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Indians Fall To Blue Jays


Steve Karsay was the losing pitcher in Cleveland's first game and didn't lose again until Toronto got to him in game 160.

Karsay (10-2) gave up a tiebreaking home run to Willis Otanez in the eighth inning as the Blue Jays hurt the Cleveland Indians' bid for home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs with an 8-6 comeback win Friday night.

With two games left, Cleveland is tied with the New York Yankees at 97-63 for the best AL record.

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Game Summary

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  • "We just have to take care of business the next two days and go from there," Karsay said. "We're still in the driver's seat."

    Karsay had not lost since April 6 in Anaheim. He has been throwing mostly fastballs since returning Sept. 22 from his second stint on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.

    "I just wasn't very good tonight, but I did throw some curveballs. I struck out (Tony) Batista with one," Karsay said.

    It was a fastball that Otanez hit over the left-field wall for his sixth homer to break a 6-6 tie. Vernon Wells added an RBI double later in the inning.

    "I knew I hit it good," Otanez said. "It was a 1-0 pitch and I was looking for a pitch middle-in. That's right where it was."

    Paul Quantrill (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings and Billy Koch worked a hitless ninth for his 30th save in 34 chances.

    "The bullpen did a fabulous job tonight," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said. "Every game is important to Cleveland, but we are going to play them tough."

    Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove knew Toronto would not be easy to beat in the regular season's final series.

    "I would much rather open the playoffs at home. To be assured of that w would have had to take four of four from Toronto. That is very difficult," he said.

    Manny Ramirez and Travis Fryman homered for the Indians, who became the seventh major league team to score 1,000 runs in a season.

    Ramirez hit his 44th homer, a 445-foot shot to center, to give Cleveland a 5-2 lead in the fourth. Ramirez has 165 RBIs this season, tying Hall of Famers Al Simmons (1930) and Lou Gehrig (1934) for 12th on the all-time list.

    Fryman's 10th homer sparked a three-run second. When he touched home plate, Cleveland became the first team with 1,000 runs since the 1950 Boston Red Sox.

    Einar Diaz followed with a single and scored on Kenny Lofton's triple off the wall in left. Lofton later scored on a sacrifice fly by Roberto Alomar to make it 4-2.

    Lofton and Fryman each had three hits.

    Cleveland starter Dwight Gooden remained winless since July 28, yielding four runs on six hits and three walks over five innings. Gooden probably won't be on the Indians' postseason roster.

    Tony Batista and Otanez had RBI singles in the first to put Toronto ahead 2-0. Cleveland made it 2-1 in the bottom half when Harold Baines drew a bases-loaded walk.

    David Segui hit a two-run homer, his 14th, to pull Toronto within 5-4 in the fifth.

    Lofton's RBI single gave Cleveland a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Toronto tied it in the sixth on Wells' RBI single and Homer Bush's run-scoring groundout off Steve Reed.

    Notes

  • Koch tied Kerry Ligtenberg, who had 30 saves for Atlanta last year, for second place in saves by a rookie. Todd Worrell set the record with 36 in 1986 for St. Louis.
  • Jim Thome's first-inning strikeout was his 167th this season, breaking the Indians' record set by Cory Snyder in 1987. Thome leads the AL in walks with 127.
  • Ramirez became the first player to hit 100 homers at Jacobs Field. The park opened in 1994.
  • Toronto starter Pete Munro yielded six runs on nine hits over 4 2-3 innings. He allowed 13 runs in eight innings, a 14.65 ERA, against Cleveland this season.
  • Shawn Green is 1-for-17 in his last five games against the Indians.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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