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Pro Baseball: Hardy, Orioles beat Yankees in 13th, force Game 5
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK—J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the 13th inning and the Baltimore Orioles bounced back from a demoralizing loss to outlast the New York Yankees 2–1 Thursday night, forcing a deciding Game 5 in the AL division series.
After splitting 22 games this year, it all comes down this: a winner-take-all for a spot in the AL championship series.
Game 1 winner CC Sabathia is set to pitch the deciding game for the Yankees. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has not announced his starter.
Eric Chavez, pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, lined out to end the game shortly after midnight.
The Orioles were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position until Hardy doubled off David Phelps with one out to score Manny Machado.
Baltimore’s bullpen escaped a two-on jam with no outs in the eighth as Rodriguez struck out yet again.
Baltimore’s Nate McLouth homered and made a leaping catch against the left-field wall to save run, and Robinson Cano hit an RBI groundout.
New York had a runner every inning and threatened to take the lead in the eighth. Singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira off Luis Ayala put two on with no outs, and Cano’s grounder to second against Brian Matusz advanced the runners.
Side-arming right-hander Darren O’Day relieved and struck out Rodriguez on four pitches, dropping A-Rod to 2 for 16 (.125) with no RBIs and nine strikeouts in the series. Nick Swisher flied weakly to right, falling to 1 for 34 (.029) with runners in scoring position in his postseason career.
Curtis Granderson, who struck out twice, also is slumping in the series, 1 for 15 (.067) with eight Ks.
The Orioles wasted a chance in the ninth when pinch runner Lew Ford was picked off first by Rafael Soriano.
McLouth had homered into the right-center field seats, reaching down for a 91 mph fastball from Phil Hughes leading off the fifth inning. McLouth has six hits in his last six at-bats against Hughes with three doubles, plus two walks.
With Russell Martin on first with one out in the bottom half, McLouth ran down Jayson Nix’s drive while crashing into the wall and doubled up the slow-footed catcher trying to retreat to first, with shortstop J.J. Hardy making a nice relay.
Joe Saunders, who beat Texas in last week’s one-game, wild-card playoff, allowed one runner in each of the first five innings and two in the sixth.
Derek Jeter, playing despite a foot injury that forced him out of Game 3, hit an opposite-field double down the right-field line leading off the sixth and took third on Suzuki’s sacrifice bunt. Teixeira walked, and Cano drove in Jeter with a grounder to second.
Tommy Hunter relieved and Rodriguez struck out, prompting another round of boos.
Hughes gave up four hits in the first six innings, struck out seven and walked three, throwing 90 pitches. He allowed 35 home runs during the regular season, tied for second-most in the majors.
Saunders allowed three hits in 5 innings, walked four and struck out five.
New York, playing its first game since announcing the death of manager Joe Girardi’s father, was coming off its dramatic 3–2, 12-inning win Wednesday behind Raul Ibanez’s home runs in the ninth and 12th innings.