Ibanez slams 2 homers to rally Yanks
NEW YORK - Raul Ibanez homered as a pinch hitter for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning to tie the game, then hit a walk-off homer to lead off the 12th as the New York Yankees rallied to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 3 of their AL division series. With the best-of-five series tied at 1, Baltimore and reliever Jim Johnson were two outs from taking control. But with Rodriguez 1-for-12 with no RBIs and seven strikeouts, Yankees manager Joe Girardi sent up Ibanez, who lined a 94 mph pitch into the right-field seats. Ibanez stayed in the game as the DH, and hit the first pitch off Baltimore reliever Brian Matusz into the right-field seats to give the Yankees a 2-1 series lead. Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez had allowed one run and five hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and a walk. Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado, the bottom two hitters in Baltimore's batting order, hit solo home runs off Hiroki Kuroda.Coming in, the Orioles were 76-0 this year when leading after seven innings. They had also won 16 extra-inning games. Flaherty homered with one out in the third and the 20-year-old Machado connected leading off the fifth, becoming the second-youngest player to homer in a postseason game. In between, Derek Jeter tied the score with an RBI triple in the third, a drive just past bubble-blowing center fielder Adam Jones. Jeter, limping because of a sore ankle, came out after eight innings. Taken by the Orioles from the Chicago Cubs in December's winter meetings draft of unprotected players, Flaherty connected on an 82 mph slider from Kuroda for Baltimore's first postseason home run since 1997. It was just the second at-bat of the series for Flaherty, who platoons with Robert Andino at second base. Machado's home run, also off a slider, landed in Baltimore's bullpen in left-center. Atlanta's Andruw Jones, who was 19 years, 180 days when he homered in 1996, is the only player younger than Machado (20 years, 96 days) with a postseason home run. Jeter tied the score with a drive deep to right-center. Adam Jones, a blowing a big, pink bubble as he tried to track it down, didn't anticipate it tailing to right as much as it did. The ball dropped just beyond the All-Star's outstretched glove as he crashed into the wall. Gonzalez started the season in the minors and made his first major-league start on July 6. He went 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA. In Game 4 tonight, Phil Hughes (16-13) starts for New York. The Orioles had not decided between Joe Saunders (9-13) or Chris Tillman (9-3).
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