A close game of missed opportunities turned into a huge win and early control of this division series as the Yankees scored five runs in the ninth inning for a 7-2 win at Camden Yards. Russell Martin led off the ninth inning with a tiebreaking home run off Orioles closer Jim Johnson — who had allowed just three homers all year — and the Yankees tacked on four more runs to pull away and breath easy. CC Sabathia came one out away from a complete game, allowing two runs on eight hits and leaving after a two-out double in the ninth. Ichiro Suzuki doubled in a run in the first inning, and Mark Teixeira tied the game with a hard-hit double off the top of the wall in the fourth, but both early runs came with a sense of disappointment. Those could have been big innings, but baserunning mistakes and outs in key situations left the Yankees chipping away rather than pulling away, and a two-run, third-inning single by Nate McLouth was enough to keep the Orioles in the game until the Camden Yards’ largest crowd of the year began heading for the exits the ninth.
Associated Press photo