Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have been waging baseball battles since last October's pitching dominant American League Division Series. With a chance to make the playoffs this season on the line, the current four games series between the two teams comes emotionally close to the last Fall's nail biters. Wednesday night the Yankees rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the O's 5-4 in a game that had fans of both teams on edge at the end of the game.
Coupled with Tampa Bay's 10 inning loss to Boston (On a Mike Carp pinch-hit grand slam), the Yankees sit one game in back of the Rays for the second wild card spot. Cleveland lost earlier in the day to Kansas City, so once again the Yankees only have the Rays in front of them. Thursday is the finale of the Orioles series with Phil Hughes pitted against Wei-Yin Chen.
Andy Pettitte gutted out six innings plus one batter in the 7th to keep the game tied 3-3 after Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez hit solo home runs in consecutive innings (5th, 6th) to even things up. The game remained tied until the 9th when Robinson Cano blasted a Tommy Hunter pitch on to Eutaw St. for a 4-3 Yankees lead.
The Yankees added a huge insurance run when Adam Jones couldn't run down a catchable ball driven deep to center by Granderson. The Chicago native raced to third with a stand up triple and scored on Lyle Overbay's infield single off of Troy Patton. Yes, you read that correctly; Overbay beat the throw from shortstop J.J. Hardy after he hit one in the hole on the left side of the infield.
The extra run proved vital after Mariano Rivera ran into trouble after he easily retired the first two batters in the 9th inning. Rivera, who had gotten a four out save on Wednesday, gave up a two-out double to Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts delivered him with an RBI single. The Yankees got a break in that Roberts is not the major base stealing threat he once was. Rivera then struck out Manny Machado to pick up his 43rd save of the season.
Chris Stewart made a big play in the 7th when he gunned down McLouth trying to steal second base after he drew a lead off walk from Pettitte.
Scott Feldman got a tough no decision after he allowed three runs on just three hits in 7.1 innings pitched.