MLB Playoffs: Yanks And Nats Take Openers…

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees waited nearly a two and a-half hours because of a rain delay before starting the opener of their best-of-five American League Division Series in Baltimore. As far as the Yanks were concerned, the wait was well worth it.

The Yanks erupted with five runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the opener, 7-2. Russell Martin greeted Orioles reliever Jim Johnson with a leadoff homer in the ninth for the go-ahead run.

Yankee ace CC Sabathia (suh-BATH’-ee-uh) cooled the Orioles battings, allowing just two runs on eight hits over eight and two-thirds innings for the win. He struck out seven.

The Orioles hope to be able to tie the series at 1-1 when they are home for Game 2 on Monday night.

The Tigers overcame three A’s leads and beat the Athletics 5-4 to grab a 2-0 advantage in their best-of-five AL Division Series.

The outcome was in doubt until the last swing of the bat. Detroit’s Don Kelly snapped a 4-4 tie with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly after the Athletics intentionally walked Prince Fielder to load the bases. Kelly was inserted as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and scored the tying run on a wild pitch.

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball in the seventh inning that resulted in a two-run error by A’s outfielder Coco Crisp and singled in the ninth.

The Tigers will go for the sweep on Tuesday in Oakland, where they’ll also play games 4 and 5, if necessary.

In St. Louis, the Washington Nationals rallied to take the opener of their NLDS by rallying for a 3-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Cardinals. That’s the first postseason victory for a Washington-based team since 1933. The Nats trailed all game until rookie Tyler Moore delivered a two-run pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.

The Nationals overcame a wild start by 21-game winner Gio (JEE’-oh) Gonzalez, then watched their bullpen shut down St. Louis in the late innings. Gonzalez walked seven and hit a batter in his five innings. But the Cardinals managed just three hits all day.

Game 2 of this series is Monday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

In San Francisco, the visiting Cincinnati Reds have taken a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series with the Giants after routing the Giants 9-0 last night. Bronson Arroyo, J.J. Hoover and Jose Arrendondo combined on the two-hitter.

Arroyo was spectacular on the mound, limiting the Giants to one hit over seven dominating innings. Ryan Ludwick homered and Ryan Hanigan drove in three runs for Cincinnati, which now heads home for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Source: Associated Press