BALTIMORE — Rookie Wei-Yin Chen outpitched 40-year-old Andy Pettitte, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees, 3-2, Monday night to even their AL division series at one game apiece.
Chris Davis drove in two runs for the Orioles, who used the same formula that got them into the postseason for the first time in 15 years: a magnificent bullpen and an ability to win tight games. Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run decisions during the regular season, and 74-0 when leading after seven innings.
Major league saves leader Jim Johnson, roughed up for five runs in a Game 1 loss, pitched a perfect ninth to close it out.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series will be held at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
Chen gave up two runs, one earned, and eight hits over 61⁄3 innings. The Taiwan 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 111⁄3 innings.
He left with a 3-2 lead, and the bullpen made it stand up. Johnson retired Derek Jeter and Ichiro
Suzuki on grounders and struck out Alex Rodriguez to a rousing
ovation at Camden Yards.
Much earlier, Suzuki’s deft dancing at the plate put the Yankees ahead.
Pettitte, whose 19 wins and 43 starts are the most in postseason history, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings. He came out of retirement before this season to pitch again in the playoffs, and although he was effective, Chen was better.
Pettitte, however, got little offensive backing. New York stranded 10, and went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
After Davis hit a two-run single to put Baltimore up, 2-1, in the third inning, Matt Wieters led off the sixth with a double and scored on a single by Mark Reynolds to make it 3-1.
But New York came right back in the seventh. Eduardo Nunez got a double when Davis couldn’t catch his blooper to right and Jeter followed with an RBI single. After Suzuki hit into a fielder’s choice, Darren O’Day replaced Chen and struck out Rodriguez as Suzuki stole second. Brian Matusz came in, and issued an intentional walk to Robinson Cano to set up a matchup with Nick Swisher.
Swisher was 1-for-18 lifetime against Matusz . A wild pitch moved up the runners, but the percentages held up, as Swisher hit a routine fly ball to left.
Pettitte 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 J.J. Hardy loaded the bases for Davis, who lined a single to right.
Adam Jones followed by grounding a single just beyond the reach of Jeter, but Hardy stopped at third
after failing to spot third-base coach DeMarlo Hale waving him home. Wieters then popped out with the bases loaded.
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