Mistakes cost Yankees, Braves at home
Cleveland 4, N.Y. Yankees 1
The umpires botched the call, Chuck Knoblauch blew his cool and the Cleveland Indians escaped Yankee Stadium with a split.
After 11 innings of excruciatingly intense baseball, Game 2 of the AL championship series turned on a bizarre bunt play in the 12th inning yesterday.
Umpires failed to call Travis Fryman out for interfering with Tino Martinez's throw as he ran inside the line on his bunt attempt, and Enrique Wilson broke a 1-all tie by scoring all the way from first base as Knoblauch stood at the bag pointing and arguing, instead of picking up the ball.
Kenny Lofton followed with a two-run single, and the Indians beat New York 4-1, evening the AL championship series at one game apiece.
''It was so blatant. I don't know what to say. It was a terrible call,''
Jim Thome singled off Jeff Nelson leading off the 12th, Cleveland's first runner since Omar Vizquel tripled with one out in the eighth. Wilson ran for Thome, and Fryman sent a bunt up the first-base line to Martinez.
Martinez threw to Knoblauch, the second baseman who was covering the first-base bag, and the ball hit Fryman, who was clearly running in fair territory, in the back.
Baseball rules require that a runner be on the foul side of the line for the final 45 feet to first base, but it is up to the umpire's judgment whether a runner interferes with the play.
''The play occurred right at the base,'' crew chief Jim Evans said. ''The fact that he was literally on the base or half a step from the base, he has the right to be in that position.''
While Wilson rounded second, Knoblauch was pointing at the base, trying to get first-base umpire John Shulock or plate umpire Ted Hendry to reverse the call.
While Wilson rounded third, Knoblauch still was pointing.
Finally, he picked it up, but it was too late. Wilson, who nearly tripped himself up as he headed home, sprawled into the plate with the go-ahead run.
After an off day, the series resumes Friday night at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, with Andy Pettitte (16-11) pitching for New York against Bartolo Colon (14-9).
San Diego 3,Atlanta 2
This time, the San Diego Padres saved Trevor Hoffman.
Ken Caminiti hit a solo home run in the 10th inning and the Padres overcame a rare lapse by baseball's premier closer to beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 last night in a rain-delayed Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.
On an evening when daring running sent the game into extra innings, Caminiti trotted around the bases after connecting with one out in the 10th off Kerry Ligtenberg.
It was the fourth postseason homer of Caminiti's career, and helped him atone for failing to come up with a key throw that let the Braves tie it.
The win was a good omen for the underdog Padres. The last five teams to win the opener of the NLCS have gone on to the World Series.
San Diego sustained a loss, however, when 50-homer man Greg Vaughn limped off in the fifth inning because of a strained left quadriceps. His status was day-to-day.
Game 2 is tonight, with Braves nemesis Kevin Brown pitching against Glavine.