It took the Orioles 18 innings, but they pulled out another thrilling victory over the Seattle Mariners on the road that drew them even with the Yankees for first place in the AL East once again.
The Yankees game with the Blue Jays was postponed last night due to bad weather, which will result in the teams playing a double header today where Andy Pettitte will see his first start since July when he went on the DL.
The Yankees watched the Orioles come back from two runs down in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game and send it into extras, where they eventually won hours later, 4-2 in 18 frames.
Miguel Olivo’s fourth inning homerun for Seattle gave the M’s a two run cushion early and the O’s decided to wait until the ninth to knot things up for dramatic effect. That’s when Chris Davis singled home the tying runs after a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position. I’m sure both teams had no clue there were in for a five hour and forty-four minute game at that point.
Almost an entire other game later, the Orioles finally ended the contest as September call-up Taylor Teagarden drove in his sixth RBI of the season on just his seventh Major League hit. Mark Reynolds then drove in an insurance run with a fielder’s choice to make it 4-2 and the O’s held on in the bottom half of the inning.
The Orioles continue to wins games in nearly every way possible to stay neck and neck with New York. With 14 games left, the AL East race is tied once again and could go either way. Today the O’s will send out Joe Saunders (2-2, 4.30 ERA) to battle one of the AL’s best in Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, (13-8, 2.92 ERA) who pitched a perfect game about a month ago. Seattle is one of the lowest scoring, worst hitting teams in baseball that have continually struggled to provide Hernandez with run support this season. So, expect Hernandez to pitch well, but also look for the O’s and Saunders to keep the game low scoring and cover the +1.5 runline and possibly outlast the Mariner’s Ace to earn a win.
Meanwhile, Pettitte is getting his first chance to start for the Yanks since July 27th and has been told by manager, Joe Girardi that he will be limited to 70 pitches today in the first game of a double header with the Jays. The Yankees will then go with rookie David Phelps (4-4, 3.39 ERA) in the second game today against Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.87 ERA).
I definitely like the Yanks in game two, but it’s hard to know what to expect from the aging Pettitte coming off another injury. Look for New York to split the double and with the O’s win, fall to a half game back of Baltimore after Wednesday.