BALTIMORE Sometimes, postseason experience isn't all that important.
How else to explain Baltimore rookie Wei-Yin Chen outpitching playoff-tested Andy Pettitte to beat the New York Yankees? With Chen leading the way, the Orioles squeezed out a 3-2 victory Monday night to even their American League Division Series at one game apiece.
Chris Davis drove in two runs for the wild-card Orioles, who used the same formula that got them into the postseason for the first time in 15 years: a magnificent bullpen and an ability to win tight games. Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run decisions during the regular season and 74-0 when leading after seven innings.
Major league saves leader Jim Johnson, roughed up for five runs in a Game 1 loss, pitched a perfect ninth.
"It's real easy, like I said (Sunday) night, to trust Jim Johnson," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He's done it a few times for us. He's having a special year."
Afterward, Orioles owner Peter Angelos shook hands with almost every player in the jubilant clubhouse.
"It is great that he was in here," outfielder Adam Jones said. "Obviously, it meant a lot to him as much as it did us and the fans. He doesn't come in here a lot. He takes care of business up there, and we take care of it on the field. Hopefully, the next time I see him, he will be holding a trophy."
The rest of the best-of-five series is at Yankee Stadium, beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday night. Baltimore won all three series at Yankee Stadium this season.
"You definitely don't want to go into New York in a five-game series down two games. This is big having the day off (today), hopefully building some momentum, and we can take that into New York," Davis said.
Chen gave up two runs, one earned, and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. The Taiwan native was 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four outings against New York this season, including two in September in which he yielded 11 runs over 11 1/3 innings.
"Chen did a good job of keeping us in the game," Davis said. "To hold that offense to two runs is saying something, and we were able to get timely hits."
Now, the playoff series is tied after the teams split 18 games in the regular season.
Chen left with a 3-2 lead, and the bullpen made it stand. Johnson retired Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki on grounders and struck out Alex Rodriguez to end it in front of a rollicking crowd at Camden Yards.
Pettitte, 40, whose 19 wins and 43 starts are the most in postseason history, allowed three runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings.
Pettitte, however, got little offensive backing. New York stranded 10 and went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position.