Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Jaret Wright kicks the mound as the Boston Red Sox celebrate Mo Vaughn's (42) three-run homer in the first inning Tuesday. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) Vaughn rolls 7 in Game 1

His two home runs pace Boston rout

Wednesday, September 30, 1998

By PAUL HOYNES
PLAIN DEALER REPORTER

Maybe the Indians knew what they were doing last week when they went out of their way to try to rid themselves of home-field advantage in the division series by losing six of their final seven regular-season games.

It didn't work as they stumbled into a victory over Minnesota on Saturday in the Metrodome. But perhaps they should have listened to that inner voice that seemed to be driving them toward a first-round meeting with New York in Yankee Stadium especially considering what happened yesterday afternoon in Jacobs Field.

Mo Vaughn and Boston took out years of frustration with an 11-3 victory over the Indians in an impressive Game 1 statement. Dwight Gooden will face knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in Game 2 today at 1:07 p.m.

Vaughn, 0-for-14 in his first and only postseason experience in the 1995 division series against the Indians, homered twice, doubled and tied a postseason record with seven runs batted in yesterday. The victory ended Boston's 13-game postseason losing streak, going back to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Jaret Wright, who was expected to give the Indians a much-needed emotional jolt in the division opener, had trouble getting a pitch past Vaughn in the first inning. Every other pitcher who faced him yesterday had the same problem.

Not even a motivational shove from shortstop Omar Vizquel could help Wright.

After Darren Lewis and John Valentin started the game with singles, Vizquel went to the mound to talk to Wright. After a few words, he pushed Wright as he went back to his position.

"I was trying to change his way of thinking," said Vizquel. "He lost the first two hitters. I think he was a little nervous. I told him, "Come on. You're better than that.' Then I pushed him. But it didn't work."

Vaughn, the next batter, hit a full-count fastball that landed in the first row of the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer that the Indians never recovered from.

"It was ball four," said catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. "A fastball up that Mo hit."

Left fielder Brian Giles drifted back on fly ball, and for a moment looked like he would catch it.

"I lost it in the sun," said Giles. "Then when I saw it again, I thought it would be off the wall. It just dropped over the railing. But it was still a three-run homer."

Pedro Martinez, 3-0 with a 1.97 earned run average against the Indians this year, probably would have made that lead stand up. But he didn't have to.

After Vaughn's homer, Wright allowed just two hits - both off his own glove - through the fourth. But he started the fifth by hitting Lewis in the left ear flap of his batting helmet. Lewis, who said he will try to play today, was replaced by pinch-runner Damon Buford. Then Wright walked Valentin before striking out Vaughn.

But he did not escape.

He hung a first-pitch curveball to Nomar Garciaparra, who hit it into the left-field bleachers for another three-run homer and a 6-0 lead.

"When it's 6-0 against Pedro," said Giles, "you're fighting an uphill battle."

Manager Mike Hargrove removed Wright after Mike Stanley's single followed Garciaparra's homer. Wright allowed six runs on seven hits in 4 innings. He struck out six and walked two. It was Wright's first postseason loss after he went 3-0 last year.

"Jaret was just real inconsistent and got the ball up," said Hargrove.

The biggest mistakes Wright made were allowing Boston's No. 1 and No. 2 hitters to get on base before Vaughn and Garciaparra homered.

"We had to pitch to them [Vaughn and Garciaparra- because there were always people on base," said Hargrove.

Added pitching coach Mark Wiley: "Hitters like Vaughn and Garciaparra are going to get their hits. Our job is to keep the people in front of them off base. We didn't do a very good job of that. That's when the big boys can hurt you."

Hargrove used five relievers to close the game. With the exception of the last two, Paul Shuey and Paul Assenmacher, they were not effective.

Doug Jones, who had the third-most appearances among active pitchers without appearing in a postseason game, gave up a two-run homer to Vaughn in the sixth. In the eighth, Jim Poole gave up a two-run, bases-loaded double to Vaughn. He's 3-for-11 lifetime against Poole.

"I didn't know what would happen this time, but I knew I'd have a better approach in the postseason," said Vaughn, who hit .337 during the season.

The Indians made things interesting in the sixth and seventh against Martinez. Kenny Lofton hit a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 8-2. Jim Thome hit a one-out homer in the seventh to make it 8-3. When Travis Fryman reached first on a strike-three wild pitch and Giles bounced a double over first base, the Indians actually had a rally going.

But Boston manager Jimy Williams visited Martinez and told him he was going to stay with him because he knew he could get out of the inning. Martinez retired Alomar on a foul pop to first and Vizquel on a soft liner to short. In seven innings, Martinez struck out eight, didn't walk a batter, and allowed six hits.

