Raúl Ibañez has proven to be a smashing substitute…
The 40-year-old Cuban American New York Yankees slugger hit a ninth-inning home run while pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez, then smacked a leadoff homer in the 12th, giving the his team a stunning 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in their American League division series.
Ibañez homered to right-center with one out in the ninth inning off major league saves leader Jim Johnson to tie the game at 2. He then hit the first pitch from Brian Matusz leading off the 12th.
Baltimore had won 16 straight extra-inning games, and had been 76-0 when leading after seven, before the Yankees took them down.
“It was a great experience. We do it as a team. We stay after it,” said Ibañez. “I’m blessed to come up and have the opportunity like that. We do it together. It’s about a team and about winning.”
Ibañez became the 11th different Yankees player to hit a walk-off home run in the postseason. Overall, it’s the franchise’s 12th postseason walk-off homer and the first since 2009.