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Brian Anderson Rescues Wright, Saves Indians
by the Associated Press
CLEVELAND -- Jaret Wright and Brian Anderson are as diverse as any two Cleveland players. And on Sunday night, the unexpected one shut down the Baltimore Orioles.
Wright was wrong for Tribe in Game 4.
Wright, a clean-shaven right-hander from California, had become the poster boy for this postseason after defeating the defending World Series champion New York Yankees twice in the first round.
The Ohio-born Anderson, a left-hander who wears earrings and has tattoos all over his body, wasn't even on the roster against the Yankees.
But on Sunday night, when the 21-year-old Wright wilted under the pressure of October for the first time, Anderson bailed him out to become the Indians' latest playoff star as Cleveland defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 to take a 3-1 lead in the AL championship series.
``Brian did an outstanding job,'' Wright said. ``I guess you could say I probably owe him a little bit. He came in when I didn't have my good stuff and picked up the whole ballclub.''
Anderson relieved Wright after the third inning and allowed one hit over 3 1-3 innings, striking out four. He was manager Mike Hargrove's last roster addition for the series.
Someone clearly is watching over the Indians.
``You could say magic,'' Wright said of the club's phenomenal postseason run. ``We just manage to stay out of the loss column.''
Baltimore was facing Wright for the first time, and when he struck out Geronimo Berroa to end the first inning, Jacobs Field saluted its newest star with a thunderous ovation.
Wright gave up an RBI-double to B.J. Surhoff in the second that made it 1-0, but was given a 2-1 lead in the second when Sandy Alomar connected for a two-run homer off Scott Erickson.
The second time through the Orioles' lineup was a nightmare for Wright.
Brady Anderson, who homered on the first pitch of the series, hit Wright's first pitch of the third inning 405 feet for a one-out homer to tie it. Wright then ran the count to 3-0 on Harold Baines and ran a fastball right over the middle of the plate that was ripped over the right-field wall for a 4-2 lead.
After a visit to the mound by Hargrove, Rafael Palmeiro hammered Wright's next pitch 384 feet to right to make it 5-2.
Wright got out of the inning, but did not come out for the fourth. He allowed five runs and six hits in three innings, equaling the shortest outing of his career.
``I was a little flatter than I'd like,'' he said.
Anderson, who pitched two scoreless innings in Game 1, came on and kept the Orioles off the bases, allowing the Indians to get back in it.
Hoping to be the Indians' No. 5 starter, the 24-year-old began the season with Triple-A Buffalo and spent much of the season hampered by shoulder problems.
He posted a 7-1 record at Buffalo and was 4-2 with the Indians, but was left off the postseason roster for the first round.
``It feels 10 times better,'' he said when asked about the difference in contributing to sitting. ``Being left off the first playoff roster kind of bummed me out.''
Anderson gave up a walk in the fourth before retiring eight in a row. After allowing a single to Brady Anderson, he struck out Roberto Alomar and was lifted by Hargrove.
He walked back to the dugout to a standing ovation as Wright and the other Indians came to the top step to greet him.
``He did the job, he threw strikes,'' catcher Sandy Alomar said. ``Brian Anderson did everything we asked from him, he kept us in the game.''
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