Wei-Yin Chen outpitched Andy Pettitte as the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 to tie their Major League Baseball playoff series at one game apiece.
Chen, a 27-year-old rookie left-hander from Taiwan, allowed two runs -- one earned -- over 6 1/3 innings in his postseason debut to prevent the Orioles from losing the first two games of the best-of-five American League Division Series.
Chris Davis had a two-run single as the Orioles scored three runs off Pettitte, who was making his major league-record 43rd playoff start and entered the game with 16 career wins at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, the most of any opposing pitcher.
“You definitely don’t want to go into New York in a five- game series down two games,” Davis said. “This is big. Hopefully we built some momentum that we can take to New York.”
The ALDS now shifts to Yankee Stadium for the rest of the series, including Game 3 tomorrow. Game 4 is scheduled for the following day, with a fifth game, if necessary, on Oct. 12.
The St. Louis Cardinals tied their National League Division Series at one game apiece by beating the Washington Nationals 12-4 yesterday behind two home runs by Carlos Beltran.
Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso also hit homers as the Cardinals opened a 7-1 lead after four innings at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, improving to 9-1 all-time in Game 2 of a NLDS.
The series moves to Washington for Game 3 tomorrow, the first MLB postseason game held in the nation’s capital since 1933, when the Washington Senators lost to the New York Giants in the World Series.
The other two division series resume today, with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds seeking victories that would put them in the league championship series.
The Tigers hold a 2-0 lead as they visit the Oakland Athletics in their AL series and the Reds are home to the San Francisco Giants after winning the first two games of their NL series on the road.
The Yankees scored a first-inning run in Baltimore for the second straight game as Ichiro Suzuki twice avoided a tag at home plate. New York then was held in check by Chen for the next five innings.
After Pettitte retired the first eight Orioles in order, Baltimore struck for two runs with two outs in the third inning.
The Orioles loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before Davis delivered a two-run single to right field.
“I just left him a ball in the middle of the zone to hit and that was a serious mistake by me,” Pettitte, who allowed seven hits in seven innings, told reporters. “That pretty much cost us the game.”
Baltimore extended its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning as Matt Wieters led off with a double off Pettitte and scored on a single by Mark Reynolds.
The Yankees answered in the top of the seventh as Eduardo Nunez doubled and scored on a single by Derek Jeter. It was the lone earned run allowed by Chen, who had gone 0-4 in his previous seven starts since his last win on Aug. 19.
“He made some pitches when he had to,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Chen at a news conference.
The Orioles allowed only one hit over the final two innings to improve to 30-9 this season in one-run games, the best record in the major leagues. Jim Johnson, who allowed five ninth-inning runs in the Orioles’ 7-2 loss in Game 1, got the final three outs in the ninth inning last night, including a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez to end the game. Baltimore is 76-0 this season when leading after seven innings.
The Yankees now return to New York, where they were a MLB- best 51-30 this season. The Orioles, however, went 6-3 at Yankee Stadium this season, winning all three road series.
“We’ve played very well at home and we’re going to have to continue to do that to move on,” Girardi said.
The Cardinals rebounded from a 3-2 home loss in Game 1 of their series by scoring five runs in the first three innings against Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.
“It was a must-win game,” Beltran said in a televised interview. “We wanted to leave this city with an even series. We know they’re playing good in their ballpark.”
Craig hit a solo homer off Zimmermann in the bottom of the third inning and Descalso led off the fourth with a home run off Nationals reliever Craig Stammen.
After the Nationals got back-to-back home runs by Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche in the fifth inning to pull within 7-3, Beltran hit a 441-foot homer off the facing of the third deck in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Cardinals scored four more runs in the eighth, including two on Beltran’s second homer of the game.
St. Louis is now 24-11 in NLDS games, having won seven of its previous nine division series.
“We know this offense has the potential to do this,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said at a news conference. “It was nice to see this, and hopefully it becomes contagious and the guys just keep going.”
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