Series: Game 1 of 2

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 5/14)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 14
Baltimore 5Final
Cleveland 6
Game 2: Wednesday, May 15
Baltimore 1Final
Cleveland 3
Game 3: Thursday, May 16
Baltimore Postponed

Orioles 5

(18-20, 9-11 away)

Indians 6

(18-20, 10-7 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 14, 2002

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    BAL 031000001 5 - -
    CLE 001001004 6 - -

    W: P. Shuey (2-0)

    L: J. Julio (2-2)

    Lawton's two-run blast finishes off O's

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Matt Lawton went to the plate trying to be a hero. With one swing, he became one.

    Matt Lawton

    Lawton hit a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the slumping Cleveland Indians rallied for four runs in their final at-bat Tuesday night for a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

    "We needed that," Lawton said. "It's been a long struggle for us. I can't lie, the vibes around here haven't been the greatest."

    Lawton hit a 2-2 pitch from Jorge Julio (2-2) over the wall in right field to snap a three-game losing streak for the Indians, who were one out away from their 20th loss in 26 games.

    But after Jolbert Cabrera reached on third baseman Tony Batista's two-out throwing error, Omar Vizquel hit an RBI double and Ricky Gutierrez had a run-scoring single off Julio.

    Lawton then fouled off a two-strike pitch before connecting for his eighth homer.

    As he circled the bases, Lawton's teammates poured out of the dugout before greeting him at home plate with high-fives and slaps on the helmet to celebrate a huge win.

    "My first walkoff homer ever," Lawton said. "I shouldn't say it, but I was up there trying to hit one and be a hero. We needed it. Hopefully, we can keep this going."

    The Indians had been 0-19 when trailing after eight innings.

    "It's been a while," said Cleveland manager Charlie Manuel. "This is big for us. We stayed with it."

    Paul Shuey (2-0) pitched one inning and got the win. David Riske worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to keep Cleveland close.

    The Indians did little for eight innings against Baltimore starter Scott Erickson and two other relievers before getting to Julio, who for the second straight game gave up a game-winning homer in the ninth inning.

    Last Saturday, Tampa Bay's Randy Winn connected off Julio.

    "You need 27 outs to win," Julio said. "We got 26. That's the second time I blew a save. In baseball those things are going to happen."

    Julio knew he made a mistake the moment he released the high fastball to Lawton.

    "I got it up," he said. "It was a good swing for him. Game over."

    Batista homered for the Orioles, who lost their third in a row and fifth in seven games.

    "This one is tougher to take," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "We had this in the bag and let is slip away. When you get beat like this you look back at everything."

    Erickson, coming off his shortest outing in three years, was in line for his first career win in eight starts at Jacobs Field but finished with a no-decision.

    He gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. He had been 0-6 with a 8.08 earned-run average at the park.

    Last week, the right-hander had to leave a start against Cleveland after just two innings because of a strained groin. It was Erickson's quickest exit since April 20, 1999.

    Before their rally, the Indians blew several scoring chances.

    Trailing 4-1, they loaded the bases in the sixth off Erickson, who gave up a run when Brady Anderson bounced into a double play but retired Einar Diaz on an easy grounder.

    Cleveland is batting just .156 (5-for-32) with the bases loaded this season and has hit into an AL-leading 45 double plays.

    Batista, who came in batting just .154 in his last seven games, gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead in the third by pulling Danys Baez's first pitch onto the home run porch in left for his 10th homer.

    Vizquel got a run back in the bottom of the inning for Cleveland with his fifth homer, a leadoff shot to right.

    Game notes

    The Indians improved to 10-0 when they get 10 or more hits. ... Vizquel is batting .439 (25-for-57) with eight doubles and three homers in his last 16 games. ... Indians 3B Travis Fryman will miss three to five days with tendinitis in his right biceps. Fryman underwent an MRI and received a cortisone shot on the right shoulder he had surgery on during the offseason. ... Batista's homer was the first off Baez in 31 1/3 innings -- a span of six starts. ... Mike Bordick, who came in batting .213, drew his three walks on just 12 pitches. Baez drew a warning from plate umpire Dan Iassogna when he threw behind Bordick in the sixth. ... Diaz made a nifty diving catch near the plate on a foul pop by Jerry Hairston with two on in the fourth.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press