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Originally published Friday, October 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

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Yankees best Orioles in Game 5, settling seasonlong battle

CC Sabathia pitched New York's first postseason complete game since 2000 to lead the Yankees to the ALCS.

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A game worth the price of admission. Excellent basball. Jacomus MORE
Congrats to Ichiro!!!!!!!!! MORE
Nice to see Ichiro get a chance to play in the post season, he deserves it for sure. ... MORE

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NEW YORK — Raul Ibanez strapped the goggles to his face and shook a bottle of champagne in the middle of the Yankees clubhouse. A teammate doused him, soaking his bald head and pinstriped pants.

"That's all you can ask for," Ibanez said.

Ten feet away, Alex Rodriguez, too, held a bottle and savored the moment he was prevented from helping create. The Yankees defeated Baltimore, 3-1, on Friday night in the fifth game of the American League Division Series with their $275 million man benched and Ibanez, signed one day after spring training began, so pivotal.

Ibanez, a 40-year-old former Mariner, assumed Rodriguez's spot in the lineup and excelled in the same stadium where his closest chance was dashed three years earlier with the Phillies.

The Yankees' AL Championship Series with Detroit begins Saturday in the Bronx, and no one imagined the strange dichotomy between Ibanez and Rodriguez. Ibanez had four hits in this series, three of which scored runs. Rodriguez, was replaced by a pinch-hitter twice and subsequently benched, had two hits and nine strikeouts.

On Friday, CC Sabathia was brilliant; he matched his season high with 121 pitches and allowed four hits in the Yankees' first postseason complete game since Roger Clemens in 2000. He wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to preserve New York's two-run margin.

"It is still a long way to go," Sabathia said. "I still got hopefully three or four more starts. So the job is not done yet."

The Yankees and Orioles had met 22 times in 2012 before Game 5. Each side had won 11 games.

In the end, Baltimore's magic disappeared too soon.

A Yankee did not reach base until Mark Teixeira's leadoff single in the fifth. He lumbered to second for a stolen base. The spotlight then shone on Ibanez, who bounced one past a diving Robert Andino for the game's first run.

Yankee Stadium, barren at first pitch, had filled in and erupted. The scoreboard flashed "Raul is cool" and manager Joe Girardi was a genius again. Yankee Stadium may have been dormant Friday had it not been for his decision to pinch-hit Ibanez for Rodriguez in Game 3.

The Orioles nearly got one back in the sixth when Nate McLouth sent a 3-1 pitch deep down the right-field line. Eyes turned to right-field umpire Fieldin Culbreth, who waved foul with both arms.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to ask for a video review, and most of the umpiring crew went down a tunnel to examine the images. When they ran back onto the field about two minutes later, they didn't make any signal — meaning the original call stood. McLouth struck out on the next pitch, ending the inning.

Another former Mariner added to the lead when Ichiro hit an RBI double to deep right-center field in the sixth. Curtis Granderson boosted the lead to 3-0 with a second-deck solo homer against Troy Patton in the seventh.

Sabathia lost the shutout in the eighth when he allowed Matt Wieters' leadoff single and Manny Machado's walk. Lew Ford — starting at DH in place of Jim Thome — hit an RBI single. Andino hit a bouncer to the third-base side that Sabathia gloved, but Eric Chavez left third uncovered and Sabathia's throw to second was late, leaving the bases loaded. McLouth struck out on a changeup and Sabathia escaped when J.J. Hardy hit a slow bouncer to shortstop that Jeter, playing on a sore left ankle, charged and scooped elegantly before throwing to first just in time.

Sabathia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to end the Orioles' year and send the Yankees to a meeting with Detroit.

BALTIMORE AB R H BI BB SO Avg
McLouth lf 4 0 1 0 0 2 .318
Hardy ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 .136
Ad.Jones cf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .087
C.Davis rf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .200
Wieters c 3 1 1 0 1 1 .150
Machado 3b 2 0 0 0 1 1 .125
Reynolds 1b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .158
Ford dh 3 0 1 1 0 0 .375
Andino 2b 3 0 1 0 0 0 .364
Totals 30 1 4 1 2 9
NEW YORK AB R H BI BB SO Avg
Jeter ss 3 1 0 0 1 2 .364
Ichiro lf-rf 3 0 1 1 1 0 .217
Cano 2b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .091
Teixeira 1b 2 1 1 0 1 0 .353
Ibanez dh 3 0 1 1 0 1 .444
Swisher rf 3 0 0 0 0 2 .111
Gardner lf 0 0 0 0 0 0
Granderson cf 3 1 2 1 0 0 .158
R.Martin c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .176
Er.Chavez 3b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Totals 27 3 5 3 3 9
Baltimore 000 000 010 1 4 0
New York 000 011 10x 3 5 0
LOB — Baltimore 4, New York 3. 2B — Ichiro (2). HR — Granderson (1), off Patton. RBI — Ford (1), Ichiro (3), Ibanez (3), Granderson (1). SB — McLouth (2), Teixeira (1), Granderson (1). Runners left in scoring position — Baltimore 3 (C.Davis, Hardy 2); New York 2 (R.Martin, Ibanez). RISP — Baltimore 2 for 6; New York 1 for 4. GIDP — Mar.Reynolds, Cano, Swisher. DP — Baltimore 2; New York 1.
Orioles IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Hammel L, 0-1 5-2/3 4 2 2 2 6 3.18
Patton 1-1/3 1 1 1 0 3 4.50
Strop 1/3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Matusz 2/3 0 0 0 0 0 2.08
Yankees IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Sabathia W, 2-0 9 4 1 1 2 9 1.53
Pitches — Hammel 97, Patton 24, Strop 11, Matusz 1, Sabathia 121. Inherited runners-scored — Patton 2-0, Matusz 1-0. IBB — off Hammel (Teixeira). Umpires — Home, Mike Everitt; First, Mark Carlson; Second, Tony Randazzo; Third, Angel Hernandez; Right, Fieldin Culbreth; Left, Brian Gorman. T — 2:52. A — 47,081.
Baseball playoffs
FRIDAY
Division Series
New York Yankees 3, Baltimore 1;

New York wins series 3-2

St. Louis 9, Washington 7;

St. Louis wins series 3-2

SATURDAY
AL Championship Series
Detroit at New York Yankees,

5:07 p.m., TBS

SUNDAY
AL Championship Series
Detroit at New York Yankees,

1:07 p.m., TBS

NL Championship Series
St. Louis at San Francisco,

5:15 p.m., Ch. 13

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