1996 American League Division Series
|1996 American League Division Series|
|Dates||October 1 – 5|
|Television||ESPN (Games 1–3)|
ESPN2 (Game 4)
|TV announcers||Jon Miller, Dave Campbell and Kirby Puckett (Game 1)|
Jon Miller and Joe Morgan (Game 2)
Chris Berman and Buck Martinez (Games 3–4)
|Radio announcers||Ernie Harwell and Rick Cerone|
|Dates||October 1 – 5|
|Television||NBC (Games 1, 3)|
Fox (Game 2)
ESPN (Game 4)
|TV announcers||Bob Costas, Bob Uecker and Joe Morgan (Games 1, 3)|
Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly (Game 2)
Jon Miller and Dave Campbell (Game 4)
|Radio announcers||Gary Cohen and Jim Hunter|
|Umpires||Drew Coble, Greg Kosc, Tim Tschida, Tim Welke, John Shulock, Ted Hendry (Indians–Orioles, Games 1–2; Yankees–Rangers, Games 3–4)|
Jim Evans, Ken Kaiser, Durwood Merrill, Larry Young, Al Clark, Mark Johnson (Yankees–Rangers, Games 1–2; Indians–Orioles, Games 3–4)
The 1996 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1996 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 1, and ended on Saturday, October 5, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
- (1) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 99–62) vs. (4) Baltimore Orioles (Wild Card, 88–74): Orioles win series, 3–1.
- (2) Texas Rangers (Western Division champion, 90–72) vs. (3) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 92–70): Yankees win series, 3–1.
The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Yankees became the American League champion, and defeated the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1996 World Series.
Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 1||Cleveland Indians – 4, Baltimore Orioles – 10||Oriole Park at Camden Yards||3:27||47,644|
|2||October 2||Cleveland Indians – 4, Baltimore Orioles – 7||Oriole Park at Camden Yards||3:27||48,970|
|3||October 4||Baltimore Orioles – 4, Cleveland Indians – 9||Jacobs Field||3:44||44,250|
|4||October 5||Baltimore Orioles – 4, Cleveland Indians – 3 (12 innings)||Jacobs Field||4:41||44,280|
Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees
New York won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 1||Texas Rangers – 6, New York Yankees – 2||Yankee Stadium (I)||2:50||57,205|
|2||October 2||Texas Rangers – 4, New York Yankees – 5 (12 innings)||Yankee Stadium (I)||4:25||57,156|
|3||October 4||New York Yankees – 3, Texas Rangers – 2||The Ballpark in Arlington||3:09||50,860|
|4||October 5||New York Yankees – 6, Texas Rangers – 4||The Ballpark in Arlington||3:57||50,066|
Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Game 1, October 1
|WP: David Wells (1–0) LP: Charles Nagy (0–1)|
CLE: Manny Ramírez (1)
BAL: Brady Anderson (1), B. J. Surhoff 2 (2), Bobby Bonilla (1)
It was Baltimore's first playoff game since the clinching Game 5 of the 1983 World Series. For the Indians, it was their second consecutive division title. Charles Nagy and David Wells matched each other, but in the wrong way. Brady Anderson's leadoff homer in the bottom of the first gave the Orioles a 1–0 lead. In the top of the second, Manny Ramírez led off with a home run of his own to tie the game. Then B. J. Surhoff's one-out home run gave the Orioles the lead back. In the third, after a leadoff single, the Orioles added two more runs on an RBI double by Rafael Palmeiro and an RBI single by Cal Ripken, Jr., but after a single and double, Sandy Alomar, Jr. singled home a run and Omar Vizquel followed with a sacrifice fly that made it a one-run game in the fourth. That made it 4–3 and the Orioles needed to put the game away. With one out in the sixth, the Orioles loaded the bases on a single and two walks and chased Nagy out of the game. His reliever, Alan Embree, made things worse for Cleveland. He allowed a sacrifice fly that made it 5–3, then hit Palmeiro. With the bases loaded, Bobby Bonilla got his only hit of the game: a grand slam off Paul Shuey, which made it 9–3 Orioles. In the seventh, Vizquel hit a ground-rule double and scored on Kenny Lofton's single, but the Orioles got that run back in the bottom of the inning on Surhoff's second home run of the game off Shuey. Four Baltimore relievers held the Indians scoreless over the last 2 2⁄3 innings as the Orioles took a 1–0 series lead with a 10–4 win.
