Pena homer in 13th gives Indians first playoff victory in 41 years

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND The Cleveland Indians carried their flair for the dramatic to the extreme Tuesday night, winning their first postseason game in 41 years on Tony Pena's homer with two outs in the 13th inning, beating Boston 5-4.

Pena, who spent four years with the Red Sox from 1990-93, drove a 3-0 pitch from Zane Smith just over the bleacher railing in left field.

It ended the longest night game in postseason history. Three previous night games went 12 innings; the Mets and Astros played a 16-inning day game in the 1986 NLCS.

It was the 10th time this season that the Indians ended a game with a home run. The Indians were 13-0 in extra innings this season, and this latest victory gave them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series.

Pena, who had only five homers in the regular season, ended the game just after 2 a.m. local time but most of the nation didn't see it. The Baseball Network did not show the game in the majority of the country, although it was televised in Cleveland and New England.

Boston lost its 11th consecutive postseason game dating back to Bill Buckner's infamous error in the 1986 World Series. The Red Sox were swept by Oakland in the ALCS in 1988 and '90.

The game went to extra innings tied at 3, and the teams traded solo home runs in the 11th inning to extend it again. Boston's Tim Naehring homered off Jim Poole in the top half, and the Indians tied it in the bottom half on Albert Belle's leadoff homer against Rick Aguilera.

The plot thickened when the Red Sox had the umpire confiscate Belle's bat; Belle was suspended for seven games last year for using a corked bat against the Chicago White Sox.

Belle, who led the majors with 50 home runs this year, flexed his biceps muscle and pointed to it angrily after the Red Sox had his bat taken away.

Boston's four runs all came on homers, including John Valentin's two-run shot in the third, Luis Alicea's solo homer in the eighth and Naehring's in the 11th.

Alicea's homer was the third of his four hits, and it erased the 3-2 lead the Indians had taken in the sixth on Belle's two-run double and a single by Eddie Murray.

The Indians scarcely touched Boston starter Roger Clemens through the first five innings, and Clemens, who lasted seven innings, might have stayed longer but for a 23-minute rain delay that interrupted the game in the eighth.

Clemens had been miserable in his two previous starts at Jacobs Field, going 0-2 with an 8.25 ERA. His only loss over his last 11 starts this year came in Cleveland on Sept. 16.

These were the playoffs, though, and Clemens looked pumped. Throwing fastballs clocked occasionally in the mid-90s, he retired Cleveland's first nine batters routinely before Kenny Lofton singled to right on the first pitch of the fourth inning.

By then, Valentin had put the Red Sox ahead 2-0 with his two-out homer to right in the third inning.

Valentin hit 27 homers during the regular season, ranking second on the Red Sox to Mo Vaughn's 39.

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