Anderson relieved rookie Jaret Wright in the fourth inning and held Baltimore in check just long enough for Cleveland to rally and go on to beat the Orioles 8-7 in Game 4 of the ALCS.
"He did the job, he threw strikes," catcher Sandy Alomar said. "Brian Anderson did everything we asked from him. He kept us in the game."
Wright, the 21-year-old sensation who had beaten the New York Yankees twice in the division series, was unable to do much in his first appearance against the Orioles. He gave up three home runs in the third inning and left after allowing six hits and five runs in three innings _ equaling the shortest outing of his career.
"I was a little flatter than I'd like," he said.
Enter Anderson, a local kid who spent most of the season shuffling back and forth from Triple-A Buffalo. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed one hit over 3 1-3 innings, striking out four. His addition to the playoff roster gave manager Mike Hargrove 11 pitchers, and if not for Anderson, the Indians probably wouldn't be one win away from their second trip to the World Series in three years.
"It feels fantastic," Anderson said. "It kind of bummed me out not to be on the first playoff roster. I remember having a conversation with Jeff Manto. He told me to be focused and do my job everyday. His words turned out to be prophetic."
Baltimore was facing Wright for the first time, and when he struck out Geronimo Berroa to end the first inning, Jacobs Field saluted its newest star with a thunderous ovation.
Wright gave up an RBI-double to B.J. Surhoff in the second that made it 1-0, but was given a 2-1 lead in the second when Alomar connected for a two-run homer off Scott Erickson.
The second time through the Orioles' lineup was a nightmare for Wright.
Brady Anderson, who homered on the first pitch of the series, hit a Wright pitch in the third inning 405 feet for a one-out homer to tie it. Wright then ran the count to 3-0 on Harold Baines and ran a fastball right over the middle of the plate that was ripped over the right-field wall for a 4-2 lead.
After a visit to the mound by Hargrove, Rafael Palmeiro hammered Wright's next pitch 384 feet to right to make it 5-2.
"Jaret's breaking ball wasn't as sharp as it was against New York," Alomar said. "He had a lazy breaking ball today."
Wright got out of the inning, but did not come out for the fourth. He allowed five runs and six hits in three innings, Anderson, who pitched two scoreless innings in Game 1, came on and kept the Orioles off the bases, allowing the Indians to get back in it.
Anderson gave up a walk in the fourth before retiring eight in a row. After allowing a single to Brady Anderson, he struck out Roberto Alomar and was lifted by Hargrove.
He walked back to the dugout to a standing ovation as Wright and the other Indians came to the top step to greet him.
Anderson was asked what he expected to see tonight when the Indians try to wrap up the series.
"I think the place will be jumping," he said. "We're not afraid to keep
our fans on the edge of their seats. In the series, it's the last game
we are going to have here, whether we win or not."