 8th and immediately uncorked a pitch in the dirt that went to the backstop, but the ball took a fortuitous bounce back to Russell Martin. The Yankees catcher threw to Chamberlain at home plate to nail the speedy Felix Pie (pee-ay) to keep it a one run game. Then it was time for some pie (p).


Alex Rodriguez has eight hits in his last 13 at-bats to boost his average to .412.

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