Teams that won the first game of the ALDS went on to win 18 of the 34 series since the inception of the Wild Card in 1995. Before Sunday's win, the Yankees had taken a 1-0 in the ALDS 10 times, but won only four of those series.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia fell short of his first career complete game in the playoffs, but his 8 2/3 innings marked a personal postseason high. Sabathia lasted eight innings twice in the playoffs, both in the 2009 ALCS, when he earned Most Valuable Player of the series en route to a World Series title. Sabathia's 120 pitches were the most he threw in a playoff start, topping the 117 he threw as a rookie with Cleveland in 2001.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel threw 112 pitches, the first time he surpassed the 100-pitch mark since July 7 against the Angels. Sunday's start marked just his fourth start since he underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-July and discomfort forced him to miss the rest of the regular season upon his brief September return.
Hammel's four walks were the most by an O's pitcher in a postseason game since Mike Cuellar walked four in Game 1 of the 1974 ALCS.
Baltimore closer Jim Johnson only surrendered one home run to a right-handed hitter this season over 112 at-bats -- Ryan Zimmerman on May 19 in Washington -- before Russell Martin broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer in the ninth inning. Johnson allowed five hits -- the most since his Major League debut on July 29, 2006.
Johnson took a loss Sunday after entering a tie game in the ninth, though he was consistent this season in both save and non-save situations. Johnson posted a 2.42 ERA over 52 innings in the former category and a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings of the latter.
Robinson Cano was hitless until the ninth Sunday, but a two-run double extended a torrid stretch. Including the final nine games of the regular season, Cano is 25-for-44 in the past 10 games with 12 runs, 16 RBIs, eight doubles and three home runs. He recorded multiple hits in each of the first nine games.
Ichiro Suzuki's 2-for-5 night gave him a hit in 10 of his 11 career postseason games, though his hits were nearly 11 years apart. Ichiro went 1-for-5 in a Mariners loss in Game 5 of the 2001 ALCS against the Yankees, his last postseason game before he hit second and drove in a pair of runs Sunday against the Orioles. Ichiro's .419 postseason batting average is the second-highest mark in Major League history (minimum 40 plate appearances).
Nate McLouth became the sixth Orioles player to collect back-to-back multi-RBI games in the playoffs. He went 1-for-4 with a two-run single in both Sunday's ALDS opener and Friday's Wild Card matchup with Texas.
Derek Jeter's fielding error in the sixth was the 16th postseason error of his career in his 153rd career playoff game. He had 10 errors in 135 games at shortstop this season.
Jeter went 2-for-4 for his Major League-best 55th career multi-hit game in the playoffs. The shortstop is also the all-time postseason leader in hits, games played, at-bats, runs scored and total bases. Jeter has hit safely in four straight playoff games and scored at least one run in each of them.
Matt Wieters' caught-stealing percentage ranked third in the American League during the regular season after throwing out 32 of 83 potential base-stealers. He immediately showed why in the ALDS, throwing out Ichiro at third base in the first. Ichiro led the Yankees with 14 stolen bases this season, despite playing little more than two months with New York.
Mark Teixeira went 2-for-4 with an RBI to record his fifth multi-hit game in 28 postseason appearances with New York. He entered the series hitting .170 for the Yankees in the playoffs.
Steven Miller, Adam Rosenbloom and Chris Toman are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less