The Indians forced a seesaw World Series to

By Ben Walker Associated Press Published:

The Indians forced a seesaw World Series to a Game 7, defeating Florida 4-1 Saturday night when Ogea became the first Cleveland pitcher in 25 years to drive in a run.

Ogea, who had never gotten a hit in his major league career, battled for a two-run single early and later doubled and scored. He lasted barely beyond the fifth inning, but it was enough to beat Kevin Brown for the second time in the Series.

A sensational play by shortstop Omar Vizquel, strong work by the bullpen and a record-tying two sacrifice flies by Manny Ramirez helped Cleveland continue the teams' pattern of alternating wins.

Now, a week that has often lacked drama has the ultimate _ the first World Series Game 7 since 1991, that memorable night in the Metrodome when Jack Morris pitched all 10 innings and led Minnesota over Atlanta 1-0.

Al Leiter, hit hard in Game 3, will start Sunday night for the Marlins. The Indians' pitching plans are more precarious, with manager Mike Hargrove still to choose between rookie Jaret Wright and shaky Charles Nagy, who warmed up twice during Game 6.

For Cleveland, the final game of the 1997 season marks one more chance to overcome a legacy of losing that spans nearly a half-century. The Indians have not won the World Series since 1948, with their fans' frustration starting about the time Willie Mays robbed Vic Wertz in the 1954 Series.

"The biggest thing for us is that we have a veteran team, that seems to do well with out backs against the wall," Ogea said.

For Florida, the last game means an opportunity to a fast climb that has lasted only half a decade. The Marlins are trying to become the youngest franchise to win the World Series.

The Marlins, who were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base in Game 6, will have the home crowd of 67,000 on their side, but the Indians have a stat in their favor _ road teams are 17-15 in Game 7s.

Wearing their lucky blue jerseys for the first time in the postseason, the Indians did not wilt in the balmy conditions. It was 80 degrees with 85 percent humidity at the start at Pro Player Stadium, a sharp contrast to frosty Jacobs Field, where the wind chill factors averaged 27 degrees for the middle three games.

While the warm weather was not a surprise, the skill Ogea showed with the bat was a shock.

He had been 0-for-2 with two sacrifices during interleague play this year and went 0-for-2 with another bunt in Game 2. He had drawn praise from Marlins manager Jim Leyland, however, for his poise at the plate.

Ogea credited his father for teaching him how to hit, and he surely made his dad proud for what he did his first two times at bat.

"I just tried to swing hard in case I hit the ball," Ogea said. "My father always taught me to hit to right field, so I tried to do that."

The game was scoreless in the second inning when a leadoff single by Matt Williams, a walk to Jim Thome and a one-out walk to Marquis Grissom loaded the bases.

Up stepped Ogea, forced to bat because the DH is not used in NL parks. Ogea was not fazed by Brown's hard sinkers, taking healthy cuts and fouling off two pitches.

Ogea took the next two pitches for balls, then fouled off two more. This had become an intriguing matchup _ maybe not Reggie vs. Bob Welch, but interesting _ and Ogea ended it by lining a single to the right of first baseman Jeff Conine.

Ogea became the first Indians pitcher to drive in a run since Steve Dunning homered on Sept. 19, 1972, a year before the AL introduced the DH.

In the fifth, Ogea grounded a double between Conine and the bag, and later scored on Ramirez's fly for a 4-0 lead. Ramirez also had a sacrifice fly in the third.

Ogea, the first pitcher with two hits and two RBIs in a Series game since Detroit's Mickey Lolich in 1968, poured a couple of cupfuls of water over his head after scoring.

Perhaps a bit tired from his run around the bases, he gave up Florida's only run in the bottom half on singles by Moises Alou and Charles Johnson and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Darren Daulton.

Ogea walked Gary Sheffield to start the sixth and was pulled in favor of Mike Jackson after allowing one run and four hits. The Marlins put runners on second and third with two outs, but Vizquel _ who won his fifth consecutive Gold Glove this week _ dived into the hole and made a rainbow throw that nipped Johnson to end the inning.

Jackson escaped another jam by retiring Bobby Bonilla on a fly ball with

the bases loaded to finish the seventh. Paul Assenmacher pitched the

eighth and Jose Mesa worked the ninth for a save.

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