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Mike Jackson holds his glove up and looks skyward after beating the Boston Red Sox to advance to the American League Championship Series. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


David Justice and Kenny Lofton celebrate with their teammates on the field at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, Oct. 3, 1998, after defeating the Boston Red Sox, 2-1. The Indians will face the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

RECAP:
CLEVELAND 2, BOSTON 1 - 10/3/98

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Indians advanced to their third American League Championship Series in four years, using a dramatic two-run double by David Justice in the eighth inning to edge the Boston Red Sox, 2-1, handing the seemingly cursed franchise another bitter October exit.

The Indians were unable to solve controversial starter Pete Schourek but amazingly broke through against normally dominant closer Tom Gordon to win the Division Series 3-1. They advanced to the ALCS against the New York Yankees, beginning Tuesday night in New York. The Yankees, who lost in the Division Series to Cleveland last year, completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

Gordon, whose only blown save in 47 chances this season came on April 14th, started the eighth for the first time this year and allowed one-out singles to right field by Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel before Lofton stole third. Justice, who also saved a run by throwing out John Valentin at the plate in the sixth, then drilled a 1-1 pitch into right-center field for a two-run double.

"Nothing compares to Game Six of 1995, but tonight was huge for me," said Justice, who three years ago hit the decisive homer that gave Atlanta a clinching World Series win over Cleveland. "It was one of those games you never forget. Getting it done in the field and getting a big base hit was fabulous."

Steve Reed (1-0), the third of six Indians pitchers, was the winner, getting Darren Lewis to pop out with a runner on second to end the seventh.

Mike Jackson retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save of the series.

Lofton improved to 14-for-27 lifetime against Gordon with his broken-bat hit. Gordon closed the season by converting his last 43 save opportunities.

"I don't think you get to the postseason by being lucky," said Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove. "You have to have a good ballclub and if you catch a few breaks like we did along the way, you can piece some wins together."

Boston manager Jimy Williams made the controversial decision to start Schourek in an elimination game instead of ace Pedro Martinez, the 1997 National League Cy Young Award winner who would have been pitching on three days' rest.

Schourek did better than even the most cynical New Englander could have expected, allowing just two hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings with four walks and a strikeout.

But it was the bullpen that faltered as Boston lost for the 15th time in its last 16 postseason games and suffered its seventh straight postseason loss at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, who have not won a World Series in 80 years, have lost five straight postseason series since defeating California in the 1986 ALCS.

"Gordon was the right man in the right spot at that time. The fact that the heart of the Indians' order was coming up didn't really matter to me," said Williams. "I thought Pete Schourek did an outstanding job. I thought our pitchers did a good job. Justice got a hit. He beat us with his bat, and he beat us with his arm. To me, if I do it over again, I do the same thing. We just lost our last game."

Nomar Garciaparra accounted for the lone Boston run with a fourth-inning homer, giving him three home runs and a Division Series-record 11 RBI. But Garciaparra failed in the eighth when he grounded out against Paul Shuey following a one-out double by Mo Vaughn. Troy O'Leary flied out to end the inning.

The Red Sox wasted numerous opportunities, including a leadoff double by Valentin in the sixth. Mike Stanley singled to left following an intentional walk to Garciaparra, but Valentin easily was thrown out at the plate by Justice.

Acquired from Houston in early August, Schourek was just 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 games. His 17 wins over the last three seasons are two fewer than Martinez's total this year. Williams, however, did not use Martinez on three days rest all season and he was not about to start in the Division Series.

Schourek allowed a second-inning double to Travis Fryman and left after Justice doubled off the left-center field wall with one out in the sixth. Schourek looked shaky when Lofton opened the game with a fly ball that Lewis caught at the base of the wall in left-center. But the left-hander still retired the first five batters he faced.

Garciaparra continued his torrid series by leading off the fourth with a home run, taking the first pitch from Bartolo Colon 411 feet the opposite way to right-center.

Colon, an All-Star who was dropped to fourth in the playoff rotation after going 5-5 with a 5.65 ERA in the second half, allowed just five hits in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.

He was in immediate trouble in the first after Lewis doubled and Valentin walked. But Colon worked out of damage by striking out Vaughn and getting Garciaparra and Mike Stanley to ground out.

Vaughn, who went 0-for-14 in the 1995 Division Series against Cleveland, hit .412 in this series but did not drive in a run after collecting seven RBI in Tuesday's series opener.

"What more can you say? They came back on our best. They deserved to win," said Vaughn. "We had a great season. Nobody is hanging their head."

While Boston can only reflect, the Indians can look ahead.

