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Relievers Come Through for Indians

September 09, 1997|From Associated Press

After six strong innings from Orel Hershiser and Scott Kamieniecki, the game was entrusted to the bullpens.

Cleveland's did the job. Baltimore's didn't.

Omar Vizquel drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single off Alan Mills in the seventh as the Indians beat the Orioles, 2-1, Monday night at Cleveland.

Baltimore, with baseball's best record, could not score against four Cleveland relievers. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth inning for his 13th save, with Vizquel starting a 6-4-3 double-play to end the game.

"It's that time of year," Hershiser said. "We could talk a lot about tonight and the rest of the season, but it won't matter in the playoffs. They showed that last season."

Baltimore, the wild-card entry last year, eliminated favored Cleveland in four games in the playoffs.

"It's fun to get a taste of it," Hershiser said.

Paul Assenmacher (5-0) struck out Brady Anderson on three pitches with two on to end the seventh inning. He combined with Mike Jackson and Alvin Morman on a scoreless eighth.

Assenmacher, who began the season shakily, has has given up only one earned run in the past 27 1/3 innings.

"I just tried to do what I could to get the guy out," Assenmacher said of Anderson. "The pattern I have is, I try to have no pattern."

Mesa recorded his 100th save on the two-year anniversary of Cleveland clinching its first division title in 41 years. Hershiser got the victory and Mesa the save in that game, which also was against the Orioles.

Asked what the anniversary meant to him, Indian Manager Mike Hargrove said, "Disbelief that we clinched this early."

Though not running away with the division, the Indians still won for the ninth time in 11 games and improved to 13 games above .500 for the first time this year. They have a 5 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the AL Central.

Baltimore second baseman Roberto Alomar was 0 for 2 and was hit by a pitch in his first start since Aug. 26. He left in the sixth inning, but Manager Davey Johnson said he wasn't hurt. Alomar was on the disabled list from July 20 to Aug. 26 because of a strained groin and has been bothered all year by a sore shoulder he hurt against the Indians in May.

Hershiser gave up one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out five.

Milwaukee 8, Chicago 5--Jeromy Burnitz singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Brewers beat the White Sox at Chicago.

Darrin Jackson doubled off Robin Ventura's glove at third, Julio Franco singled and Burnitz followed with another hit off Matt Karchner (3-1). Franco scored the second run on Karchner's wild pitch and Jesse Levis hit an RBI single to cap the three-run 10th.

Bob Wickman (7-6) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the victory, and Doug Jones worked the 10th for his 32nd save in 33 chances.

Frank Thomas hit his 32nd and 33rd homers for the White Sox, who fell nine games behind Cleveland.

Jeff Cirillo's two-run homer off Jaime Navarro capped a four-run sixth and gave the Brewers a 5-3 lead.

Detroit 6, Texas 2--Damion Easley's two-run homer at Detroit lifted Willie Blair to his 16th victory as the Tigers handed the Rangers their fourth consecutive loss.

Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who have dropped 14 of their past 22.

Blair (16-6), who won his third consecutive start and fourth in his last five, gave up two runs and five hits, walked two and matched his season high with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Minnesota 7, Oakland 2--Rookie Brent Brede went four for five with his second career home run and Dan Serafini pitched a five-hitter as the Twins defeated the Athletics at Minneapolis.

Ron Coomer added four hits for the Twins, and Scott Stahoviak hit his 10th home run of the season.

Serafini, making his first start of the season after being recalled from triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 2, struck out four and walked two to pick up his first major league victory.

In one stretch, Serafini (1-0) retired 17 consecutive batters before giving up a two-out single in the ninth inning.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Damion Easley Detroit 2-run home run Win Brent Brede Minnesota 4 for 5, home run Win Chili Davis Kansas City 3-run home run Win




Player Team Performance Team's Result Willie Blair Detroit 2 runs, 5 hits, 7 strikeouts Win Dan Serafini Minnesota 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 strikeouts Win Doug Jones Milwaukee 32nd save Win


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