Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hershiser, Tribe Back in Jake-and-Bake Mode

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hershiser, Tribe Back in Jake-and-Bake Mode

Article excerpt

Orel Hershiser would have none of it.

Not the Kingdome noise, not the fireworks set off after Ken Griffey Jr.'s home run, not the momentum the Seattle Mariners were starting to build. None of it was going to stop him from winning a game the Cleveland Indians absolutely had to have.

Hershiser maintained his perfect career record in the postseason, and Manny Ramirez homered twice and went four for four, leading the Indians past Seattle 5-2 Wednesday night and tying the American League playoffs at a game each.

"We looked at this as sort of a must win for us," Hershiser said.

Showing the form that once made him baseball's best pitcher, Hershiser, 37, allowed four hits in eight innings and improved to 6-0 with a 1.47 earned-run average in 10 playoff and World Series games. His only blemish came in the sixth inning when Griffey tied a postseason record with his sixth home run.

"Of all the people I've been around in baseball, and I've been around this game 20, 25 years, he may be able to focus and concentrate more consistently than anyone I've been around," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said.

"He's come up big for us twice in this postseason. I don't know if you come to expect it, because we're all human. I think you anticipate it a lot."

While Ramirez showed what made him an All-Star at age 23, Carlos Baerga came through with the big hit Cleveland missed in the opener. His two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded broke a scoreless tie in the fifth and got everyone off the Indians' bench, and the team seemed to relax after that.

The best-of-seven series goes back to Jacobs Field for Game 3 tonight. Mariners ace Randy Johnson, finally able to get some time off this week, starts on four days' rest, opposed by Charles Nagy.

Seattle is 28-3 this season in games Johnson starts. The Mariners also won the last time he pitched - in relief in Game 5 of the first-round playoffs against New York.

The Indians did not want to go home with two losses, and thanks to Hershiser, they did not. …

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