Keys to the game
1 Kamieniecki comes up big, leaves early: Right-hander Scott Kamieniecki turned in a huge performance in his first start since Sept. 24 -- giving up four hits over five shutout innings -- but left everyone wondering when he didn't come out for the sixth. Club officials reported later that he left with stiffness in his right elbow.
2 Key returns: Left-hander Jimmy Key, who was not sharp in his start against the Indians in Game 2 at Camden Yards, picked up where Kamieniecki left off and carried the shutout into the ninth inning. It was Key's first postseason relief appearance since he entered Game 6 of the 1992 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays and registered a title-clinching victory over the Atlanta Braves.
3 Indians struggle in clutch: The Indians had several opportunities to score in the early innings, but Kamieniecki worked out of trouble three times with runners in scoring position. He had runners on second and third with one out in the third and retired Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome, then got Marquis Grissom with runners at second and third with two outs in the fourth.
Eric's big swing
It didn't seem that important at the time, but Eric Davis' bases-empty home run in the top of the ninth turned out to be the decisive blow of the game. It was the first postseason home run for Davis, whose inspirational comeback from cancer surgery has been a recurring theme in October.
Cleveland starter Chad Ogea pitched tentatively to Roberto Alomar with runners at first and third in the third inning and walked him to load the bases, obviously preferring the right-hander vs. right-hander matchup with Geronimo Berroa. But the best-laid plans don't always go well, and Berroa hit a hard grounder through the infield to score two runs.
Ramirez got a little hot under the collar when he was hit on the shoulder by a pitch from Kamieniecki in the bottom of the first inning. Ramirez, who was one of the big hitters in the Indians' Game 4 victory, cursed the Orioles' right-hander as he walked slowly to first base.
Kamieniecki didn't seem intimidated. He waved off Ramirez with his glove and went on to retire Thome and David Justice to get out of the two-on, one-out jam.
They don't keep a record for this kind of thing, but the Orioles tied the record for fewest pitches necessary to waste a leadoff base runner. Berroa reached base on an error by Matt Williams, but Baines popped up the next pitch and Palmeiro swung at the first pitch to ground into an inning-ending double play. Two pitches. Three outs.
Second baseman Roberto Alomar ranged deep into the hole behind second base to rob Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel of a game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth. He bounced up to make a strong throw and nail Vizquel by a step to end the game.
Vizquel turned a nifty double play on a ground ball up the middle by Berroa in the first inning. Vizquel ranged far to his left and had to shovel the ball out of his glove to second baseman Bip Roberts to keep Ogea out of a jam.
Second baseman Alomar was thrown out at third base to end the Orioles two-run third inning. Alomar was trying to go from first to third on the bases-loaded single by Berroa and apparently pushed the play to force first baseman Thome to cut off Grissom's throw to the plate. Thome cut the ball off -- allowing Brady Anderson to score -- and threw to Williams to get Alomar, who appeared to be safe on the replay.
Center fielder Anderson went to the wall to run down a long drive by Grissom in the bottom of the seventh inning. The ball might have been off the wall -- or over it -- if a stiff breeze had not been blowing in from left field.
Quotes of the day
Manager Davey Johnson on the performance of Kamieniecki and Key: "I knew I'd get a stellar performance from Kamieniecki, and I did. The bonus tonight was Key coming up big."
Kamieniecki: "We've always felt confident. As little a chance as it might be, we feel we still have a chance until they deep-six us."
Pub Date: 10/14/97