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Beat A’s in 14 Innings
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 23- After nearly six hours of play, an error allowed Ichiro Suzuki to cross home plate with the winning run in the 14th inning. The victory was the seventh straight for the wearers of the pinstripes and their tenth in the last 12. The win kept the yanks in first place over the Orioles, who seem to win every day.
The chance of Saturday afternoon’s game emulating the pitchers’ duel of Friday night ended in the first inning. Back-to-back-to back doubles by the first three batters of the game, Stephen Drew, Seth Smith and Yeonis Cspedes, put two runs on the board before the first out was recorded.
The Yanks countered with three runs in the bottom of the first. He torrid hitting by Ichiro Suzuki continued as he homered on a 0-1 pitch to give the Yanks their first run. Three walks, a balk, an error and a single by Robinson Cano added two additional scores for New York. Both teams completed their half inning with bases filled.
Oakland starter Travis Blackley left the game after two innings and Yankees starter Ivan Nova was removed after 2.1. Pitching was not the focus throughout the contest as the game included 19 runs, 31 hits, seven home runs, 15 walks, two hit batters and three errors.
A run by Oakland tied the score at 5 in the top of the seventh, but the greatest excitement was yet to come.
Drew led off the 13th with a single, his fourth hit of the game. Jonny Gomes followed with a homer to left that scored two. The next batter, rookie Cespedes connected with his 20th home run. Two batters later, Chris Carter belted the third home run of the inning into the left field seats.
According to Ichiro, the fans streamed from the stadium after that four-run half inning, “When they scored four runs, a lot of fans went home. I bet they’re shocked to get home and see the score.”
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi explained the faith of the Yankees players was very much higher than the fans who left the park, “When guys came in, there were a lot of guys yelling ‘Let’s go, let’s go, one at bat at a time.’ Everybody was kind of caught up in that.”
Suzuki led off the 13th with his third hit of the game, an infield single. The big blow of the four-run inning, was Raúl Ibañez’s second home run of the game. Ibañez entered the game in the fifth as a pinch hitter and broke a 0 for 18 streak with a homer. Before blasting the four bagger, the veteran outfielder had only hit safely twice in 45 at bats.
Cory Wade, who was awarded the win, retired all three batters he faced in the 14th.
With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the inning, Eduardo Nuñez grounded to first. The ball was booted by first sacker Brandon Moss, which allowed Ichiro to cross the plate with the winning run.
The final game of the three game set will have Hiroki Kuroda (14-10) on the mound for the Yanks. A.J. Griffin (6-2) will start for Oakland.