Before Lofton's homer, the Tribe's only hint of a run came in the second when Manny Ramirez hit a line drive off the top of the wall in right-center. It should have been a double, but Ramirez mistakenly broke into his home-run trot and had to stay at first.

The inning ended when Fryman lined to Valentin at third, who threw to first to double up Ramirez.

Boston went 8-3 against the Tribe during the regular season.

"Today was like the regular season," said Vizquel. "They dominated us in almost every aspect. But that won't be in our mind for Game 2."

©1998 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


BOSTON (11) AT CLEVELAND (3) PLAYOFFS - FINAL 

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D Lewis cf              2  1  2  0   0  0   0 1.000
 Buford pr-cf           1  2  0  0   0  0   0  .000
John Valentin 3b        4  4  3  0   1  0   0  .750
Vaughn 1b               5  2  3  7   0  1   3  .600
N Garciaparra ss        4  1  1  4   0  0   1  .250
Stanley dh              4  0  1  0   1  3   1  .250
Oleary lf               5  0  0  0   0  2   3  .000
Bragg rf                5  0  1  0   0  2   1  .200
Hatteberg c             4  0  1  0   1  1   0  .250
M Benjamin 2b           4  1  0  0   1  1   5  .000

Totals                 38 11 12 11   4 10  14

BATTING: 2B - Vaughn (1, Poole). HR - Vaughn 2 (2, 1st inning
off Wright 2 on, 0 out, 6th inning off Do Jones 1 on, 1 out); 
N Garciaparra (1, 5th inning off Wright 2 on, 1 out). 
SF - N Garciaparra. RBI - Vaughn 7 (7), N Garciaparra 4 (4). Runners
left in scoring position, 2 out - N Garciaparra 1, M Benjamin 3,
Oleary 1.  Team LOB - 7.

FIELDING: DP: 1 (John Valentin-Vaughn). 

CLEVELAND              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
Lofton cf               4  1  2  2   0  0   0  .500
J Cora 2b               4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .000
Justice dh              4  0  1  0   0  1   1  .250
M Ramirez rf            4  0  1  0   0  2   2  .250
Thome                                                                               ‰ŠŠŠ‚ŠŠr’ͺ‚jR2Ιε΅…ΉΝ‰€     4  0  0  0   0  3   1  .000
Giles lf                4  0  1  0   0  2   0  .250
S Alomar c              3  1  1  0   0  1   2  .333
Vizquel ss              3  0  0  0   0  0   3  .000

Totals                 34  3  7  3   0 10  11

BATTING: 2B - S Alomar (1, P Martinez); Giles (1, P Martinez);
Justice (1, Corsi). HR - Lofton (1, 6th inning off P Martinez 
1 on, 1 out); Thome (1, 7th inning off P Martinez 0 on, 1 out).
RBI - Lofton 2 (2), Thome (1). Runners left in scoring position,
2 out - Vizquel 2, M Ramirez 1.  Team LOB - 4.

--------------------------------------------------
    Boston         - 300 032 030  -- 11
    Cleveland      - 000 002 100  --  3

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

BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
P Martinez (W, 1-0)           7       6   3   3   0   8   2   3.86
Corsi                         2       1   0   0   0   2   0   0.00

CLEVELAND                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Wright (L, 0-1)               4 1/3   7   6   6   2   6   2  12.46
Do Jones                      2 2/3   3   2   2   1   1   1   6.75
S Reed                        0       1   3   3   1   0   0   0.00
Poole                         0       1   0   0   0   0   0   0.00
Shuey                         1       0   0   0   0   1   0   0.00
Assenmacher                   1       0   0   0   0   2   0   0.00

S Reed pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.
Poole pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

WP - P Martinez. HBP - D Lewis (by Wright); Buford (by S Reed). 
Pitches-strikes: Wright 101-59; Do Jones 45-29; S Reed 15-6;
Poole 5-4; Shuey 15-10; Assenmacher 16-11; P Martinez 121-84;
Corsi 24-14.  Ground balls-fly balls: Wright 3-4; Do Jones 3-4;
S Reed 0-0; Poole 0-0; Shuey 1-1; Assenmacher 0-1; P Martinez 2-11; 
Corsi 4-0.  Batters faced: Wright 23; Do Jones 12; S Reed 3; Poole 1; 
Shuey 3; Assenmacher 3; P Martinez 27; Corsi 7. 

UMPIRES: HP--Dale Scott. 1B--Joe Brinkman. 2B--John Hirschbeck.
3B--Larry Mccoy. LF--Dave Phillips. RF--Chuck Meriwether.
T--3:16.  Att--45,185.   Weather: 68 degrees, sunny.   Wind: 10 mph, 
left to right.