Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the ALDS between the Orioles and Yankees, in New York:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Nate McLouth, LF 1. Derek Jeter, DH
2. J.J. Hardy, SS 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Chris Davis, RF 3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Adam Jones, CF 4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Matt Wieters, C 5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
6. Jim Thome, DH 6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Mark Reynolds, 1B 7. Russell Martin, C
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B 8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Manny Machado 3B 9. Jayson Nix, SS
SP Joe Saunders, LHP SP Phil Hughes, RHP
With his team’s back up against the wall, Buck Showalter will use the same lineup he did in Game 3. Joe Saunders is back on the hill for the Orioles after allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings in the one-game Wild Card playoff game against the Rangers last Friday.
The Yankees have made a number of changes following their dramatic victory last night. Derek Jeter is in the lineup after leaving last night’s game with an injury to his left foot, but he’ll serve as the designated hitter. Meanwhile, Jayson Nix will fill in at shortstop. Alex Rodriguez is back at third base after serving as the DH last night and later being pinch-hit for by Raul Ibanez, but he’ll slide down to the fifth spot in the order. Mark Teixeira will hit third while Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson both slide down a spot. Notable by his absence is Ibanez, who will once again be available off the bench as a late-inning pinch-hit threat.
The Yankees are facing a convoluted path to the postseason, and they didn’t do themselves any favors after Todd Frazier fell for Ryan Goins‘ hidden ball trick in the third inning of Friday’s series opener. With one out and Frazier on second base, Jacoby Ellsbury skied a deep fly ball to right field, where it was caught by Jose Bautista just shy of the warning track and tossed back to Goins at second. Goins faked the throw to Marco Estrada, then sneakily (or not so sneakily, depending on your vantage point) gloved the ball and caught Frazier off the bag for the third out.
Of course, it helped that Frazier’s back was turned during the throw, so Goins’ fake-out may not have been as obvious as it was when the Yankees reviewed the tape several minutes later.
Goins earned another spot on the highlight reel in the sixth inning, mashing his second grand slam of the season while Frazier — and the rest of the Yankees’ offense, sans one home-run-record-slaying Aaron Judge — scrambled to catch up. The Yankees currently trail the Blue Jays 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and will need to pull off a comeback (and hope the Astros and Athletics clinch their respective games) before they can lay claim to a playoff spot.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.