Raul Ibanez and Coco Crispcame up huge for their teams during their respective American Leaguedivision series Wednesday night.
Ibanez hadn't been much of a factor for the New York Yankees in their series against the Baltimore Orioles. He had just one hit -- a single -- as designated hitter in Game 1 and did not make another appearance until pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 3.
Suddenly, Ibanez became a factor. With one out and the Yankees trailing by a run, Ibanez homered to right-center field off major league saves leader Jim Johnson to tie the score, 2-2, and force extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 12th, Ibanez hit a leadoff home run to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Crisp and his Oakland Athletics teammates were facing elimination against the Detroit Tigers for the second straight game. And a night after he made a spectacular, home-run saving catch in center field to help preserve a 2-0 A's victory, Crisp came through again, this time at the plate.
Oakland trailed, 3-1, going into the bottom of the ninth inning before Seth Smith hit a two-run double with no outs to tie the game. Two outs later, Crisp -- who had gone 0 for 4 until that point -- extended his team's season for at least one more game when he lined a single to right field to bring home Smith.