Marlins 7, Indians 5
“Have you ever seen anybody hit two foul poles in one inning?” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “I bet that’s a record.”
Cabrera tied it off Jose Jimenez (1-4) with his 14th homer—a shot that ricocheted off the top of the pole. Jeff Conine walked, and Easley followed by lining a shot that hit off the pole near the top of the wall.
“Both were off the same pitch,” Jimenez said. “They were fastballs that didn’t sink.”
Both batters were surprised at the results.
“I didn’t want to make the last out and just tried to get my bat on the ball,” Cabrera said. “I didn’t know if it was fair or foul, but it hit in the right spot.”
Easley, who hit the first pitch from Jimenez, said he figured the reliever would try to get ahead in the count after walking Conine.
“I wanted to take one shot—and that was it,” he said. “How it stayed fair—I don’t know.”
The Marlins continued to frustrate the Indians. Cleveland lost Game 7 of the 1997 World Series 3-2 in 11 innings after leading, and was swept in a three-game series at Miami two years ago.
The blown save by Jimenez was his third in six chances, and the 14th by Cleveland’s bullpen in 21 opportunities this season.
“This is very hard for us, especially for me,” Jimenez said. “I left a couple pitches up, and paid for it big time.”
Cleveland took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Victor Martinez.
The Marlins tied it in the eighth on an RBI single by Mike Redmond.
The Indians went ahead 2-0 with two unearned runs off Florida starter Dontrelle Willis with outs in the first inning.
Matt Lawton and Martinez each singled and Casey Blake followed with a base hit to right that was fielded by Cabrera, whose perfect throw home beat Lawton by 15 feet but catcher Mike Redmond missed the ball for an error.
Martinez then scored when Willis, backing up the play, got the ball and threw wildly to second trying to get Blake.
Cleveland went back ahead 3-2 in the fourth on an RBI single by Vizquel, a hard shot that glanced off the glove of third baseman Mike Lowell.
It was the first earned run allowed by Willis in 15 1-3 innings of interleague play. As a rookie last year, he went 2-0 and pitched 11 scoreless innings in two starts against Oakland and Tampa Bay.
Alex Gonzalez tied it 3-3 in the sixth with his fourth homer.
Willis allowed one earned run and eight hits in five innings, walking one and striking out five.
“I did all right, but could have been better,” Lee said. “Other than a couple walks and the home runs, it went pretty good against a tough lineup.”
Matt Miller came on, got Lowell to bounce into a double play, walked Cabrera, then struck out Conine to keep it tied.
It was the sixth consecutive game at Jacobs Field decided in a team’s finalat-bat. Cleveland is 3-3, losing the last three.
The first-pitch temperature of 88 degrees was 42 degrees warmer than the Marlins’ last game at Jacobs Field—Game 5 of the 1997 World Series. … Vizquel and Conine were the only players from that series in uniform Tuesday night. … Willis is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last three starts. … Lawton stole his 12th base in 13 tries in the fifth, then was caught trying to stealthird. … Florida is 71-47 and Cleveland 60-62 in interleague play.