Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If you thought that the New York Yankees were out of the playoff chase after losing four of the last five games heading into Tuesday night, then think again, because they're still right in the middle of the second Wild Card race.

Trailing 4-3 after seven innings of play, the Yankees exploded for a four-run inning against the Baltimore Orioles, kicking off the inning with a double by Alex Rodriguez, who would score on a base hit to center by Robinson Cano to tie the game. Alfonso Soriano followed a two-run homerun to take a 6-4 lead, and Mark Reynolds doubled home a tack-on run.

Mariano Rivera came out of the bullpen to record the Yankees' final four outs of the game, sealing the Bombers' 7-5 victory. With and win and a loss by the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees will enter play on Wednesday just two games back of Tampa for the second Wild Card.

Just as important as the Wild Card standings, A-Rod, Austin Romine and starter Ivan Nova all left last night's game because of injuries. A-Rod's left hamstring tightened up on him on his scoring play in the 8th; Nova left because of some tightness in his triceps; and Romine left with a possibly concussion after taking a foul-tip of his facemask.

Tonight's Lineup vs Baltimore:

Gardner CF
Rodriguez DH
Cano 2B
Soriano LF
Granderson RF
Reynolds 3B
Overbay 1B
Ryan SS
Stewart C
Pettitte LHP

Derek Jeter is out of the lineup for the fourth straight game because of his ankle; A-Rod is in the lineup, but it could be something that we'll know more on after batting practice; newly acquired Brendan Ryan is starting at shortstop, and he'll be wearing No. 35 tonight.

Pitching Preview:

Andy Pettitte got off to a good start this season for the Yankees, after about the first month of the season, he started to fall into a funk to suggest being 41-years-old was finally catching up to him. After a couple months of terrible pitching, Pettitte has once again found his grove on the mound, as he takes the mound in Baltimore looking for his sixth straight quality start.

Pettitte is coming off a good start against the Boston Red Sox last week, but the Yankees' bullpen couldn't back him up, as he would take the no-decision after giving up three runs on five hits over six innings.

"I felt good. I hate it," Pettitte said. "I wish I'd gone a little bit deeper in the game, but all my pitches were working. It was a game where you feel maybe like you could've got a little bit deeper."

Going up against Pettitte and the Yankees will be Orioles right-hander Scott Feldman, who;s coming off one of his best pitching performances of the season, going the distance against the Chicago White Sox, giving up just five hits over nine innings in the the O's 4-0 win.

"The first time through, they were kind of taking the first pitch a little bit, then after that, they got a little more aggressive," Feldman said. "So I was able to try not to live in the middle of the plate, kind of to hit the corners and hope they'd swing and get some early outs that way. If I go nine or seven -- whatever it is -- as long as we win, it's a good game."


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