Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/12/12
NEW YORK -- The Baltimore Orioles remained as stubborn as ever, hanging in there inning after inning, the way they had game after game. Finally, after escaping one threat after the other from the New York Yankees' lineup full of home run hitters, the Orioles struck in the 13th inning Thursday. J.J. Hardy doubled in Manny Machado to give Baltimore a 2-1 win and force a decisive Game 5 in the American League Division Series. The hit stunned the Yankee Stadium crowd, which anticipated a series-ending win in any of the Yankees' several chances at a last at-bat. Baltimore used six relievers to shut out the Yankees in the final 7 1/3 innings, with Jim Johnson earning his second save of the postseason after blowing one Wednesday night in Game 3. Pedro Strop (1-0), who had a 6.35 ERA this season against the Yankees, pitched two scoreless innings for the win. The teams will face off again Friday with Yankees ace CC Sabathia taking on Jason Hammel. It was the second straight game that lasted at least 12 innings for the teams that had been so tightly knotted in the standings through most of the second half of the regular season. The Orioles got a fifth-inning homer from Nate McLouth to take a 1-0 lead, the Yankees responded with a run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Robinson Cano, and then the bullpens shut the offenses down. But Machado, the Orioles' heralded rookie who homered in Game 3, led off the 13th with a double off David Phelps (0-1). One out later, Hardy doubled over left fielder Ichiro Suzuki's head, and the Orioles finally had another lead. The Yankees' best chance came in the bottom of the eighth when Ichiro and Mark Teixeira led off with singles and were moved to third by a groundout by Robinson Cano. Orioles reliever Darren O'Day, who pitched a season-high 2 2/3 scoreless innings, struck out slumping slugger Alex Rodriguez and got Nick Swisher on a fly to right to end the threat. Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect 11th for the Yankees, but he left after getting struck by a broken bat as Matt Wieters singled to start the 12th inning. The ball landed in left as the bat struck Chamberlain's throwing elbow. After the game, the Yankees announced that Chamberlain had a bruised elbow, but that X-rays were negative. Phelps, a rookie, replaced Chamberlain to make his postseason debut. He retired the next three batters but faltered the next inning. Much earlier, Phil Hughes and Joe Saunders continued the clubs' trend of pitchers' duels, each wiggling out of early jams. Saunders threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, while Hughes allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings. NOTES: Joe Girardi's father, Jerry, died last Saturday at the age of 81, but the Yankees' manager did not want to inform his players or make the news public, as he said, "I knew talking about it would make it probably even harder." So, when he first found out, as he rode the team bus, he "had tears in my eyes on the bus, so I put some sunglasses on." But after the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star published the elder Girardi's obituary Thursday, the Yankees made the news public. ... Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter's streak of 155 consecutive postseason games at shortstop ended with him starting at DH due to a bruised bone on his left foot. Jayson Nix started in his place at shortstop. ... Rodriguez, who entered Game 4 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts in the series, was dropped to fifth in the order from third. Girardi said he didn't think his decision to pinch-hit Ibanez for Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Game 3 "will change our relationship." Eric Chavez pinch-hit for Rodriguez in the 14th inning of Game 4 and flied out to end it.
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