Russell Martin’s solo shot sparks Yanks past Orioles in Game 1
Baltimore, MD, United States (4E Sports) – Russell Martin clobbered a tie-breaking homer that sparked a five-run ninth against closer Jim Johnson and the New York Yankees took Game 1 of the American League Division Series with a 7-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Sunday at Camden Yards.
Martin hammered a 2-0 pitch from Johnson into the left-field seats for his second career postseason homer to snap a 2-2 tie. Ichiro Suzuki then hit an infield single to pitcher that scored pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez.
Robinson Cano rapped a two-run double that scored Derek Jeter and Ichiro and knocked Johnson out of the game. Nick Swisher then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Cano for a commanding five-run lead.
“I definitely wasn’t thinking home run,” Martin said. “I got in a good count to hit in, and I got a pitch that was up in the zone. Johnson is the type of guy that doesn’t necessarily make any mistakes over the plate, and in that situation, he just left a fastball up and I put good wood on it.”
The searing attack made a winner out of CC Sabathia, who fell one strike shy of his first postseason complete game.
The left-hander struck out seven and walked one over his 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball, throwing 80 of his 120 pitches for strikes in an impressive display of command despite a one-and-a-half hours of rain delay.
“My fastball command was good,” Sabathia said. “I just worked off that. I was throwing the ball in pretty good and was getting the corner, so I just tried to stay out there and make my pitches, and it worked out.”
Sabathia said he preferred to finish off the complete game but he allowed a two-out double to Lew Ford, drawing manager Joe Girardi from the dugout to summon David Robertson for the final out.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel gave up two earned runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. It could have been much worse for Hammel, if not for several baserunning miscues by the Yankees.
The Yankees grabbed an early 1-0 lead after Ichiro’s RBI double but the Japanese outfielder was thrown out by catcher Matt Wieters while attempting to steal third base.
In the fourth, Mark Teixeira drove in an RBI single to tie the game at two but the switch-hitter was thrown out by Chris Davis while trying to reach second base.
The Yankees gun for a 2-0 lead Monday when they put veteran Andy Pettitte on the mound against rookie Wei-Yin Chen.