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Ramirez, Indians Smack Orioles


It isn't often a game ends with a play so spectacular that an entire ballpark is almost too stunned to cheer.

But Roberto Alomar has made plays his entire career that have left people spellbound.

Ranging far to his left, Alomar made a sliding stop on the outfield grass, and without looking at first base, spun on his knees and threw in time to get Brady Anderson for the final out in the Cleveland Indians' 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

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  • Asked to rank it among his top plays, Alomar said, "Let's put it in the Top 2. I never even thought I had a chance."

    Alomar said only a diving catch he made in the 1993 World Series for Toronto was better.

    "You can't even believe it," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said after he gave up trying to explain what he saw Alomar do. "That's one of the best plays I've ever seen."

    Anderson, who had three hits for the Orioles, almost expected Alomar to get to his grounder.

    "I wasn't surprised," he said. "Anybody else, yes. But Robbie is one of the greatest second basemen ever."

    Manny Ramirez hit his second two-run homer one batter after Alomar singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning for the Indians, who won their fourth straight.

    Baltimore reliever Jesse Orosco pitched in his 1,071st game, tying Dennis Eckersley for the major league record. Orosco entered the game tied with Hoyt Wilhelm for second.

    Following the game, Orosco shared hugs and kisses with family members who came to town in case the 42-year-old left-hander made history.

    "One more to go now," he said "It's what I've been aiming for."

    But Orosco's eighth-inning appearance didn't come until Ramirez had capped a three-run eighth with his 32nd homer, giving him 120 RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Scott Erickson (8-10) to put Cleveland ahead 3-1.

    "I shudder to think where we'd be without Manny," Hargrove said.

    But the Orioles rallied to tie it in the eighth on Albert Belle's two-run double off Paul Shuey, who couldn't protect a lead for Charles Nagy. Nagy allowed one run and six hits in seven innings.

    Ricardo Rincon (2-2) escaped a two-on jam by getting Will Clark to hit into an inning-ending double play in the eighth and got the win.

    Belle drove in all three Baltimore runs and Anderson had three hits for the Orioles, who have lost all four games to the Indians this year.

    With the groundscrew kneeling by the tarp as thunder and lightning surrounded Jacobs Field, Mike Jackson pitched the ninth and got his 27th save, thanks to Alomar's amazing play.

    An error by Baltimore third baseman Ryan Minor allowed Dave Roberts to reach to open the eighth, and Omar Vizquel sacrificed. With Alomar coming up, Orioles manager Ray Miller visited Erickson about how to pitch to Alomar, who played in Baltimore for three seasons.

    Alomar fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before dropping a one-out single into right field in front of Belle, whose throw to the plate was just a little high as Roberts slid headfirst safely across the plate.

    "Thought I had him," Erickson said of his battle with Alomar.

    Ramirez followed by hitting an 0-2 pitch from Erickson over the right-field wall. He is 11-for-20 (.550) with five homers and 12 RBIs in his last six games.

    Erickson gave up six runs five earned and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings.

    Indians 6-foot-8 left fielder Richie Sexson made a leaping backhanded catch before crashing into the outfield wall in the fifth with two runners on to keep the game scoreless.

    "The turning point of the game," Miller said.

    In the sixth, Vizquel singled, moved up on a fielder's choice and Ramirez powered a 2-2 pitch from Erickson over the wall in right-center for his fourth homer in six games. He has a pair of two-homer games this year and 15 in his career.

    Notes

  • Indians C Kenny Lofton was activated from the 15-day DL after the game. Lofton was one of seven Indians on the DL. The Indians optioned 3B Russell Branyan to Triple-A Buffalo.
  • RHP Steve Karsay will make his first start since Aug. 11 of last season Saturday against the Orioles. Hargrove said Karsay, 8-1 with a 2.66 ERA in relief, will be on a 75-pitch count. What would happen if he's got a no-hitter going? "They'd have to drag me off the mound," Karsay said.
  • Anderson, who entered the game leading the AL in stolen-base percentage (86.7), was thrown out in the third when Nagy pitched out.

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

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