In what was probably the greatest day of playoff baseball in a long time, the Yankees and Athletics both pulled off 9th inning comebacks. One took a strong hold of their series and the other kept theirs alive for at least another day.
Baltimore 2 – New York 3 / 12 Innings
In the Bronx, Hiroki Kuroda and Miguel Gonzalez both went seven-plus innings while allowing a total of three runs combined but the Yankees got the last laugh in extras as they will look to close out the series in game 4.
Both teams scored once in the third inning with Ryan Flaherty hitting a solo homer for the O’s and Derek Jeter hitting an RBI triple for the Yankees. The game would remain tied until the fifth when 20-year-old Manny Machado sent a first-pitch slider into the New York night to make it a 2-1 game. Kuroda would go 8 1/3 innings allowing the Yankees to stay close. Darren O’Day would pitch a perfect eighth to set it up for the ML saves leader, Jim Johnson. He got Ichiro to line out to left and was supposed to face A-Rod, but Rodriguez would be pulled for pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez. Ibanez would then take a 1-0 fastball over the right field fence to tie the game and send it into extras.
It would remain tied until the bottom of the twelfth when Ibanez came up again and yes, you guessed it, he sent another one into the night to give the Orioles their first walk-off loss of the season.
Kuroda – 8 1/3 IN, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s, 2.16 ERA
Gonzalez – 7 IN, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K’s, 1.29 ERA
Game 4 will be tomorrow at 7:30pm in New York
Joe Saunders 1-0 1.59 ERA (BAL) vs. Phil Hughes (NYY)
Athletics 4 – Tigers 3
To quote the movie Moneyball, “What is happening in Oakland?” The Tigers went into the ninth with a 3-1 lead and 3 outs away from the ALCS. It ended with a do-or-die game 5 tomorrow night.
It looked to be another ho-hum pitchers duel with Max Scherzer and A.J. Griffin going pretty well through five innings each. The Tigers got to Griffin twice by way of an Austin Jackson RBI single in the third and a Prince Fielder solo shot in the fourth. The A’s got their lone run off of Scherzer (unearned) after Coco Crisp reached on a Fielder two-base error, Stephen Drew would follow with an RBI double to cut the lead in half. During the play, Drew tried to stretch the hit into a triple and would be easily thrown out. This looked to be the play that would doom the A’s chances at evening the series. Boy, were we mistaken.
The Tigers would add an insurance run in the eighth when Avisail Garcia singled in Omar Infante to make it 3-1. The A’s would get two on in the bottom of the inning, but Joaquin Benoit would strike out Brandon Moss to end the threat. Cue Jose Valverde for the easy save to end the series right?
Wrong. This is the A’s we’re talking about, the team that had 14 walk-off wins before tonight, the team than doesn’t quit and that’s what they continued to do in the ninth inning tonight. Josh Reddick would start the rally by knocking a seeing-eye single into right , Josh Donaldson then crushed one off the top of the leftfield wall to make it second and third with no out. Seth Smith would then knock one into the right-centerfield gap to tie it up at 3-3. Coco Crisp followed with a single to right to score Smith and keep the A’s magical season going for at least one more day.
Scherzer (ND) – 5 1/3 IN, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K’s, 0.00 ERA
Griffin (ND) – 5 IN, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.60 ERA
Game 5 is tomorrow at 9:30 in Oakland
Verlander 1-0 1.29 ERA (DET) vs. TBD (OAK)
Photo Credits: NY Daily News