Yankees tie it, win it in unbelievable fashion

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Yankees tie it, win it in unbelievable fashion

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- The highest-paid player in baseball could only sit and watch when Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him and tied the game with a bottom-of-the-ninth home run.Alex Rodriguez had another good view from the dugout three innings later when Ibanez homered to win it.Saved by manager Joe Girardi's gutsy move -- and Ibanez's big swings -- the New York Yankees rallied for a stunning 3-2 win in the 12th over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL division series."You're going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn't work," Girardi said.The slumping Rodriguez, among the greatest power hitters in history, offered no complaint, telling Girardi: "Joe, you gotta do exactly what you gotta do.""Maybe 10 years ago I would have reacted in a much different way," A-Rod said.Ibanez then stepped up and hit a tying, solo shot to right-center with one out in the ninth off major league saves leader Jim Johnson to make it 2-all.Yankees fans had been howling this week for Girardi to drop Rodriguez out of the No. 3 spot in the batting order. But Girardi was reluctant to move his fading slugger down in the lineup.Until he took him all the way out."You have to make some decisions sometimes that are tough decisions. I just had a gut feeling," Girardi said.Rodriguez has 647 career home runs -- he's chasing the all-time record of 762 by Barry Bonds -- and is making 29 million this year. But was just 1 for 12 with no RBIs and seven strikeouts in this series when Girardi pulled him."It kind of caught me off-guard, hitting for a guy who's half-a-billionaire," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said.It was the first time Rodriguez had ever been pinch-hit for in a postseason game, according to STATS LLC.And it worked.Rodriguez immediately turned to injured Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, raised one arm, then both arms and traded high-fives with his star teammate. When Ibanez returned to the bench, Rodriguez was the first player to greet him."He said great job. A-Rod is a great teammate and great team player," Ibanez said. "He's the first one on the top step congratulating you. It's about winning. It's about the Yankees and continuing."Ibanez remained in the game and connected on the first pitch from Brian Matusz in the 12th.Ibanez became the first player to homer twice in a postseason game in which he didn't start, STATS said.Phil Hughes will try to clinch it for the Yankees on Thursday night in Game 4. Joe Saunders will start for Baltimore.Baltimore had won 16 straight extra-inning games, and had been 76-0 when leading after seven, before the Yankees stung them."It was a great experience. We do it as a team. We stay after it," Ibanez said. "I'm blessed to come up and have the opportunity like that. We do it together. it's about a team and about winning."The brash, young Orioles appeared poised to move within a win of their first trip to the AL championship series since 1997 before the Yankees' comeback.Ibanez hit a 1-0 pitch into the seats in the ninth, setting off a raucous celebration in what had been a demoralized Yankee Stadium crowd.After their 10-game July lead was cut to zero in early September, the Yankees repelled every Orioles charge. The teams were tied 10 times in the final month but New York ended up atop the division.New York won the opener in Baltimore scoring five runs in the ninth off Johnson. The Orioles won Game 2 and rode Miguel Gonzalez's pretty performance to a 2-1 lead in the ninth.But the Yankees limited Baltimore to one hit after 20-year-old Manny Machado homered in the fifth. Ryan Flaherty homered earlier for the Orioles.Robert Andino was doubled off second after leading off the Baltimore ninth with a single and advancing on a sacrifice.Boone Logan got one out in relief of Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up two solo homers in 8 1-3 innings. Closer Rafael Soriano pitched 1 1-3 innings and David Robertson went two, finishing off his outing by bumping into and tagging Andino to end the top of the 12th.Derek Jeter tied the score with an RBI triple in the third for the Yankees. Jeter, limping after fouling a ball off his foot, came out after eight innings. He says we will be able to play Thursday.NOTES:Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

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USATSI

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

SAN JOSE – The Barracuda struck for three power play goals, including the game-winner in the second period by Joakim Ryan, in overcoming the Grand Rapids Griffins at SAP Center on Sunday night, 4-2.

San Jose’s victory evens the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series at one game apiece.

Grand Rapids erased a 2-0 hole to tie the game in the middle frame, but less than a minute after Matt Ford knotted the score at 2-2 with a rocket from the circle on a Griffins power play, Ryan’s blast from just inside the blue line at 15:28 staked the Barracuda a lead they would keep for the rest of the night. 

The Barracuda finished 3-for-5 on the power play, after going 0-for-6 in a Game 1 loss on Saturday.

“The power play was a lot better tonight,” Ryan said. “We got set up more. We were able to get shots through from the point.”

One of those shots came early, when defenseman Julius Berman beat goalie Jared Coreau from long range just 3:35 into the game with San Jose on a man advantage. Later in the first, on another power play, Ryan Carpenter found open ice in the slot and redirected a Tim Heed pass at 10:44 for his team-leading eighth of the playoffs.

“Coming out, we wanted to get the first goal tonight,” Carpenter said. “For Bergman to get that first goal was huge for us.”

Ryan and Carpenter both attributed the power play success to winning faceoffs, which is something coach Roy Sommer wanted the club to focus on after it dropped the series opener, 3-1.

Winning faceoffs often is an indication of a team’s compete level, and that, too, was lacking for the Barracuda in an opener in which Sommer said his team played “dumb and slow.” 

Sunday was a much better performance.

“Whenever we’ve had a bad start, or a bad game, the next day these guys have responded,” said Sommer, whose club is the top seed in the Western Conference. “They’ve done it all year.”

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three games, with Game 3 going Wednesday. The primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins posted a 25-11-2 record in their own building in the regular season.

The Barracuda, though, should be a confident group on the road. Against San Diego in the second round, San Jose won all three games in Southern California after splitting the first two at home.

“It’s going to be a hell of a series,” Sommer said. “It’s probably going to go the duration, I imagine. Both teams are kind of feeling each other out and kind of have a pretty good idea of what the other guys are doing now.”

Ryan said: “Honestly, I think they are the team in the league that plays the most like us. I felt like last night they did a better job of taking the game to us. I thought we came out better tonight, and we battled harder, competed more, won more pucks. They’re a really good team, it’s going to be a battle the rest of the series, for sure. They’re not going to lay down.”

Barclay Goodrow’s empty netter with 1:06 left in regulation was the only goal in the third period.

The Barracuda outshot the Griffins, 40-35, including a 20-11 advantage in the first period.

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley's 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left and the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. They were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.