Ibanez hits two home runs to lead Yankees over Orioles
It was not an easy decision for Yankees manager Joe Girardi to make. With one out in the ninth inning Girardi sent out pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez to hit for Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s struggles are well documented, but then so is his power. “You’re going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn’t work,” Girardi said after the game.
Ibanez hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning off Orioles closer Jim Johnson, and then delivered another solo home run in the bottom of the 12th off Brian Matusz and the Yankees beat the Orioles 3-2. The Yankees now lead the ALDS 2-1.
Baltimore had recorded 16 straight extra inning wins and had been 76-0 when leading after seven innings. Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven solid innings for Baltimore striking out eight and allowing just one run. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda was his equal pitching into the ninth inning allowing two earned runs while striking out three.