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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Ibanez OK with being out of lineup

By Ian Begley

Raul Ibanez said he has no problem with being left out of the Yankees' starting nine for Game 4.

"I'm here to help the team win however I can, so that's what I'm going to do," Ibanez said before first pitch of the Yankees-O's game on Thursday.

Some speculated Ibanez would start on Thursday after hitting the game-tying and game-winning home runs in Game 3.

Ibanez has strong numbers -- .348 (8-for-23), two homers, six RBIs -- against Orioles starter Joe Saunders. But with Derek Jeter dealing with a foot injury, Joe Girardi elected to go with Jeter at DH.

So Ibanez will again be a weapon off the bench for the Yankees manager.

Wednesday night was just another example of how clutch Ibanez has been this year. Eleven of his 21 homers (postseason included) have come in the seventh inning or later. He also entered the postseason red-hot, hitting .405 (15-for-37) with four homers and nine RBIs in the Yankees' final 11 regular season games.