Raul Ibanez turned back the clock to a time when he didn’t suck and helped the Yankees overcome a four-run 13th inning deficit to beat the Athletics 10-9 in 14 innings at the stadium Saturday.
It was a crazy game that lasted nearly six hours starting with Ivan Nova and included eight relievers. Nova only lasted 2.1 innings as he struggled, giving up two runs in the first another in the third and left with the bases loaded.
Derek Lowe pitched a solid 2.2 innings, but left with the game tied at 5-5. Freddy Garcia entered the game in the 10th inning and pitched well until the 13th inning when he allowed three home runs to bury the Yankees under a 9-5 deficit.
That’s when the Yankees pulled out a miraculous 13th inning comeback. Ichiro Suzuki, who continued his red hot streak by going 3-for-5, started the rally with a single up the middle. A single, single, run on a wild pitch, a sac fly later and Ibanez hit his second homer of the game, his first put the Yankees ahead 5-4 in the fifth, and the Yankees tied it at 9-9.
That’s where it stood until the 14th inning when pinch runner Melky Mesa, who made his major league debut as a pinch runner, nearly cost the Yankees a chance at winning when he failed to touch third base and had to go back when he could have scored on a Alex Rodriguez base hit. Two batters later the Yankees finally scored the winning run when A’s first baseman Brandon Moss, remember him?, muffed a hard hit grounder for a walk-off E-3.
It was a crazy win – the Yankees seventh in a row and 10th in their last 12 games. They’ve needed this run too as the Orioles have kept pace, sitting one game back in the AL East thanks to their own six game winning streak. It has also kept the Rays from getting involved again as they have now won five in a row, but are still 6.5 behind the Yankees.