• Get the Blackhawks Championship Package
    Get the Blackhawks Championship Package
  • Give the Gift of SI
    Give the Gift of SI
Posted: Wednesday October 10, 2012 9:45PM ; Updated: Thursday October 11, 2012 12:11AM

Showalter turns to Saunders to keep season alive

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Left-hander Joe Saunders is 3-1 with a 5.82 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees.
Left-hander Joe Saunders is 3-1 with a 5.82 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
MLB Team Page

NEW YORK (AP) -- Most teams send their next day's starting pitcher to the interview room before a postseason game. The Baltimore Orioles sent two.

With Baltimore manager Buck Showalter publicly uncertain about his Game 4 starter against the New York Yankees, Joe Saunders sat on the podium Wednesday with Chris Tillman sitting to his left.

"We were kind of hoping you would tell us because we don't know yet,'' Saunders told reporters. "Whoever it is, me or Chris, we're going to go out there and do our job.''

Saunders will get the start in Game 4, trying to keep the Orioles season alive. The Yankees took a 2-1 series lead on Raul Ibanez's homer in the 12th inning on Wednesday night that gave New York a 3-2 victory.

Saunders, a 31-year-old left-hander, was 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts after he was acquired from Arizona on Aug. 26. Tillman, a 23-year-old righty, was 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 starts.

Tillman hasn't pitched since the regular-season finale on Oct. 3, and Saunders hasn't appeared in a game since Sept. 30.

"We don't truly have maybe a one, two, three, four, five kind of rotation,'' Saunders said. "We have maybe a couple twos, maybe a couple threes, maybe a four, whatever. Like Buck says, whoever is pitching that day is the ace. Every day is the biggest game of the year, and then we move on to the next day and then that day is the biggest game of the year.''

Saunders won his one start against the Yankees, allowing two runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings to defeat CC Sabathia 5-4 on Sept. 8 at Camden Yards. Tillman was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts against New York.

Baltimore was 6-3 at Yankee Stadium during the regular season after going 2-7 in the Bronx in each of the previous three years.

"This year has been a whole different feel in the clubhouse and on the field,'' Tillman said. "We've just been playing good baseball. I think any given night it's a different guy that's a star that helps the team. It's never the same guys over and over again. Different guys pull through for us. It's exciting to watch.''

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs NFL schedule LaMarcus Aldridge Michael Pineda Phil Jackson Tiger Woods
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint