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Orioles beat Yankees 2-1 in 13 innings, force Game 5 (or is it Game 23?)

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

NEW YORK -- Sure, why not?

Why shouldn't the Orioles and Yankees go to Game 5, when everyone else is? Why shouldn't we get one more game to decide the American League East, between two teams that have evenly split the 22 games they've played already this year?

Game 23 is Friday, a late afternoon 5 p.m. ET start at Yankee Stadium.

The way this series is going, figure on it ending around midnight, after something like 23 innings.

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They played 12 innings Wednesday, with the Yankees winning dramatically on Raul Ibanez's second home run of the night. They played 13 innings Thursday, with the Orioles winning 2-1 on doubles by Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy.

To keep their magical season going, the Orioles would need to beat -- or at least outlast -- CC Sabathia in Game 5. Jason Hammel will start for the Orioles. That's one way to look at it.

The other way is that this team that has shocked us already by winning 96 times just needs to win one more.

Count on it being close. The last three games of the series have been decided by one run, and the Yankees won Game 1 with a five-run ninth inning.

The Orioles are the team that never should have been here. The Yankees are the team that always expects to be here.

For most of September, they were separated in the standings by one game, or half a game, or no games.

The other three Division Series went to Game 5.

This one will end with Game 23.

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