BALTIMORE (PIX11)—People affiliated with baseball say that winning in extra innings is even more beneficial than winning a regular nine inning game because, despite the extra wear and tear, the victory seems sweeter.
Add into the equation that the Yankees erased a 4-1 deficit to the Orioles late in the game last night and this seems like the type of win that could turn around a clubs young season.
Newly acquired Raul Ibanez played the hero last night, as he smacked a ground rule double in the top of the twelfth inning to drive in the eventual game winning win as New York was able to defeat Baltimore 5-4.
"These guys have always made me feel like I belong and I'm part of the team," said Ibanez, who entered the game as an eighth-inning pinch-hitter. "I'm just trying to do anything I can to help. It's all about winning baseball games, and today we were able to do that."
Mariano Rivera came in for bottom of the twelfth and recorded a perfect inning to secure his first save of the season. The bullpen also contributed amazing 2 1/3 innings from rookies David Phelps and Corey Wade.
"With our offense, we're never really out of the game," Phelps said. "We just tried to put up as many zeroes as we can to give them a chance to get back into it. We did a good job of that tonight."
Derek Jeter started the game on the right foot as he pounded his 25th career leadoff homerun, a Yankee record. Starting pitcher Freddy Garcia struggled in the following innings as he gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, and recorded 5 wild pitches in only 4 2/3 innings of work.
The Yankee offense woke up in the top of the sixth as Andruw Jones hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to give New York a run. Baltimore third basemen Mark Reynolds recorded an error on Russell Martin's groundball to allow another score and Brett Gardner tied the game up with an RBI single.
It may only give the Yankees one win in the standings, but this victory might be looked back as a pivotal part of their season.