Game 2, October 2
|WP: Armando Benítez (1–0) LP: Eric Plunk (0–1) Sv: Randy Myers (1)|
CLE: Albert Belle (1)
BAL: Brady Anderson (2)
After a 37-minute rain delay, Game 2 commenced. Veterans Orel Hershiser of Cleveland and Scott Erickson of Baltimore met in this crucial game. In the bottom of the first, after two two-out walks, first baseman Kevin Seitzer's error on Bobby Bonilla's ground ball gave the Orioles the lead. In the bottom of the fifth, a Brady Anderson lead off home run made it 2–0 Orioles. After a two-out single and walk, a Cal Ripken, Jr. single and Eddie Murray double scored a run each to make it 4–0, but the Indians rallied for three runs in the sixth. Kenny Lofton singled with one out, stole two bases, and scored on Seitzer's groundout. After a single, a two-run home run by Albert Belle made it a one-run game. In the eighth, the Indians loaded the bases on two singles off Jesse Orosco and walk off Armando Benitez before a misjudged fly ball by Brady Anderson from Julio Franco allowed them to tie the game at four, but, in the bottom of the eighth, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs on a double and two walks off Eric Plunk, then a B.J. Surhoff groundout put them back atop 5–4 off Paul Assenmacher. A walk reloaded the bases before an Anderson sacrifice fly scored another run, then after another walk reloaded the bases, an RBI hit by Roberto Alomar off Julián Tavárez made it 7–4 Orioles. In the ninth, Randy Myers had a 1–2–3 inning for the save, giving Baltimore a 2–0 series lead heading to Cleveland.
Game 3, October 4
|WP: Paul Assenmacher (1–0) LP: Jesse Orosco (0–1)|
BAL: B. J. Surhoff (3)
CLE: Manny Ramírez (2), Albert Belle (2)
Game 3 was critical with Cleveland facing elimination. Mike Mussina was sent to the mound against Jack McDowell to try to end the series in Cleveland. The Indians scored first when Kenny Lofton reached second on an error by Bobby Bonilla, stole third and scored on Kevin Seitzer's groundout. In the top of the second, the Orioles loaded the bases and forced home a run when McDowell hit Brady Anderson with a pitch, but a Manny Ramírez home run and an RBI double by José Vizcaíno after a single made it 3–1 in the bottom half. In the top of the fourth, B. J. Surhoff silenced the crowd with a towering three-run home run after two singles that gave the Orioles their first lead of the night. However, Kevin Seitzer would deliver the game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the seventh when the Indians loaded the bases on three walks off Jesse Orosco, then Albert Belle hit a grand slam off Armando Benitez to put the Indians back atop 8–4. They added another run on another RBI hit by Seitzer off Terry Matthews (the run charged to Arthur Rhodes) to ensure a Game 4.
Game 4, October 5
|WP: Armando Benítez (2–0) LP: José Mesa (0–1) Sv: Randy Myers (2)|
BAL: Rafael Palmeiro (1), Bobby Bonilla (2), Roberto Alomar (1)
Game 4 saw a rematch of Game 1: David Wells vs. Charles Nagy. In the top of the second, back-to-back lead-off home runs by Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla gave the Orioles a 2–0 lead. Then, Sandy Alomar, Jr.'s two-run single tied the game in the fourth. In the fifth, the Indians broke the tie with an RBI single by Omar Vizquel to score Jose Vizcaino, who singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The bats on both sides were then silenced until the top of the ninth inning, when José Mesa came on in a save situation and looked to extend the series to a deciding Game 5. However, after two one-out singles, Roberto Alomar's two-out RBI single tied the game. It looked like the Indians might win in the bottom half with two runners in scoring position and two out for Kenny Lofton, but he struck out to force extra innings. In the top of the 12th, the Orioles recaptured the lead when Roberto Alomar (who would play for Cleveland later in his career) hit the go-ahead home run. Randy Myers would finish off the Indians and send the Orioles to the 1996 American League Championship Series.
|Total attendance: 185,144 Average attendance: 46,286|
Texas vs. New York
Game 1, October 1
|WP: John Burkett (1–0) LP: David Cone (0–1)|
TEX: Juan González (1), Dean Palmer (1)
John Burkett took the mound for the Rangers in their first ever postseason game, facing David Cone. The Yankees would get a run in the first on a groundout by Bernie Williams with runners on second and third, but in the fourth, after a leadoff single and walk, Juan González's three-run home run gave the Rangers a 3–1 lead. After a single and strikeout, Dean Palmer's two-run home run made it 5–1. The Yankees would get a run in the bottom half when Tino Martinez doubled with one out and scored on Mariano Duncan's RBI single but no more. The Rangers added an insurance run in the sixth on Mark McLemore's RBI single. Burkett would go the distance for the win. He would allow only two runs despite giving up ten hits.
The Rangers' win in Game 1 was their first postseason win in franchise history. They proceeded to lose the rest of the series to the Yankees, and did not win another postseason game until their pennant season of 2010, when they won Game 1 of the ALDS.
