October 20, 1997 in Sports

Indians Stick To The Script Alomar Leads Way As Cleveland Evens The World Series At 1-1

Ben Walker Associated Press
 

Outplayed one day, overwhelming the next.

The Cleveland Indians came back in Game 2 and simply smothered the Florida Marlins with their pitching, hitting and defense for a 6-1 victory Sunday night that evened the World Series at 1-1.

Sandy Alomar lined a two-run homer and made the best of several big plays by Indians fielders, Chad Ogea shut down the Marlins into the seventh inning and Cleveland got several clutch hits that took the crowd of 67,025 out of it early.

A 7-4 loss in Game 1 marked the third time this October that Cleveland had lost the opener of a postseason series. But for the third time, the Indians bounced back, this time against Marlins ace Kevin Brown.

“The idea is just to have fun,” Alomar said. “It’s not like the world is ending.”

Game 3 will be Tuesday night at Jacobs Field with Florida’s Al Leiter pitching against Charles Nagy.

Even though snow is in the forecast, Cleveland will certainly find it more comfortable at home, surrounded by its frenzied fans.

The Marlins, who took batting practice in shorts in 77-degree temperatures - the warmest for a Series game since 1978 at Dodger Stadium - are surely in for a rude welcome.

“This is not the time for playing mind games and worrying about the weather,” Marlins manager Jim Leyland said.

“If we’re sitting around looking at each other shivering, then we’ve got a problem,” he said. “The fingers and the feet might get cold, but the heart stays warm.”

Ogea limited the Marlins to one run and seven hits in 6-2/3 innings, and Mike Jackson and Jose Mesa closed with one-hit relief.

Ogea also got some support, for a change - he had pitched 19-1/3 innings in this postseason, without Cleveland scoring a run.

“I was very relaxed. It was the most fun I’ve had in my life,” Ogea said. “We were a little flat last night - probably because of the long series against Baltimore.

“Our guys turned it up and played well when we needed it,” he said.

Marquis Grissom had three of Cleveland’s 14 hits. He raised his career Series average to .441, the highest ever for a player with at least 50 at-bats, and now has hit in all 14 of his Series game.

A day after going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, Cleveland got hits in its first three tries in the same situation.

Alomar, who singled during a three-run fifth capped by Bip Roberts’ single, hit a two-run homer in the sixth.

Brown was tagged for six runs and 10 hits in six innings. He looked nothing like the pitcher who had been 2-0 this postseason, including a complete game last Tuesday in the clinching win over Atlanta in the N.L. championship series.

“It’s like he kept searching for the right release point,” Leyland said. “He wasn’t sharp.”

The game was tied at 1 in the fourth when Alomar made the key defensive play of the night.

Moises Alou led off with a double and Charles Johnson followed with a nubber in front of the plate. But Alomar flashed his All-Star MVP form on the ball hit by the opposing catcher, barehanding it and, as Ogea dived to duck out of the way, threw out Alou at third to cut short a possible big inning.

“I took a chance,” Alomar said.

Though Matt Williams’ single started the Indians’ three-run fifth, Brown’s downfall may have begun before that hit. The pitcher ran to first base on a grounder that ended the fourth, and his final warmup in the fifth sailed to the backstop.

Williams led off with a single, Alomar singled with one out and Grissom followed with an RBI single for a 2-1 lead. Ogea then showed off what he had learned in interleague play, during which he had two sacrifices, with a bunt that moved up the runners.

“I didn’t care where I bunted it, just so I got it down,” Ogea said.

Roberts made the move pay off with a single up the middle that gave the Indians a 4-1 lead.

The next inning, Alomar hit a laser shot into the left-field stands, his fourth home run of this postseason.

For the second straight day, David Justice put the Indians ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in opening inning. A double by Omar Vizquel, just 3-for-31 lifetime against Brown, set up Justice’s hit.

The Marlins survived a scare while tying the score in the bottom half.

