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It’s Back To Orioles’ Nest

It might not sound like such a great idea to join the Boston Red Sox in the annals of playoff history.

This is what the Baltimore Orioles must do if they are to come back against Cleveland in the American League Championship Series.

After beating the Indians 4-2 in Game 5 Monday night, the Orioles return to Camden Yards down 3 games to 2.

Only three teams have come home with such a deficit and won an LCS - Atlanta against St. Louis in 1996; the Cardinals against San Francisco in 1987; and the Red Sox against the Angels in 1986.

Of course, all three teams went on to lose the World Series.

Baltimore prevented the Indians from becoming the first team to lose the Game 1 of an LCS and win four straight.

“As crazy as this series has been, I don’t see how anyone can feel confident about anything,” Indians manager Mike Hargrove said.

Justice served

David Justice was still talking about the bizarre play in which he and Sandy Alomar scored on a wild pitch in Cleveland’s 8-7 victory in Game 4.

“I still couldn’t believe I went,” said Justice, who scored from third ahead of Alomar on Arthur Rhodes’ wild pitch in the fifth inning. “Look how bad I would have looked, getting thrown out with the bases loaded like that. Then I look up and see Sandy coming. Two of the slowest guys on the team …” Justice was prominent in so many playoff moments with the Braves - including his homer in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series that beat the Indians 1-0 and gave Atlanta its only World Series title.

He also was on third when Francisco Cabrera hit the memorable game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth against Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS. Justice scored from third and Sid Bream from second to give the Braves a decisive 3-2 victory.

“None of the games we’ve played in this series can match the Cabrera hit, just because of the importance of the game,” Justice said. “Shoot, we were one out away from going home.”