Jim Johnson has been so great for the Orioles this year. He entered this game in the top of the ninth of a 2-2 tie tonight having allowed just one run over his last 26 innings and three homers all year and none since June 5.
But Russell Martin homered to left on a 2-0 pitch leading off the ninth and the Yankees went on to a 7-2 win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series in front of 47,841 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles will need to win tomorrow night behind Wei-Yin Chen or they will fall behind 2-0 in the series which heads to New York after that.
The Yankees went on to plate four more big insurance runs after Martin’s homer on a Ichiro Suzuki infield hit, a Robinson Cano two-run double and a Nick Swisher sac fly.
Johnson was charged with five runs and hits allowed in just 1/3 of an inning.
Suzuki’s RBI double gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Orioles went ahead 2-1 on Nate McLouth’s two-run single in the last of the third. McLouth has four RBIs in two postseason games. Chris Davis and Lew Ford had led off the inning with singles.
The Yankees tied it 2-2 on a Mark Teixeira single off the right-field wall in the top of the fourth that scored Alex Rodriguez, who drew a leadoff walk.
The game stayed tied 2-2 after the top of the seventh, thanks to Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters. After Troy Patton walked the first two batters that inning, O’Day come on and pitched out of that huge jam. He was helped by Wieters, who made a tremendous scoop of a short-hop throw from Robert Andino and then a tag to get Russell Martin on a play at the plate.
O’s starter Jason Hammel gave up two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first start since Sept. 11. He walked four and fanned five, throwing 112 pitches. The O’s two starters this postseason - Hammel and Joe Saunders - have combined to allow three runs over 11 1/3 for an ERA of 2.38.
Winning pitcher CC Sabathia gave up eight hits over 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts after he had been 0-2 with an ERA of 6.38 in three regular season starts versus the Orioles. He threw 120 pitches, 80 for strikes.
The ninth-inning uprising sends New York to victory in this best-of-five series opener.