Ibanez Lifts Yanks Over O’s 3-2 In Heroic Fashion
RAULLLL SOOO COOOOL!!! The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night giving the Yankees the 2-1 series advantage in the best of 5 American League Division Series. Raul Ibanez was the hero of the game with a performance that will go down in Yankees history, and not be forgotten anytime soon from Yankee fans. Hiroki Kuroda was great for the Yankees but lacked the run support early to get the win. Kuroda went 8 1/3 gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 3.
The Yankees looked abysmal at the plate against Baltimore rookie Miguel Gonzalez taking the home crowd out of the game for nearly the entire evening.
The Orioles got on the board in the third inning when the 8-hole hitter Ryan Flaherty lifted a solo home run over the right field wall off of Kuroda. The utility man Flaherty playing second base on Wednesday night had 6 home runs in 153 at bats in the regular season.
The Yankees would tie the game up in the bottom half of the third. With one out Russell Martin drilled a double down the left field line. The next batter Eric Chavez grounded out to first advancing Martin to third. The next hitter was Derek Jeter who drilled a Gonzalez fastball to deep center field over the leap of Adam Jones and bouncing off the wall, the triple for Jeter scored Martin tying the game at 1.
In the fifth inning the Orioles went up 2-1 on a Manny Machado solo home run that barely cleared the center field wall.
The Machado home run looked to be the difference in the game until the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out and Alex Rodriguez due up, Joe Girardi made the move to pinch hit Raul Ibanez in A-Rod’s place. Ibanez drilled the second pitch he saw from Baltimore closer Jim Johnson over the right center field wall tying the game at two and finally putting some life into the Yankee Stadium crowd.
After scoreless 10th and 11th innings it was Raul Ibanez’s turn again in the bottom of the 12th facing Brian Matusz. Ibanez leading off the turned on the first pitch he saw from Matusz drilling the game winning home run over the right field wall sending Yankee Stadium into a frenzy and giving the Yankees the 2-1 series lead .
The Yankees will play the Orioles again on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Joe Saunders will start for the Orioles while Phil Hughes gets the start for the Yankees. Pregame coverage begins at 7:00, first pitch at 7:37 right here on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.