Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (-198, 7.5)
Series tied 2-2
Neither the Baltimore Orioles nor the New York Yankees were able to gain the upper hand during the regular season as the American League East rivals split their 18-game season series. Nothing has been resolved thus far in their AL Division Series as each club has won a pair of contests, setting up Game Five at Yankee Stadium on Friday to decide who will face the Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship Series.
Baltimore was within two outs of taking a 2-1 series lead on Wednesday, only to have Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying home run as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and a game-winning blast leading off the 12th frame. The Orioles turned the tables a night later as rookie Manny Machado opened the 13th inning of a 1-1 contest with a double and scored two batters later on J.J. Hardy's two-base hit. Closer Jim Johnson, who took the loss in the series opener and served up Ibanez's first homer in Game Three to blow the save opportunity, redeemed himself by retiring the Yankees in order for his second save of the postseason.
The Orioles improved to 31-10 in one-run games this year, including a 2-1 mark in the series. The starting pitching on both sides has been tremendous through the first four contests. Of the eight combined starters, only one (Andy Pettitte) has allowed more than two runs. Baltimore's starters have yielded six runs while New York's have given up eight.
TV: 5:07 p.m. ET, TBS
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-50’s under sunny skies. Winds will blow out to right field at 15 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Jason Hammel (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (1-0, 2.08)
Making his first start since Sept. 11 and third since July 13 due to problems with his knee, Hammel pitched as well as could be expected in the series opener, limiting New York to two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old went 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts against the Yankees during the regular season, including a no-decision on Sept. 6 in which he yielded one run over five frames. Hammel is 1-3 with 5.86 ERA in 15 career games against the Yankees, including nine starts.
Sabathia had his best performance against the Orioles this season in the series opener, coming within one out of a complete game as he allowed two runs and eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. During the regular season, the 32-year-old struggled versus Baltimore, going 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in three starts. Sabathia has dominated the Orioles over his career as he's posted a 17-4 record and 3.07 ERA in 26 outings.
* Over is 6-1 in Sabathia’s last seven starts vs. Orioles.
* Yankees are 13-3 in Sabathia’s last 16 starts vs. Orioles.
* Orioles are 0-4 in their last four games following a win.
* Over is 3-0-1 in Hammel’s last four starts overall.
UMPIRE TRENDS- Mike Everitt
* Orioles are 5-0 in their last five games with Everitt behind home plate.
* Road team is 8-2 in Everitt’s last 10 games behind home plate.
* Under is 5-1 in Everitt’s last six games behind home plate.
1. While New York 3B Alex Rodriguez has been grilled in the press for his lack of production, CF Curtis Granderson has been even worse thus far in the series. Rodriguez is 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts and Granderson 1-for-16 while fanning nine times.
2. Including the playoffs, Baltimore is 17-3 in extra-inning contests this year. All three losses have been to the Yankees.
3. New York (245) and Baltimore (214) were the top two teams in the major leagues in home runs during the regular season. They have combined for six over the first four games of the series, with each club hitting three.