Posted: Thursday October 07, 1999 08:22 PM
CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Pedro Martinez could not carry the Boston Red Sox on his back in Game One. The rest of the staff didn't even come close in Game Two.
The Cleveland Indians tied an American League Division Series record for runs in a game, scoring six in the third inning and five more in the fourth en route to a 11-1 rout of the Red Sox and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five set.
The 1995 Seattle Mariners are the only team to win a Division Series after dropping the first two games.
Boston, which squandered a two-run lead in Wednesday's 3-2 loss, has lost 18 of its last 19 playoff games and has not won a World Series since 1918.
"We're not done yet," said Red Sox manager Jimy Williams, whose team is 16-7 the last two regular seasons against Cleveland and 1-5 in the playoffs. "The last two years, they beat us and it's hard to explain."
Game Three is Saturday in Boston.
The Indians have not claimed a title since 1948, but they are one win away from advancing to the AL Championship Series for the third straight season. Last year, they lost to the World Series champion New York Yankees in six games.
"Going into Boston, the big key for us is not to get too relaxed," Indians slugger Jim Thome said. "Obviously, the momentum is going our way, but there's no way they will lie down and die."
Bret Saberhagen (0-1) and John Wasdin combined to allow 11 runs as Boston failed to draw even after Martinez strained a back muscle on Wednesday.
The best pitcher in baseball this season, Martinez said he will be able to pitch a decisive fifth game, if necessary.
Saberhagen uncharacteristically walked three during the six-run third as the Indians set a Division Series record for runs in an inning.
Wasdin surrendered five runs while recording only four outs. Thome capped the fourth with a grand slam, his 14th career postseason homer and second in as many games. He is the only player in major league history with two postseason grand slams.
Charles Nagy (1-0) cruised with the cushion, giving up just one run and five hits over seven innings. He struck out four without a walk.
"Eleven runs are great and they help let you go out and settle down," he said. "I just wanted to throw strikes and get our guys back in the dugout."
Boston's demise began with a leadoff walk to Travis Fryman in the third. With one out, Kenny Lofton walked before Vizquel's line drive just eluded right fielder Trot Nixon's glove, giving Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
Between walks to Fryman and Lofton, second baseman Jose Offerman pulled first baseman Mike Stanley off the bag on a potential double-play ball.
"It turned out to be pretty big," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "Antyime you give a team more than three outs, you're skating on thin ice."
Alomar followed with his second double of the game, making it 3-1, and Manny Ramirez flied out before Saberhagen walked Thome. Baines capped the inning with a three-run homer to right-center field.
"I think our hitting today was kind of contagious," Thome said. "I thought Saberhagen threw very well and to knock him out was huge."
It was the fifth career postseason homer and second in Division Series play for the 40-year-old Baines, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Baltimore Orioles. He was hitting .173 (9-for-52) with 14 strikeouts lifetime against Saberhagen.
"His bat does a lot more talking than he does," Thome said. "His approach is great and he never shows much emotion. After his home run, I saw a smile, and that's awesome."
Saberhagen, who yielded six runs and five hits over 2 2/3 innings, had walked only two lefthanders in 209 at-bats before Lofton and Thome reached in the third. In 119 innings this season, he issued only 11 free passes.
"Actually, I felt very good today," he said. "My velocity was there. I just didn't make pitches when I had to. If you look at me, I had 11 walks all year and today I had three. That's not me and that's what hurts. Maybe I didn't mix my pitches. I threw a lot of fastballs because I thought I had good velocity."
Wasdin followed Saberhagen's formula in the fourth, walking Fryman and Lofton. After Vizquel's one-out single loaded the bases, Alomar lifted a sacrifice fly to left, Ramirez walked and Thome lined a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall for an 11-1 bulge.
Thome, who has grand slams in consecutive postseasons, passed Ramirez for fourth all-time with his 14th career home run in the playoffs. His two-run shot in the sixth inning of Game One lifted the Indians into a 2-2 tie.
"When it's mentioned, you don't think about it," said Thome, who is one homer behind Babe Ruth and three in back of Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle. "But its's nice to be mentioned with that group. We've been in the postseason a lot and we have a lot of great hitters."
Boston's staff had a major league-low 469 walks during the season, but pitched carefully to baseball's best offense, issuing six walks in the third and fourth innings. Five Red Sox totaled an AL Division Series-record nine walks today.
The World Series MVP with Kansas City in 1985, Saberhagen fell to 2-3 in the postseason with his second defeat in as many Division Series starts against the Indians. His only wins came in the 1985 World Series.
Nagy improved to 8-1 lifetime against the Sox, including a 3-0 postseason mark. He shut down the Red Sox last year in the Division Series.
"I have no idea why and I'm not even going to try and figure it out," said Nagy, who is 3-4 lifetime in the postseason. "You just count your blessings, basically."
The Indians did not issue a walk until the eighth, when Steve Karsay walked Nixon with one out.
The Red Sox have managed only 11 hits through the first two games.
"Unless I get a hold off George Herman (Babe Ruth), we'll go with the same group that got us here," Williams said.