Luke Scott was 2-for-13 with one home run lifetime against Mariano Rivera when the Yankees closer entered today’s game with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Scott drove the ball to left field, which the Yankees weren’t expecting with speedster Brett Gardner playing so shallow. Gardner went into a full sprint, reached over his head and somehow made the catch for the final out.
The game is definitely tied if the ball eludes Gardner’s glove, and I like Felix Pie’s chances of scoring from first base after pinch-running for Vladimir Guerrero, whose single off reliever David Robertson kept the rally alive.
Instead, the Yankees are holding a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth.
Gardner made the catch. The Orioles can’t catch a break.
Update: The three hitters due up against Rivera in the ninth - Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds and Matt Wieters - were a combined 1-for-14 with six strikeouts lifetime against the Yankees’ closer.
Jones, 1-for-8 with four strikeouts, ran the count full and fouled off three more pitches before walking. He won the 10-pitch battle.
Reynolds, 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, struck out looking with the count 2-2 after fouling the previous pitch off his right knee and collapsing in the dirt.
Wieters, 0-for-4 against Rivera, struck out swinging at another 90 mph fastball.
Jake Fox, pinch-hitting for Cesar Izturis, lined a single into right field in his first career at-bat against Rivera.
Brian Roberts, 5-for-16 with a double and RBI against Rivera before today, got ahead 3-0, took a strike and lined a run-scoring double into the right field corner to tie the game, 3-3. However, pinch-runner Robert Andino was thrown out at the plate on Robinson Cano’s relay.
Roberts extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He also extended this game into extra innings.