By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, October 11- The close competition between the Orioles and the Yankees continued on Thursday night. In a 13-inning encounter that lasted four hours and 31, minutes, the pitching of the Birds held the Yanks in check. Each club now has two victories. The winner of Friday night’s contest will move to the ALCS and the season of the loser will end.
The pitchers of each team, especially the relief corps, were in command throughout the game. Zeroes were posted on the scoreboard in 23 of the 26 half-innings. Each squad only managed to obtain multiple hits, 2, once during the lengthy game,
Both starters, lefty Joe Saunders for the O’s and righty Phil Hughes for the Yanks, only gave up one run during their stints on the mound. As has been the weakness for Hughes all year, he gave up a four bagger that scored the only run off him. On a 1-2 pitch, left fielder Nate McLouth hit a hanging slider into right field to lead off the fifth. After the homer, Hughes struck out the side to end the frame. Hughes gave up four hits and three walks in 6.2 innings, but the home run put up the only score off Hughes.
Yankees skipper Joe Girardi complimented his starter, “With the exception of a few  lead-off walks, he threw an outstanding game.”
Despite only being 2-2 after four games, Yankees starters have been effective. The four starters have compiled an excellent 2.35 ERA.
Girardi spoke of the outstanding pitchers of both teams during the first four games, “You’re seeing some real good pitching in these four games with the exception of one inning. It’s really been difficult to come up with hits.”
Saunders, also, gave up a single run. The Yankees scored a run in the top of the sixth on a ground ball out by Robinson Cano. Derek Jeter led off the inning with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ichiro Suzuki. Mark Teixeira waked before Cano’s run scoring ground out to second.
The Yanks had another opportunity in the eight as Suzuki and Teixeira led off the inning with singles. They remained stranded on base as the next three batters were retired. The Yanks failed to hit successfully with runners in scoring position in nine attempts during the contest.
The final run of the game, in the Baltimore 13th, came on two doubles off rookie David Phelps. Another rookie, Manny Machado, doubled to lead-off. With one out, J. J. Hardy doubled over Suzuki’s head in left to score Machado. Hardy commented, “We had a lot of opportunities. It was nice to come through.”
The 2012 percentages came through again for the Orioles. The have won 17 of 20 extra-inning games and 31 of 41 one-run contests.
The Yankees ace, C.C. Sabathia, will start in the final game of the ALDS. Jadon hammel will strat for Baltimore. They were the starters in game one.
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