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Big League Stew

ALDS Game 2: Rookie Wei-Yin Chen shines as Orioles even series with Yankees

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Wei-Yin Chen acknowledges the crowd following his postseason debut. (AP)

Score and situation: In what's shaping up to be a classic LDS, the Baltimore Orioles evened things up with the New York Yankees by holding on to a 3-2 win on Monday night.

Leading lads: Chris Davis had the biggest hit of the night, driving in two runs with a two-out single in the third. That gave Baltimore their first lead of the night and they never looked back from there thanks to a great effort from lefty Wei-Yin Chen. The rookie allowed only two unearned over 6 2/3 innings in his postseason debut. Relievers Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz and Jim Johnson were nails, as usual, bringing home another one-run victory for Baltimore.

Head hangers: Nick Swisher had a chance to be a hero for New York but flew out with the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the seventh inning. He finished the evening 0 for 4 and is now an astonishing 1 for 33 in his postseason career with runners in scoring position.

A-Rod, meanwhile, went 1 for 5 with two big strikeouts. He's hitting .111 for the series.

Key play: Buck Showalter's decision to intentionally walk Robinson Cano as the go-ahead run set up that critical at-bat for Swisher. Brian Matusz made his skipper look pretty good by retiring Swisher to end the threat. I'd also nominate Robert Andino's diving grab in the first inning that resulted in a double play and Mark Reynolds' RBI single in the sixth since that insurance run ended up being the difference.

What they'll be talking about: There were several interesting plays and moments in this one. Of course Ichiro's incredible maneuvering around home plate to avoid Matt Wieters' tag is the one that stands out the most. A-Rod tricking J.J. Hardy into stopping at third base when he likely would have scored on Adam Jones' third-inning single was another one. Andy Pettitte was excellent in defeat and his performance was encouraging should the Yankees advance. And of course Buck Showalter's strategy in the seventh. All worth discussing.

What's next: The series moves to New York for the the pivotal Game 3, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:30 ET. That start time will be pushed back one hour, however, if the Detroit Tigers complete a sweep of the Oakland A's on Tuesday. What we don't believe will change is the starting pitching matchup. The will feature Hiroki Kuroda going for the Yankees and Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles.

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