As a baseball fan, there is nothing more you can ask for from the Yankees and Orioles series. In the two games of the series the score has been 2-2 and 3-2 heading into the ninth. Why would anything change last night? Behind solo homeruns from Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado, the Orioles took a 2-1 lead to the ninth. With one out in the bottom of the ninth Joe Girardi had Raul Ibanez pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez and, of course, Ibanez tied the game with a solo homerun. In extras, the Yankees caught every break imaginable when, again, Ibanez stepped to the plate and went yard again. Behind two Ibanez homeruns, the Yankees won 3-2 and took a 2-1 series lead. More here.
The Oakland A’s faced elimination for the second consecutive night last night. This time the Tigers had control of the game. The Tigers were leading 2-1 heading into the eighth inning when they scored an insurance run as Avisail Garcia drove home Omar Infante. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the ninth when Tigers closer Jose Valverde allowed a leadoff single followed by a double to start the ninth. With runners at second and third, Seth Smith hit a double to deep right field that tied the game. Following a pop out and a strikeout, Coco Crisp stepped to the plate and lined the first pitch to right field to win the game for the A’s and force a Game 5 tonight. More here.
The St. Louis Cardinals had a much less dramatic game. In fact, the game was an onslaught. The Nationals looked dazed and confused as Chris Carpenter pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Offense was at a premium for Washington as they could not convert their seven hits to runs while the Cardinals scored eight runs on 14 hits. Today’s Game 4 features Kyle Lohse v. Ross Detwiler as the Cardinals look to eliminate the NL East champs in the NLDS for the second straight year. More here.
The San Francisco Giants have shown resiliency in recent days. Tuesday night featured an improbable Game 3 win while facing elimination on a Scott Rolen error with two outs in the top of the tenth inning. Last night was significantly less dramatic but no less important. After Giants starter Barry Zito lasted just 2.2 innings, Tim Lincecum came out of the bullpen and showed signs of his former self as he stymied the Reds lineup. The Giants hit around Reds starter Mike Leake and the Reds bullpen en route to an 8-3 game that forces a Game 5 this afternoon. More here.