By RONALD BLUM, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Baltimore's bullpen escaped an eighth-inning jam as Alex Rodriguez struck out yet again, Joba Chamberlain was knocked out by Matt Wieters' broken bat and the Orioles and New York Yankees were tied at 1 after 12th Thursday night in Game 4 of their AL division series.
Baltimore's Nate McLouth homered in the fifth and made a leaping catch against the left-field wall to save run in the bottom half, and Robinson Cano hit an RBI groundout in the sixth.
With the Yankees leading the best-of-five series 2-1, the Orioles were trying tried to stave off elimination. A Baltimore win would force a Game 5 on Friday night and push all four division series to the maximum for the first time.
New York had a runner in each of the first eight innings and threatened to take the lead in the eighth. Singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira off Luis Ayala put two on with no outs, and Cano's grounder to second against Brian Matusz advanced the runners.
Side-arming right-hander Darren O'Day relieved and struck out Rodriguez on four pitches — A-Rod is 2 for 17 (.117) with no RBIs and nine strikeouts in the series. Nick Swisher flied weakly to right, falling to 1 for 34 (.029) with runners in scoring position in his postseason career.
Both bullpens pitched scoreless ball, with Baltimore allowing three hits over 6 1-3 scoreless innings and the Yankees giving up two hits over 4 1-3 innings.
Chamberlain pitched a 1-2-3 11th, and Wieters led off the 12th with a single to left field. A large piece of the bat went twirling toward the mound and hit Chamberlain's surgically repaired pitching elbow.
Chamberlain threw down his glove and bent over in pain.
He was checked out by trainer Steve Donahue and manager Joe Girardi. While Chamberlain threw three test pitches, Girardi went back to the dugout.
Chamberlain finished his pitches and walked off the field with Donahue. X-rays were negative. David Phelps came and retired three in a row.
The Orioles wasted a chance in the ninth when pinch runner Lew Ford was picked off first by Rafael Soriano.
Derek Jeter singled off Pedro Strop with two outs in the 12th, but Suzuki grounded out.
McLouth had homered into the right-center field seats, reaching down for a 91 mph fastball from Phil Hughes. McLouth has six hits in his last six at-bats against Hughes with three doubles, plus two walks.
With Russell Martin on first with one out in the bottom half, McLouth ran down Jayson Nix's drive while crashing into the wall and doubled up the slow-footed catcher trying to retreat to first, with shortstop J.J. Hardy making a nice relay.
Joe Saunders, who beat Texas in last week's one-game, wild-card playoff, allowed one runner in each of the first five innings and two in the sixth.
Jeter, playing despite a foot injury that forced him out of Game 3, hit an opposite-field double down the right-field line leading off the sixth and took third on Suzuki's sacrifice bunt. Teixeira walked, and Cano drove in Jeter with a grounder to second.
Tommy Hunter relieved and Rodriguez struck out, prompting another round of boos.
Hughes gave up four hits in the first six innings, struck out seven and walked three, throwing 90 pitches. He allowed 35 home runs during the regular season, tied for second-most in the majors.
Saunders allowed three hits in 5 2-3 innings, walked four and struck out five.
New York, playing its first game since announcing the death of Girardi's father, was coming off its dramatic 3-2, 12-inning win Wednesday behind Raul Ibanez's home runs in the ninth and 12th innings. The Yankees were a win from meeting Detroit or Oakland in the AL championship series starting Saturday.
Jeter was moved to designated hitter after fouling a pitch off his foot in Game 3, with Nix starting at shortstop and Rodriguez back at third base. Ibanez pinch hit for Nix with two outs in the ninth and grounded to first.
Rodriguez, pinch hit for by Ibanez in the ninth inning in Game 4, was dropped from third to fifth in the batting order.
Ibanez pinch hit in the ninth Thursday night and struck out to end the inning.
Game 1 winner CC Sabathia would pitch a fifth game for the Yankees. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had not announced his possible starter.
Hughes struggled with his control early, walking leadoff batters in the first, third and fourth innings and escaping two-on trouble all three times. He also threw out a runner at the plate on a comebacker, saving a run.