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Florida Marlins Score Seven Runs on Three Errors in Ninth Inning To Beat Cleveland Indians

October 22, 1997

Florida Marlins Score Seven Runs on Three Errors in Ninth Inning To Beat Cleveland Indians 14-11; Marlins Lead World Series 2-1By BEN WALKER

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Frozen fish? Hah!

The Florida Marlins came alive when the Cleveland Indians lost their cool, breaking a tie by scoring seven runs on a World Series record-tying three errors in the ninth inning to win 14-11 Tuesday night for a 2-1 edge.

Gary Sheffield hit one of Florida’s three homers and drove in five runs in the second highest-scoring game in Series history, behind the 1993 epic in which Toronto outlasted Philadelphia 15-14.

The Indians, meanwhile, played like fish out of water in blowing a 7-3 lead they took into the sixth inning. They rallied to make it close with four runs in the bottom of the ninth of Robb Nen.

Whether the weather _ a blustery 49 degrees at gametime and a wind chill factor of 29 _ was the only reason the score looked like an NFL final was uncertain. Certainly, it contributed to 17 walks and six errors as pitchers and fielders struggled to get a grip.

But it was unlucky throw by center fielder Marquis Grissom that enabled the Marlins to break a 7-all tie in the ninth.

Game 4 will be Wednesday night with Tony Saunders of Florida facing Jaret Wright in a matchup of rookies.


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CLEVELAND: of rookies.

Bobby Bonilla, whose two errors gave Cleveland its lead, drew a leadoff walk from Eric Plunk to start the ninth.

Darren Daulton followed with a single and Bonilla, hustling on his injured left hamstring, headed to third. Grissom made an accurate throw, but it nicked Bonilla in the right shoulder and deflected into a third-base camera bay, allowing a run to score.

With one out, pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd was intentionally walked. Plunk made a pickoff throw that first baseman Jim Thome mishandled for an error that made it 9-7, and second baseman Tony Fernandez misplayed Craig Counsell’s grounder to enable another run to score.

Sheffield and Bonilla capped the burst with two-run singles. The Indians tied the Series record of three errors set by Los Angeles in 1966, while the Marlins matched the mark of the 1936 New York Yankees for the biggest ninth inning in Series play.

Dennis Cook was the winning pitcher. Plunk took the loss, though relievers Alvin Morman and Jose Mesa also did not fare well in the ninth.

The Indians scored four runs in the ninth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Fernandez, an RBI-single by Grissom and a two-run double by Bip Roberts.

The weather may be much worse for Game 4 with the forecast calling for temperatures in the mid-30s but no snow. No matter, it should easily be the coldest Series game in more than 20 years.

It was 49 degrees at the start Tuesday night, with 25 mph winds making it much chillier.

Florida pitcher Al Leiter held a hot water bottle between innings and hitters on both sides warmed their bats on heating coils inside the dugouts.

The Marlins got to use some of the 1,200 pounds of cold-weather gear they packed, while the Indians set up coffee makers and hot tea and hot chocolate stands in a room right behind their bench.

The crowd of 44,880 came bundled mostly in heavy parkas. Many fans dressed in orange, the color they used to wear in support of their beloved Browns for NFL games. Among those in the stands was Marlins manager Jim Leyland’s 85-year-old mother, Veronica, wrapped in a knit shawl.

Grissom was stranded after a leadoff single in the Cleveland eighth. He has hit in all 15 of his Series games, giving him the second-longest streak in history behind Hank Bauer’s 17 with the Yankees in the 1950s.


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CLEVELAND: the 1950s.

Sheffield’s RBI double capped a two-run seventh as the Marlins rallied against Cleveland’s tough bullpen to tie it at 7.

Brian Anderson replaced Nagy to start the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Counsell. Mike Jackson relieved with one out and Edgar Renteria hit an RBI single on the first pitch and Sheffield doubled to deep center.

Sheffield helped keep it even in the bottom half by climbing the right-field wall to rob Thome of extra bases.

Jim Eisenreich, in the lineup as the DH, did his former Phillies teammate _ Daulton _ one better with a two-run homer in the sixth that pulled Florida to 7-5.

The Indians took a 5-3 lead in the fourth, combining a record-tying four walks by Leiter, a scratch single and another error by Bonilla. Cleveland hit only one ball out of the infield in the inning, and that was a routine fly.

Leiter had no touch to begin the fourth. He started out with walks to Sandy Alomar and Thome and a one-out walk to Grissom loaded the bases.

Roberts struck out but, on Leiter’s seventh full count of the night, he walked Omar Vizquel to force home a run that made it 3-all.

Manny Ramirez followed with a three-hopper that seemed to spin in Bonilla’s hand, and he compounded the problem by rushing and throwing the ball past first. The play was scored a hit and an error, and resulted in two runs.

Thome hit Cleveland’s hardest ball of the game, a two-run homer in the fifth for a 7-3 lead.

Leiter, blowing on his hand all night, left after 4 2-3 innings. His four walks in fourth tied the Series record last done by Toronto’s Todd Stottlemyre in 1993, and he walked six overall.

Sheffield showed why every team has worked around him in the postseason, finally getting a good pitch to hit in the first inning and lining it over the 19-foot wall in left for a solo home run.

For the third straight game, the Indians scored in the opening inning, keyed by Leiter’s error.

Roberts led off with a chopper that Leiter fielded on the back slope of the mound but then dropped as he tried to throw. Two outs later, a walk to David Justice set up a run-scoring single by Matt Williams and another RBI single by Alomar that glanced off the glove of far-ranging shortstop Renteria in left field.

The Marlins tied it at 2 in the third on a single and three straight walks as Nagy also tied a Series mark shared by Stottlemyre by walking three in a row.

Mike Hargrove visited the mound, and then an overly aggressive Bonilla helped out Nagy by grounding into an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play.

Daulton’s leadoff homer in the fourth put the Marlins ahead 3-2.

Notes: The game last 4 hours, 12 minutes, two minutes short of the Series record for a nine-inning. ... The 11 runs in the ninth tied for the most in an inning in Series history. Brooklyn and the Yankees did it in 1956 and the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago Cubs did it in 1929. ... Alomar has 12 RBIs this postseason, the most ever for a catcher. Gary Carter had 11 for the Mets in 1986, though he did not have the benefit of an extra round of playoffs like Alomar. ... Sheffield has walked in all 12 of the Marlins’s postseason games, drawing 16 in that span. ... Daulton’s other World Series home run came in 1993 for the Phillies off Leiter, then with Toronto.

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