Edgar Renteria singled with one out and Marlins star Gary Sheffield was zinged in the left wrist by a pitch, sending him to the ground in obvious pain for a few minutes. Sheffield stayed in the game, and Jeff Conine’s two-out single made it 1-all.

“I know the cold won’t help,” Sheffield said. “It hit me pretty flush on the bone. I was thinking the worst because I’ve broken hands before.”

Notes

Johnson threw out Justice trying to steal… . The start of the game was pushed back 12 minutes to accommodate NBC, which ran late on its NFL coverage… . Grissom tied Roberto Clemente for the second-longest hitting streak in Series history. Hank Bauer hit in a record 17 straight for the Yankees.

Indians 6, Marlins 1

Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Roberts 2b 3 0 1 2 0 1 .429 a-TFrnndz ph-2b 2 0 2 0 0 0 1.000 Vizquel ss 4 1 2 0 1 0 .250 Ramirez rf 5 0 0 0 0 1 .125 Justice lf 3 0 1 1 1 1 .429 MaWilliams 3b 4 2 2 0 0 0 .333 Thome 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .222 SAlomar c 4 2 2 2 0 0 .333 Grissom cf 4 1 3 1 0 0 .714 Ogea p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000 MJackson p 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Mesa p 0 0 0 0 0 0 — Totals 36 6 14 6 2 5 Florida AB R H BI BB SO Avg. DWhite cf 5 0 2 0 0 1 .222 Renteria ss 4 1 2 0 0 1 .250 Sheffield rf 2 0 1 0 1 0 .250 Bonilla 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .286 Conine 1b 3 0 1 1 0 0 .400 c-Daulton ph-1b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .333 Alou lf 4 0 2 0 0 0 .429 CJohnson c 3 0 0 0 0 1 .167 d-Zaun ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Counsell 2b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .167 KJBrown p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000 FHeredia p 0 0 0 0 0 0 — b-Eisenreich ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Alfonseca p 0 0 0 0 0 0 — e-Floyd ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000 Totals 34 1 8 1 2 6 Cleveland 100 032 000 6 Florida 100 000 000 1 a-doubled for Roberts in the 7th. b-grounded out for Heredia in the 7th. c-flied out for Conine in the 8th. d-grounded out for Johnson in the 9th. e-struck out for Alfonseca in the 9th.

LOB-Cle. 6, Fla. 9. 2B-TFernandez (1), Vizquel (1), DWhite (1), Renteria (1), Alou 2 (2). HR-SAlomar (1) off KJBrown. RBIs- Roberts 2 (2), Justice (2), SAlomar 2 (2), Grissom (1), Conine (2). CS-Justice (1). S-Ogea. GIDP-Ramirez 2, SAlomar, Sheffield. Runners left in scoring position-Cle. 3 (Ramirez, Justice, MJackson); Fla. 4 (Renteria, Conine, Alou, CJohnson). Runners moved up-Ramirez. DP-Cle. 1 (MaWilliams, Roberts and Thome); Fla. 3 (Bonilla, Counsell and Conine), (Counsell, Renteria and Conine), (Bonilla, Counsell and Daulton).

Cleveland IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Ogea W, 1-0 6-2/3 7 1 1 1 4 95 1.35 MJackson 1-1/3 1 0 0 0 1 17 0.00 Mesa 1 0 0 0 1 1 12 0.00 Florida IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA KJBrown L, 0-1 6 10 6 6 2 4 95 9.00 FHeredia 1 1 0 0 0 1 12 0.00 Alfonseca 2 3 0 0 0 0 17 0.00 Inherited runners-scored-MJackson 1-0. HBP-by Ogea (Sheffield). T-2:48. A-67,025 (41,855).

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:

ON DECK

Game 3: Florida (Leiter 11-9) at Cleveland (Nagy 15-11), Tuesday at 5:20 p.m.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ON DECK Game 3: Florida (Leiter 11-9) at Cleveland (Nagy 15-11), Tuesday at 5:20 p.m.


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