Game 2, October 2
|WP: Brian Boehringer (1–0) LP: Mike Stanton (0–1)|
TEX: Juan González 2 (3)
NYY: Cecil Fielder (1)
Game 2 proved memorable as Ken Hill faced 21-game winner Andy Pettitte. In the top of the second, innings Juan González's second home run of the series gave the Rangers a 1–0 edge, but two walks and a groundout allowed the Yankees to tie the game in the bottom half on Jim Leyritz's forceout. In the third innings, González hit his third homer of the series, this time a towering three-run home run, to give the Rangers a 4–1 lead, but the Yankees spent the next six innings chipping away at the lead. Cecil Fielder's home run in the fourth innings made it a two-run game. In the seventh, innings Charlie Hayes lifted a sacrifice fly off Dennis Cook to make it a one-run game, the run charged to Hill. In the eighth inning, the Yankees were five outs away from losing when Fielder tied the game with an RBI single to score Bernie Williams, who had the singled to lead off and moved to second on a fly out. The game moved to extra innings and the Rangers blew scoring opportunities in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth innings. They put their leadoff men on but get nothing. In the 12th inning, the Yankees put their first two men on off Mike Stanton when Hayes laid down a sacrifice bunt off Mike Henneman, but Dean Palmer made an error on that bunt down the third base line and Jeter managed to score all the way from second base, allowing the Yankees to walk off in dramatic fashion.
Game 3, October 4
|WP: Jeff Nelson (1–0) LP: Darren Oliver (0–1) Sv: John Wetteland (1)|
NYY: Bernie Williams (1)
TEX: Juan González (4)
Game 3 saw Jimmy Key face Darren Oliver. In the first, Oliver gave up a homer to Bernie Williams. That was all the Yankees could muster as Oliver began to settle in. In the bottom of the fourth, Juan González's fourth home run in three games tied the game and earned him the reputation of "Señor October." Then in the fifth, Iván Rodríguez's RBI double with one on gave the Rangers a 2–1 edge. Oliver, along with the Rangers' bullpen, kept the Yankees scoreless until the ninth. After two leadoff singles off Oliver, Williams' sac fly off Mike Henneman to the game and after a groundout and intentional walk, Mariano Duncan's RBI single put the Yankees up 3–2. In the ninth, the Rangers put their leadoff man on with a walk. He would advance to third on a sacrifice and a groundout. That put the tying run 90 feet away and the winning run at the plate, but to John Wetteland got Darryl Hamilton to strike out to end the game.
Game 4, October 5
|WP: David Weathers (1–0) LP: Roger Pavlik (0–1) Sv: John Wetteland (2)|
NYY: Bernie Williams 2 (3)
TEX: Juan González (5)
Kenny Rogers faced Bobby Witt in the potential clincher. Rogers pitched a scoreless first but in the second the Rangers struck for two on RBI hits by Mickey Tettleton after a leadoff double and Iván Rodríguez two outs later after a single. In the third inning Rogers was replaced by Brian Boehringer. Juan González led off the inning with his fifth home run of the series to make it 3–0, then an error by Derek Jeter and the walk put two men on before the Mark McLemore's RBI single gave the Rangers a 4–0 lead, but, in the top of the fourth inning after a single, wild pitch and walk put runners on first and third with no outs, Cecil Fielder's RBI single put the Yankees on the board. One out later, Mariano Duncan's RBI single cut Texas's lead to 4–2 and knock Witt out of the game. After a Joe Girardi single loaded the bases off Danny Patterson, Jeter's RBI groundout made it a one-run game. In the fifth inning the Yankees tied the game at four when Bernie Williams hit a leadoff home run off Roger Pavlik. In the seventh, the Yankees completed a four-run comeback by taking the lead on Cecil Fielder's RBI single with two on. In the ninth, Williams once again for provided insurance by win hitting his second home run of the game off Mike Stanton. That made it 6–4 Yankees. In the bottom half, the Rangers put the tying runs on against John Wetteland, but he got Will Clark and Dean Palmer, both potential home run threats, to fly out and strike out to end the game and the series.
|New York Yankees||2||1||0||5||1||0||2||1||3||0||0||1||16||37||2|
|Total attendance: 215,287 Average attendance: 53,822|
- The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was not tied to playing record but was predetermined—a highly unpopular arrangement which was discontinued after the 1997 playoffs. Also, the team with home field "advantage" was required to play the first two games on the road, with potentially the last three at home, in order to reduce travel. Had the 1996 ALDS been played under the 1998-2011 arrangement, then Cleveland (1) would have still faced off against Baltimore (4) and New York (2) would have likewise still faced off against Texas (3) but would also have had home field advantage. Under the format adopted in 2012, which removed the prohibition against teams from the same division meeting in the Division Series, the matchups also would have been Cleveland-Baltimore and New York-Texas, with the Yankees having home field advantage.
- "1996 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1996 ALDS - New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.