Orioles defeat Indians
3 games to 1
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 1||BAL 10||CLE 4|
|2||Oct. 2||BAL 7||CLE 4|
|3||Oct. 4||CLE 9||BAL 4|
|4||Oct. 5||BAL 4||CLE 3|
Managers: Johnson, Davey, BAL; Hargrove, Mike, CLE
Path to the ALDS: Baltimore (88-74) won the AL Wild Card; Cleveland (99-62) won the AL Central by 14 1/2 games.
Led by an Iron Man whose record consecutive-games streak was still going strong, the Orioles became the first Wild Card to win a postseason series. The series was scheduled to be played at two of baseball's beautiful new ballparks: trendsetting Camden Yards in Baltimore for the first two games, and then Jacobs Field in Cleveland for the remaining three.
Bobby Bonilla's grand slam in the sixth inning put Game 1 out of reach for Cleveland, as Baltimore won, 10-4. In Game 2, after a 37-minute rain delay, the Indians rallied back from a four-run deficit to tie the score in the eighth -- but saw Baltimore manufacture three more in the bottom of the inning to make it a 2-0 series lead. After Cleveland took Game 3 at home, the Orioles clinched on Roberto Alomar's homer in the top of the 12th in Game 4.
With Baltimore winning the first two games at home, and then eliminating the defending American League champions in four games, this series also started a narrative that led to a format change in Division Series scheduling. The Indians - the winningest team in the Majors for the second year in a row - had won 11 more games than the Orioles in the regular season, so they had home-field advantage during this ALDS. But by the time the series was over, it was hard to see how Cleveland had actually benefitted from the advantage. The Indians' early elimination would be bookended by two World Series appearances, both near-misses.
The Orioles won their first postseason series since their 1983 World Series championship, and a link to that team, Cal Ripken Jr., played a key role this time by batting .444 (8-for-18) with three doubles.