Sports

Yankee Offense Can’t Get Going, Head To Elimination Game

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Nate McLouth #9 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on after hitting a home run in the fifth inning of Game Four of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 11, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 11: Nate McLouth #9 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on after hitting a home run in the fifth inning of Game Four of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 11, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ With midnight approaching, the Baltimore
Orioles’ bats awoke for one more improbable rally.

Now they have a last shot to finally overtake the New York
Yankees.

J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the 13th inning and Baltimore
bounced back from a demoralizing loss to outlast the Yankees 2-1
Thursday night, forcing a deciding Game 5 in the AL division
series.

After splitting 22 games this year, it all comes down this: a
winner-take-all game for a spot in the AL championship series.

Game 1 winner CC Sabathia was set to pitch the deciding game for
the Yankees. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had not announced his
starter.

The Orioles were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position until
Hardy doubled off David Phelps with one out to score Manny Machado.
Phelps had relieved in the 12th after Joba Chamberlain was hit by a
flying broken bat, forcing him to leave with a bruised right elbow.

Jim Johnson bounced back from allowing Raul Ibanez’s pinch-hit
homer in the ninth inning Wednesday to earn his second save in the
series with a perfect 13th.

Hours after learning Joe Girardi had kept quiet that his father
died last Saturday, the Yankees couldn’t rally late. This time,
Girardi called upon Eric Chavez to pinch hit for slumping Alex
Rodriguez. He lined out to third base to end it.

Baltimore’s win pushed all four division series to five games
for the first time since the round began in 1995.

The Orioles have been pursuing the Yankees all season, cutting a
10-game deficit in July to zero in early September. Baltimore and
New York were tied 10 times atop the East in the final month but
the Yankees wrapped up the division on the final night of the
regular season.

After dropping Game 1 , the Orioles rebounded with another
one-run win in a season in which they had the best record in the
majors in such games at 29-9. But they lost in stunning fashion in
12 innings Wednesday night, when Ibanez homered twice in his two
at-bats after pinch-hitting for Rodriguez.

The team that caught the Yankees in September didn’t rattle,
though.

They came right back Thursday for their first win in extras
against the Yankees this year. They also lost twice to New York in
extra innings before going on a run of 16 straight wins after the
ninth inning.

It wasn’t easy, though. Nate McLouth homered off Phil Hughes to
start the fifth, but Baltimore wasted three shots with a runner on
third base in the first four innings. They struggled against New
York’s bullpen.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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