"We feel very good about ourselves and we can match up with anyone. The Yankees won 114 games this year and they didn't do it by being lucky," said Hargrove. "They have terrific players, a wonderful manager and a first-class organization. We'll take a day to think about it."

BOX SCORE -    10/3/98


CLEVELAND (2) AT BOSTON (1) PLAYOFFS - FINAL 

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lofton cf               4  1  1  0   0  0   2  .375
Vizquel ss              4  1  1  0   0  0   0  .067
Justice lf              4  0  2  2   0  0   0  .313
Ramirez rf              4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .357
Fryman 3b               2  0  1  0   2  0   1  .154
Thome dh                3  0  0  0   1  1   2  .133
Sexson 1b               2  0  0  0   2  1   2  .000
Alomar c                3  0  0  0   1  1   3  .231
Wilson 2b               2  0  0  0   0  0   1  .000
 a-Cora ph-2b           2  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 30  2  5  2   6  3  12

a-flied to left for Wilson in the 8th.

BATTING: 2B - Fryman (1, Schourek); Justice 2 (4, Schourek,
Gordon). RBI - Justice 2 (6). Runners left in scoring position,
2 out - Alomar 1, Lofton 1, Fryman 1, Thome 1. GIDP - Alomar. 
Team LOB - 7.

BASERUNNING: SB - Fryman (1, 3rd base off Schourek/Hatteberg);
Lofton (2, 3rd base off Gordon/Hatteberg). CS - Fryman (1, 2nd
base by Schourek). 

FIELDING: Outfield assists - Justice (Valentin at home). 
DP: 1 (Vizquel-Wilson-Sexson). 

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lewis cf                4  0  1  0   0  2   1  .357
Valentin 3b             3  0  2  0   1  1   0  .467
Vaughn 1b               4  0  1  0   0  1   4  .412
 Sadler pr-2b           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Garciaparra ss          3  1  1  1   1  0   0  .333
Stanley dh              3  0  1  0   1  0   2  .267
 Buford pr-dh           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Oleary lf               4  0  0  0   0  1   4  .063
Hatteberg c             2  0  0  0   2  0   0  .111
Benjamin 2b-1b          2  0  0  0   0  0   1  .091
 a-Cummings ph          1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
Bragg rf                4  0  0  0   0  2   2  .083

Totals                 30  1  6  1   5  7  14

a-grounded to shortstop for Benjamin in the 9th.

BATTING: 2B - Lewis (2, Colon); Valentin (1, Colon); Vaughn (2,
Assenmacher). HR - Garciaparra (3, 4th inning off Colon 0 on, 
0 out). S - Benjamin. RBI - Garciaparra (11). Runners left in
scoring position, 2 out - Stanley 2, Oleary 2, Lewis 1. GIDP -
Vaughn.  Team LOB - 8.

FIELDING: DP: 1 (Valentin-Sadler-Benjamin). 

--------------------------------------------------
    Cleveland      - 000 000 020  --  2
    Boston         - 000 100 000  --  1

--------------------------------------------------

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Colon                         5 2/3   5   1   1   3   3   1   1.59
Poole                         1       0   0   0   1   2   0   0.00
Reed (W, 1-0)                   2/3   0   0   0   0   1   0  40.50
Assenmacher (H, 2)            0       1   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
Shuey (H, 2)                    2/3   0   0   0   1   0   0   0.00
Jackson (S, 3)                1       0   0   0   0   1   0   4.50


BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Schourek                      5 1/3   2   0   0   4   1   0   0.00
Lowe (H, 1)                   1 2/3   0   0   0   0   2   0   2.08
Gordon (L, 0-1; BS, 1)        2       3   2   2   2   0   0   9.00

Assenmacher pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

IBB - Garciaparra (by Colon).  Pitches-strikes: Schourek 87-50;
Lowe 19-13; Gordon 31-18; Colon 85-48; Poole 14-8; Reed 5-4;
Assenmacher 5-3; Shuey 11-5; Jackson 11-6.  Ground balls-fly
balls: Schourek 4-10; Lowe 2-1; Gordon 3-3; Colon 6-7; Poole 1-0; 
Reed 0-1; Assenmacher 0-0; Shuey 1-1; Jackson 2-0.  Batters faced: 
Schourek 21; Lowe 5; Gordon 10; Colon 23; Poole 4; Reed 2; 
Assenmacher 1; Shuey 3; Jackson 3. 

UMPIRES: HP--Tim Tschida. 1B--Drew Coble. 2B--Terry Craft.
3B--Jim Joyce. LF--Durwood Merrill. RF--Rich Garcia.
T--3:00.  Att--33,537.   Weather: 64 degrees, sunny.   Wind: 15 mph, 
left to right.