The Cleveland Indians used six runs over the first three innings to roll to a 7-0 win over the Seattle Mariners in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. The win tied the series at two wins each as the teams trade off wins.
The dangerous Tribe lineup was powered at the top today, as Kenny Lofton started the bottom of the first with a single. Prior to an Omar Vizquel walk, Lofton stole second and moved to third on an errant throw from the catcher. Carlos Baerga knocked in Lofton with a grounder to second before Eddie Murray’s two-run blast off of Andy Benes gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Lofton drove in a solo run in the next inning, as his one-out sacrifice fly scored Tony Pena, who had led off the inning with a single. Jim Thome made it a 6-0 game in the third on a two-run homer, knocking in Baerga after his single to lead off the inning. Vizquel added an RBI-double in the sixth off of reliever Bobby Ayala.
The Mariners put runners in scoring position in the second, third, and fourth innings against Cleveland starter Ken Hill, but he kept Seattle off of the scoreboard at Jacobs Field. He logged seven shutout innings on the mound, striking out six, walking three, and giving up five hits. The Indians relief corps to follow was nearly lights out – Jim Poole, Chad Ogea, and Alan Embree struck out five of the seven batters that they faced and allowed just one hit.