BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Davis hit a two-run single off Andy Pettitte to give the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 lead over the New York after three innings Monday night in the second game of their AL division series.
The Orioles were seeking to even the best-of-five series between AL East rivals. For the second day in a row, the start at Camden Yards was delayed by rain, this time for 40 minutes.
Baserunning was a key early in the game. Ichiro Suzuki danced around Orioles catcher Matt Wieters to score, while Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy failed to see his third-base coach and was left stranded.
New York left-hander Andy Pettitte, the winningest pitcher in postseason history, retired the first eight batters before Robert Andino hit a bloop single with two outs in the third. Nate McLouth also singled, and a four-pitch walk to Hardy loaded the bases for Davis, who lined a single to right.
Adam Jones followed by grounding a single just beyond the reach of shortstop Derek Jeter, but Hardy stopped at third after failing to spot third-base coach DeMarlo Hale waving him home. Matt Wieters then popped out with the bases loaded.
The Yankees used the deft footwork of Suzuki to take a 1-0 first-inning lead, and it had nothing to do with his speed on the basepaths.
Derek Jeter led off the game with a single to center against Wei-Yin Chen and Suzuki reached when first baseman Mark Reynolds fumbled a bare-hand pickup for an error.
Alex Rodriguez hit a low line drive at Andino, and the second baseman caught it and doubled up Jeter. Robinson Cano followed with a drive to the base of the right-field wall for a double. The relay from Davis to Andino to Wieters beat Suzuki to the plate by plenty, but he dodged the tag coming toward home.
Suzuki then circled around the batter’s box, juked around the catcher’s desperate lunge and touched the plate an instant before Wieters’ glove found its mark.
Suzuki also got an infield single in the third inning, extending his hitting streak at Camden Yards to 21 games.
After sitting out the 2011 season, Pettitte returned this year to join the Yankees. Despite missing nearly three months with a fractured left ankle, the 40-year-old went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts.
“I wish he would have stayed retired,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked before the game. “It doesn’t surprise me, anything Andy is doing. … He’s got a great presence and he brings a real competitive been there, done that.”
Pettitte was making his 43rd career playoff start, most by a pitcher in major league history. He was 27-6 lifetime against the Orioles (not including playoffs), 7-0 in his last 10 starts. He had 19 wins in postseason play.
Chen, conversely, was making his first start in the postseason. The Taiwanese native, who pitched previously in Japan, was 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four outings against New York this season, including two in September in which he yielded a total of 11 runs over 11 1-3 innings.
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