Feeding off the energy created by the ejections of manager Mike Hargrove and starting pitcher Dwight Gooden in the first inning, Cleveland tied up its AL playoff series with Boston at one game apiece Wednesday, beating the Red Sox 9-5.
"Well, it proved they can play better without me," said Hargrove, who had cooled down enough after the game that he could joke about his ejection. "I think that the byproduct of it was it turned up our intensity and it turned our fans' intensity up."
Dave Burba, rushed into service when Gooden was tossed after 22 pitches, made it into the sixth inning, and David Justice homered and drove in four runs for the Indians.
After being routed 11-3 in Game 1, Cleveland needed a lift. And although they certainly didn't plan to spend the rest of the day watching TV in Cleveland's clubhouse, Hargrove and Gooden sparked the Indians and their fans by getting kicked out by plate umpire Joe Brinkman.
"Yesterday, we were the worst team in baseball," Sandy Alomar said. "Today, we're even."
The Indians' turnaround was nothing new to Hargrove, who has seen his team rebound from adversity many times.
"For a long time, not only this year but also last year, this team has had plenty of chances to go belly up and quit. ... They've never done that," the manager said.
The best-of-5 series continues Friday afternoon at Fenway Park with
Cleveland's Charles Nagy.