Raul Ibanez hit two home runs as the New York Yankees won 3-2 in extra innings to take a 2-1 lead in their Major League Baseball playoff series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Ibanez pinch-hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 2-2 and send it into extra innings. He then led off the 12th inning with a game-winning home run. Ibanez was hitting for Alex Rodriguez, who is 1-for-12 so far this postseason.
“It’s a great experience,” Ibanez said in a televised interview. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to come up like that.”
The loss ended a streak of 16 straight extra-inning wins for the Orioles. The Yankees can oust Baltimore with a home win tomorrow in the best-of-five American League Division Series. If the Orioles win, a decisive fifth game would be the following day in New York.
Ibanez’s performance was similar to one he had on Oct. 2, on the next-to-last day of the regular season, as the Yankees were trying to hold off the Orioles in the AL East.
He had a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth inning of that game against the Boston Red Sox, then won the game with a run-scoring single in the 12th. The win prevented the Orioles from tying the Yankees atop the division.
Rookies Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado hit solo home runs tonight for the Orioles. The Yankees also scored on a run- scoring triple by Derek Jeter, who left the game in the ninth inning with a left foot injury.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants forced a decisive fifth game tomorrow in Cincinnati by winning 8-3 against the Reds. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Washington Nationals 8-0 today to take a 2-1 lead in their series.
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