BALTIMORE (AP) — Rookie Wei-Yin Chen outpitched 40-year-old Andy Pettitte, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday night to even their AL division series at one game apiece.
Chris Davis drove in two runs for the Orioles, who used the same formula that got them into the postseason for the first time in 15 years: a magnificent bullpen and an ability to win tight games. Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run decisions during the regular season and 74-0 when leading after seven innings.
Major league saves leader Jim Johnson, roughed up for five runs in a Game 1 loss, pitched a perfect ninth to close it out.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series will be held at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
Chris Davis hit a two-run single to back a solid start by rookie Wei-Yin Chen and help the Baltimore Orioles take a 3-1 lead over Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees after six innings Monday night in the second game of their AL division series.
Mark Reynolds also drove in a run for the Orioles, who were seeking to even the best-of-five series between AL East rivals. For the second day in a row, the start at Camden Yards was delayed by rain, this time for 40 minutes.
Chen, making his first postseason start, allowed one run and six hits over the first six innings. The Taiwanese native, who pitched previously in Japan, was 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four outings against New York this season, including two in September in which he yielded a total of 11 runs over 11 1/3 innings.
The 40-year-old Pettitte, whose 19 wins are the most in postseason history, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.
Baserunning was a key early in the game. Ichiro Suzuki danced around Orioles catcher Matt Wieters to score, while Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy failed to see his third-base coach and was left stranded.
Pettitte retired the first eight batters before Robert Andino hit a bloop single with two outs in the third. Nate McLouth also singled, and a four-pitch walk to Hardy loaded the bases for Davis, who lined a single to right.
Adam Jones followed by grounding a single just beyond the reach of shortstop Derek Jeter, but Hardy stopped at third after failing to spot third-base coach DeMarlo Hale waving him home. Matt Wieters then popped out with the bases loaded.
Wieters led off the sixth with a double and scored on a single by Reynolds to make it 3-1.
In the fourth, the Yankees used two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Eduardo Nunez popped out before Jeter bounced into a forceout.
The Yankees used the deft footwork of Suzuki to take a 1-0 first-inning lead, and it had nothing to do with his speed on the basepaths.
Jeter led off the game with a single and Suzuki reached when Reynolds fumbled a bare-hand pickup at first base for an error.
Alex Rodriguez hit a low line drive at Andino, and the second baseman caught it and doubled up Jeter. Robinson Cano followed with a drive to the base of the right-field wall for a double. The relay from Davis to Andino to Wieters beat Suzuki to the plate by plenty, but he dodged the tag coming toward home
Suzuki then circled around the batter’s box, juked around the catcher’s desperate lunge and touched the plate an instant before Wieters’ glove found its mark.
Suzuki also got an infield single in the third inning, extending his hitting streak at Camden Yards to 21 games.
After sitting out the 2011 season, Pettitte returned this year to join the Yankees. Despite missing nearly three months with a fractured left ankle, he went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts.
“I wish he would have stayed retired,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked before the game. “It doesn’t surprise me, anything Andy is doing. … He’s got a great presence and he brings a real competitive been there, done that.”
Pettitte was making his 43rd career playoff start, most by a pitcher in major league history. He struck out five to break a tie with Roger Clemens and gain sole possession of second place on the postseason strikeout list with 178. John Smoltz had 199.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)