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Worth the Wait for the Yankees

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Robinson Cano

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By BEN WALKER   AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Only 500 fans or so were left in the stands
early Wednesday when the New York Yankees finished off a
rain-delayed 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at 2:15 a.m.,
getting the go-ahead run on Francisco Cervelli’s disputed home run.

With few options left for a makeup date, the messy game began at
11:08 p.m. after a wait of 4 hours, 3 minutes. The Yankees and
Major League Baseball were in constant contact during the long
delay.

Cervelli hit his tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning off
Tommy Hunter (3-3). Two fans reached near the left-field wall to
grab it, and even though Orioles manager Buck Showalter argued, the
umpires upheld their original home-run call after a video replay.
Brett Gardner followed with a home run, and the AL East-leading
Yankees won their sixth in a row.

It was a sloppy affair, full of wild throws and fielding
misadventures. Rain fell throughout the night, whipped by gusting
winds. Puddles formed and the grounds crew spent nearly as much
time on the field as the players, dumping bag after bag of diamond
dust in hopes of drying out the pitcher’s mound, batter’s box and
basepaths.

During a 10-minute break in the fifth, the sound system played
“Fixing a Hole” by the Beatles while the Yankees huddled under
the dugout roof and Showalter spoke to the umpires.

Baltimore left fielder Matt Angle had the most glaring problem
with the tough conditions. He got twisted around when Cervelli
lifted a fly in the fifth, dropped the ball for an error, slipped
trying to recover and wound up with mud all over the front of his
uniform as a run scored.

The fans had a hard time keeping their feet, too. In the fifth,
two men chased a foul ball behind the plate, lost their balance on
a metal walkway and splashed to the ground with a thud. They got an
ovation for their effort.

All fans were allowed to move down to the expensive seats. There
was no announcement about that over the public-address system _
instead they were told individually. The Yankees also said tickets
for this game could be redeemed for a free seat during the 2012
season.

The game ended so late, in fact, that the announcers on the
Yankees’ YES television network kept reminding viewers this was
live action, not a post-midnight replay.

This was not, however, the longest delay at Yankee Stadium. In
2009, a game between the Yankees and Washington was held up by rain
for nearly 51/2 hours.

Several games in the majors were delayed by rain Tuesday on what
was already shaping up as a difficult week for New York and the
Orioles. The teams are scheduled to play again Wednesday at 1:05
p.m. at Yankee Stadium, then meet in Baltimore on Thursday at 1:05
p.m. for the makeup of a previous rainout.

Cory Wade (4-0) won in relief. Mariano Rivera earned his 39th
save of the season and 598th of his career.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer for the Orioles.
Chris Piteo of Springfield, Mass., was among the fans who waited
out the delay.

“This is my one chance to see a game here this season,” he
said. “It’s not like I can come any day to Yankee Stadium.”
With him were his sister, Marcy, and her two sons, ages 12 and
10. They were all aware that Wednesday was a school day back home.
“We’re already discussing the options,” she said with a smile.

NOTES: Baltimore INF Mark Reynolds leads the majors with 27
errors. … Chris Davis struck out on a breaking ball that bounced
off his left foot, but reached first base on the wild pitch by
Yankees starter Phil Hughes. … Yankees DH Jorge Posada connected
in the third inning against Tommy Hunter. His previous home run
also came against Hunter, on Aug. 26. … Reigning Miss America
Teresa Scanlan sang “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning
stretch.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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