Game 1 finally starts (Hammel done)

The crowd erupted for the first time tonight when the first chords of “Sweet Home Alabama” were heard over the PA system. The next ovation came when three members of the grounds crew walked onto the field with brooms to sweep away puddles on the warning track, which was followed by a “Let’s Go O’s” chant.

Yeah, the fans are fired up for the first playoff game at Camden Yards in 15 years.

The rain delay lasted 2 hours, 26 minutes, but it couldn’t dampen their enthusiasm. They don’t seem bothered by the 52-degree temperature, either.

CC Sabathia was vigorously booed as he walked to the bullpen. Yankees fans are clearly outnumbered.

Jason Hammel’s first pitch, a 94 mph fastball, was a called strike. Derek Jeter grounded Hammel’s third pitch, also a 94 mph heater, into center field for a single. The next batter, Ichiro Suzuki, doubled into left-center field to give the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead.

For whatever reason, Ichiro thought it would be a good idea to steal third base. Matt Wieters pointed out his mistake.

Leftover note from Friday night: Manny Machado (20) became the youngest Oriole to record a postseason hit. Paul Blair was 22 when he homered in Game 3 of the 1966 World Series.

Since 1954, the Orioles’ .595 winning percentage in the postseason (47-32) is the second-best in the majors behind the Marlins’ .667 (22-11).

Update: The Orioles used three singles and a sacrifice bunt to score twice in the bottom of the third inning and take a 2-1 lead.

Chris Davis and Lew Ford singled after Sabathia retired the first six batters. They moved up on Robert Andino’s bunt and scored on Nate McLouth’s single.

Ford was signed out of the independent league. McLouth was dumped by the Pirates.

It’s been that kind of a season.

Hammel has thrown 55 pitches in three innings, but manager Buck Showalter isn’t afraid to play the bullpen game against Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Update II: The Yankees tied the game in the fourth and fattened Hammel’s pitch count to 84.

Hammel was hurt by two walks that preceded Mark Teixeira’s RBI double off the out-of-town scoreboard. Davis threw out Teixeira at second.

Still no action in the Orioles’ bullpen.

Update III: Hammel gave the Orioles 5 2/3 innings in his first start since Sept. 11 and left with the score tied, 2-2. He threw 112 pitches before Showalter summoned Troy Patton, who allowed a single to Mark Teixeira and retired Curtis Granderson on a fly ball that Davis ran down in the right-field corner.

Hammel allowed two runs and four hits, with four walks and five strikeouts.

Teixeira was 0-for-6 against Patton before his single. Granderson was 1-for-4 with a double.

Luis Ayala was warming in the bullpen.

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