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Streaking Hershiser Challenged

September 04, 1997|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Omar Vizquel and Matt Williams hit two-run homers in a five-run fourth inning to keep Orel Hershiser unbeaten since July 2 as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, Wednesday night.

The Indians won twice in the three-game series, the first between the bordering-state teams in their 96 years together in the majors. The crowd of 37,513 boosted the series attendance to 126,191, the fourth largest in Pirates history.

"I didn't think I would enjoy interleague play but I did," Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove said. "It will be good to get back to playing people in our division and our league for the simple reason it's the last month of the season."

Hershiser (13-5) was in trouble in each of the first three innings and fell behind, 2-0, but held on to win his sixth in a row despite giving up eight hits over six-plus innings. He hasn't lost in his last 10 starts.

Some of the Pirates, who have lost seven of their last nine games, felt Hershiser kicked them when they were down.

There was some badgering between the two dugouts, with words exchanged between Al Martin and Hershiser, and Pirate reliever Jason Christiansen was ejected after brushing back, then hitting Hershiser on consecutive pitches in the seventh inning.

"Put it this way, I was having fun and they were taking it seriously," Hershiser said. "It was just a miscommunication. They took it the wrong way. That's OK. It happens in this game. Your personalities don't always match."

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