Ibanez latest hero in the Bronx...Another walkoff win in Oakland...Giants all square with Reds...Cards gain edge
The 40-year-old veteran connected for a game-tying home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth and then a walkoff homer that ended the Yanks' 3-2 win over the Orioles in 12 innings.
Ibanez entered the game pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, and manager Joe Girardi's strategy paid off. The game-tying homer came off Jim Johnson, the major league leader with 51 saves in the regular season. He then connected for his game-winner off Brian Matusz to send Yankee Stadium into delirium.
Coming in, the Orioles were 76-0 this year when leading after seven innings. They had also won 16 extra-inning games.
Ryan Flaherty and 20-year-old rookie Manny Machedo hit solo homers off Hiroki Kuroda for the Orioles.
Game four is Thursday in Yankee Stadium. Either Joe Saunders or Chris Tillman will go for the Orioles against Yankee 16-game winner Phil Hughes.
In Oakland, the Athletics produced their 15th walkoff victory of the season by rallying with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to edge the Detroit Tigers 4-3 to even their AL Division Series at two games apiece.
The Tigers entered the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead and their ace closer Jose Valverde on the mound. But Seth Smith tied the game with a two-run double. Coco Crisp then delivered the game-winning single to climax the three-run rally.
This AL Division Series will be decided Thursday night when the Tigers send out their ace 17-game winner Justin Verlander to try and halt their two-game losing streak.
In Cincinnati, the San Francisco Giants clubbed three home runs and Tim Lincecum picked up a rare win out of the bullpen as the Giants pounded Cincinnati 8-3 to even that series at two games apiece.
Angel Pagan homered on the second pitch of the game. Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco added two-run homers. Lincecum earned the win with four and a-third innings of one-run ball, striking out six.
The Reds started Mike Leake, who wasn't on the original postseason roster. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and was touched for five runs. Before the game the Reds were given permission by Major League Baseball to drop injured ace Johnny Cueto from their division series roster and replace him with Leake. Cueto is sidelined for the rest of the playoffs.
Game 5 is Thursday in Cincinnati. The Giants are starting Matt Cain, who had a perfect game this season, against Mat Latos of the Reds.
The Giants can make baseball history Thursday. According to STATS LLC, no team has recovered from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series by winning three on the road, but the Giants have a shot to do exactly that.
In Washington, it may have been only his fourth game this season, but Chris Carpenter showed again he's a big game pitcher.
The right-hander worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings and got offensive support from Pete Kozma's three-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Washington Nationals 8-0 in Game 3 of their NL Division Series. Carpenter missed much of the season after surgery to cure numbness on his right side. Three relievers finished the seven-hit shutout and helped the Redbirds take a 2-1 series lead.
Edwin Jackson took the loss giving up four runs on eight hits over five innings. Nats hitters went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners. Rookie slugger Bryce Harper went 0-5 and is 1-15 in the series.
This was Washington's first postseason baseball game since 1933. Game 4 is in Washington with 16-game winner Kyle Lohse going for St. Louis against southpaw Ross Detwiler in a must-win game for the Nats.
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