Russell Martin sends Oriole fans home unhappy (US Presswire)
BALTIMORE - Russell Martin led off the ninth inning with a
tiebreaking home run off Jim Johnson, CC Sabathia turned in a solid
pitching performance and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles
7-2 Sunday night in the opener of their American League Division
Sabathia allowed two runs and eight hits in 8-2/3 innings to help the
Yankees spoil the Orioles' first home playoff game since 1997.
The left-hander, who went 0-2 in three starts against Baltimore
during the regular season, improved his lifetime record against the
Orioles to 17-4.
Sabathia is 6-1 with the Yankees in the postseason, 4-0 in the division series.
With the score 2-all, Martin drove a 2-0 pitch from Johnson into the
left-field seats. It was the first of four consecutive hits off Johnson,
who led the majors with 51 saves.
Raul Ibanez and Derek Jeter followed with singles, Ichiro drove in a
run with a swinging bunt and, one out later, Robinson Cano hit a two-run
double. Ichiro and Ibanez are former Mariners.
In his seven previous appearances against New York, Johnson allowed
one run in seven innings and had three saves. Nick Swisher capped the
five-run ninth with a sacrifice fly off Tommy Hunter.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Monday night in Baltimore.
The opener was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 26 minutes.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel allowed two runs, four hits and four
walks in 5-2/3 innings. The right-hander underwent knee surgery in July
and returned to pitch two games in September before his right knee began
to bother him again.
After working his way back into form, Hammel put on a knee brace and
gave Baltimore a 112-pitch outing in his first start in nearly a month.