July 7, 2006 – Travis Hafner Hits Fifth Grand Slam Before the All-Star Break
The Orioles were visiting Jacobs Field on a beautiful summer Friday night. Both teams were slightly below .500 and looking for an identity.
Ronnie Belliard got the Indians on the board with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first which scored Grady Sizemore.
The bottom of the second ended on a strike-out throw-out double play when CC got Kevin Millar swinging and Victor Martinez gunned down Jeff Conine at second.
In the bottom of the second, Travis Hafner stepped in against Orioles started Kris Benson two outs and Franklin Gutierrez, Jason Michaels, and Belliard on base. Pronk sent Benson’s first pitch over the wall with great gusto. The line-drive grand slam was Hafner’s fifth of the year. He is the only player ever to hit five grand slams before the All-Star break.
Raised in a tiny North Dakota town of approximately 180 people and hailing from a high school with a total enrollment of 23, Hafner had never attended a school that offered baseball until college and often spent the long winters working on his swing by himself. Even during his MLB days, he preferred to play DH and would hit off a tee in the batting cage while not playing in the field. “Just one drawback to DH’ing,” he once quipped. “It’s hard to work on your tan.”
CC Sebathia faced the minimum number of Orioles through three innings. Even with a 7-0 cushion he did not lose focus. Overall, he struck out seven and gave up only three hits in this complete game shutout.
The Indians would go on to win 9-0 on seventeen hits. Hafner hit his sixth home run of the season in Game 117. The only other player to hit six grand slams in a season was Don Mattingly in 1987.
Honorable Mention: July 7, 2017 – Carlos Carrasco Pitches an Immaculate Inning
In the fifth inning of an 11-2 win over the Tigers, Carlos Carrasco struck out Nick Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook, and Jose Iglesias on nine pitches. All three Tiger batters struck out swinging. This was the second immaculate inning in Indians history, after Justin Masterson’s in Game 58 of 2014.