NEW YORK (AP) — Raul Ibanez lined a ninth-inning home run while pinch hitting for slumping Alex Rodriguez, then hit a leadoff homer in the 12th, giving the New York Yankees a stunning 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles last night for a 2-1 lead in their AL division series.
Batting for baseball’s highest-paid player, Ibanez homered to right-center with one out in the ninth inning off major league saves leader Jim Johnson to tie it at 2. He then hit the first pitch from Brian Matusz leading off the 12th.
Phil Hughes will start for the Yankees tonight in Game 4 of the best-of-five series. Chris Tillman or Joe Saunders will start for Baltimore.
Baltimore had won 16 straight extra-inning games, and had been 76-0 when leading after seven, before the Yankees stung them.
Ibanez got that chance after Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the decision to bat for Rodriguez — the first time A-Rod had ever been pinch-hit for in a postseason game, according to STATS LLC.
“You’re going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn’t work,” Girardi said.
Cards’ Carpenter overcomes pain,
WASHINGTON — Set aside the high-pressure task of postseason pitching that Chris Carpenter routinely masters for the St. Louis Cardinals and think about this:
Even the take-it-for-granted act of breathing feels odd on occasion now that he’s missing a rib and two neck muscles.
Taking the mound for only the fourth time in 2012 after complicated surgery to cure numbness on his right side, the 37-year-old New Hampshire native spoiled the return of postseason baseball to Washington by throwing scoreless ball into the sixth inning, and the defending champion Cardinals beat the Nationals 8-0 to take a 2-1 lead in their NL division series.
“To go from not being able to compete, and not only compete but help your team, to be able to be in this situation,” Carpenter said, “it’s pretty cool.”