Showalter turns to Saunders to keep season alive
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.
"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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Should Gregg Popovich be blamed for Game 6 loss?
How will momentum factor into Game 7 for Heat and Spurs?