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Yanks win weird one in extras over O's

May 19, 2011 - 7:06 AM Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Among 15 hits and 53 at-bats, the Yankees had but one extra-base hit. And it was a big one.

Robinson Cano smacked a go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 15th inning, keying New York to a 4-1 victory over Baltimore in a wild opener to the teams' two-game set.

The game was a carnival of oddities, including Baltimore's Brandon Snyder being hit by a ground ball on the basepath.

And that was after the Yankees' Chris Dickerson was hit in the helmet by a Mike Gonzalez fastball, pitcher A.J. Burnett entered as a pinch-runner, Baltimore's Felix Pie came up just feet short of a game-winning homer, and Mariano Rivera blew a save following Bartolo Colon's near shutout.

But Cano's hit saved the Yankees, who have won two in a row after a six-game slide, while the Orioles had a two-game winning streak broken.

"Both teams battled," said Orioles starter Zach Britton. "We had opportunities and couldn't cash in, they had opportunities and couldn't cash in. It was just going back and forth."

New York looked like it was on its way to an ordinary 1-0 victory after eight innings.

The Yankees had scored off Britton in the fourth inning, when his errant pickoff throw allowed Alex Rodriguez to move to third. Nick Swisher then lifted a fly ball to right for a sacrifice fly.

Colon, meanwhile, was shutting down the Orioles.

He escaped a jam in the second inning by getting J.J. Hardy to line into a double play, then retired the next 12 batters in a row. Colon stranded a runner on third in both the seventh and eighth, and had thrown only 87 pitches by that point.

But rather than let Colon try to complete the shutout, Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to have Rivera close the game.

The decision was hardly surprising. Rivera is on New York's roster specifically to enter in those kinds of situations -- and has been for more than a decade -- and had converted 13-of-15 save chances this season prior to Wednesday. He was also rested, having thrown just six pitches Tuesday after a day off Monday.

"Of course there's a thought to leave [Colon] in there, but I had my eye on Rivera. I wanted someone who was fresh," said Girardi.

However, the Orioles still rallied to tie the game. Adam Jones lined a single to center field before racing to third on Nick Markakis' ground ball through the right side.

Vladimir Guerrero then lifted a fly ball to left-center field, and Jones tagged up to make it a 1-1 contest.

"Colon deserved to win the game," said a disappointed Rivera, who got out of the inning from there.

But that's when the game got interesting.

Baltimore had its first good chance to end the game in the 11th inning, when Pie led off with an infield single against Luis Ayala, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. An intentional walk to Markakis put two on for Guerrero, who smacked a sharp grounder to third base.

Rodriguez dove to stop it and prevent the winning run from scoring, and initially looked to get the out at second. Seeing that he didn't have a play there, he threw to first and nearly tossed the ball away.

But first baseman Mark Teixeira managed to grab the ball and keep Pie at third. Boone Logan then came in and retired the next two batters.

Baltimore had the bases loaded again in the 12th -- this time with two outs -- before Hector Noesi (1-0) got Markakis to ground out.

The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the next inning against Jeremy Accardo (2-1), but Dickerson struck out before Brett Gardner grounded to first.

The battle of the bullpens continued, with Noesi navigating out of a two-on, two-out situation in the 13th and Accardo getting through the 14th.

Pie drilled a pitch to right field in the bottom of the 14th, but it was caught at the fence to keep the game tied.

But New York finally broke through. After Teixeira and Rodriguez led off with base hits, Gonzalez entered and immediately served up Cano's double to center.

Gonzalez then hit Dickerson with a pitch that appeared to hit him in the front of the helmet. Gonzalez was thrown out of the game, while Dickerson lay on the ground as medical staff attended to him.

After a few minutes, Dickerson got up with an apparent welt on the left side of his face. He initially stayed in to run, but was removed in favor of Burnett.

Because of Gonzalez's ejection, Jeremy Guthrie -- Thursday's scheduled starter -- was forced to pitch. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Gardner before getting out of the inning.

The Orioles put their first two runners on in the home half, but after Luke Scott lined out, Matt Wieters hit a grounder toward the right side. It hit Snyder in the leg for the second out of the inning, and Hardy flied out to end the nearly five-hour game.

Game Notes

Rodriguez led all players with four hits, while Wieters had three...Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter had two hits to push his career total to 2,968...Colon gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out seven...Britton allowed six hits, walked three and fanned four...Hardy went 0-for-6...Hall of Fame Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson turned 74 years old Wednesday.