Yankees Face Game 5 With Orioles; Giants, Tigers Advance in MLB
A night after falling to the Yankees in 12 innings, the Orioles got doubles by Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy to score the tie-breaking run that evened the best-of-five American League Division Series at two games apiece. Game 5 is set for 5:07 p.m. Eastern time today in New York.
“It’s playoff baseball and the games are extremely tight,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in a news conference. “Usually the difference in these games is one hit.”
The winner of the series will move on to face the Detroit Tigers, who won Game 5 of their division series against the Oakland Athletics 6-0 last night as Justin Verlander pitched a four-hit shutout and struck out 11.
“When Verlander gets on a roll like he was today, especially when he gets in his rhythm, it’s tough to stop him,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said at a news conference. “It’s like a locomotive going at a high speed.”
The San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 to become the first National League team to win a best-of-five division series after losing the first two games. They next face the Washington Nationals or St. Louis Cardinals, who will play a decisive Game 5 today in the nation’s capital.
The Yankees began yesterday as 11-4 favorites to win the World Series, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book. The Tigers were given 5-1 odds, while the Giants were at 7-1.
The wins yesterday by the Orioles and Nationals mean all four division series went the full five games this postseason.
After four scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium, Nate McLouth hit a home run leading off the fifth against New York starter Phil Hughes. Robinson Cano tied it for the Yankees in the sixth on a run-scoring groundout.
The Orioles, who had won 16 consecutive extra-inning games before the loss two nights ago in New York, broke a 10-game home winning streak in extra-inning games by the Yankees.
“We had to win,” Hardy told reporters. “All game I was trying to get myself not to do too much, and that wasn’t working, so on that at-bat I told myself to do a little more.”
The Yankees and Orioles each used eight pitchers last night. Today, New York will send CC Sabathia to the mound against Baltimore’s Jason Hammel.
New York’s Alex Rodriguez, who is fifth on the MLB home run list with 647 and is the highest-paid player in the major leagues this season at $29 million, was taken out for a pinch- hitter with the game on the line for the second straight night.
Rodriguez, 37, was moved down two places to the No. 5 spot in the Yankees’ lineup last night, a day after being lifted in the ninth inning in favor of pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez -- who hit a game-tying home run and then won the game in the 12th inning with another home run.
Last night, Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts -- leaving him 2-for-16 this postseason -- before being taken out for pinch-hitter Eric Chavez with two outs in the 13th inning. Chavez lined out to third base to end the game.
Verlander, 29, the AL Cy Young Award winner as the league’s best pitcher in 2011, never allowed the A’s to get a runner to third base. He was drenched with champagne by teammates in the winning clubhouse after the game.
“It was awesome and horrible at the same time because you can’t see a thing,” Verlander told reporters. “Having your teammates around you and dumping champagne on you is a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Austin Jackson drove in two runs and scored two for the Tigers, who won the series three games to two. After the game, as the Tigers celebrated on the field, several Detroit players tipped their caps to the Athletics.
The A’s began the season 29th in the major leagues with a $55 million payroll, compared to fifth-highest Detroit at $132 million, according to USA Today’s annual survey. The Oakland roster was assembled by General Manager Billy Beane, whose philosophy of evaluating players was the topic of Michael Lewis’s book “Moneyball.” Lewis is a Bloomberg columnist.
Oakland is 1-6 in postseason series since Beane took over as general manager after the 1997 season, with the lone win coming against the Minnesota Twins in 2006.
“First of all, let me congratulate the Oakland organization on a magical year,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said at the start of his news conference. “They’re the real deal.”
Buster Posey’s grand slam capped a six-run fifth inning for the Giants, who lost two games at home before sweeping three in Cincinnati. All five games in the series were won by the visiting team, also an NL first.
“We’ve got a bunch of fighters, I don’t think anybody gave up,” Posey said in a television interview. “We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, that’s for sure.”
The Giants-Reds game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati was scoreless until the fifth inning, when Brandon Crawford had a run-scoring triple and scored on an error before Posey’s bases-clearing home run.
The Reds got a two-run double from Brandon Phillips in the fifth, a solo home run from Ryan Ludwick in the sixth inning and a run-scoring single by Ludwick in the ninth.
Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second inning at Nationals Park on a solo home run by Adam LaRoche. The Cardinals tied it in the third on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran that scored Pete Kozma.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Werth hit a leadoff home run on the 13th pitch of his at- bat to seal the win for the Nationals. It was the 14th career postseason home run for Werth.
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