Game 110

August 5, 2001 – The Impossible Comeback

The 2001 Seattle Mariners were one of the best ballclubs ever assembled. They had a .360 On Base Percentage for the season, and ended up with an MLB record 116 wins. Dave Burba was matched up with Aaron Sele in a late-summer contest that saw a good Indians team facing the juggernaut from the west. Seattle came into the game with a record of 80-30. 

That summer, my high-school girlfriend was hosting an exchange student from Talinn, Estonia. The game was nationally televised, and the wraparound weekend series had been hyped all week. We decided that on Sunday night, we would try to teach the exchange student about baseball. 

Burba pitched a 1-2-3 inning to start the game, but quickly began to unravel in the second. Al Martin and Mike Cameron hit consecutive doubles to score Seattle’s first run of the night. After a fly out by Carlos Guillien, Burba issued a walk to David Bell. With runners on first and second, Tom Lampkin doubled down the right field line to score Cameron. Ichiro drove in Bell and Lampkin with a line drive single to left. The Mariners were up 4-0 very quickly. 

Burba gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases in the top of the third, and manager Charlie Manuel had seen enough. Reliever Mike Bacsik was called from the bullpen to make his first major league appearance. Bacsik would later become a historical footnote for giving up Barry Bond’s 756th home run while pitching for the Nationals. The M’s sent ten batters to the plate against Bacsik and scored eight runs in the frame. The Indians found themselves in a 12-0 hole against the best pitching staff in baseball. 

Down 12 runs, Manuel decided to give some starters a rest–Juan Gonzalez, Robbie Alomar, Ellis Burks, and Travis Fryman all came out of the game after their second at bat. Kenny Lofton later remarked that he, “wanted to stay in the game for some reason. [Maybe] I had a girlfriend there.”

Jim Thome hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to end the shutout, but Seattle quickly regained their 12-run margin scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth. 

In the bottom of the seventh, Russel Branyan cranked a home run to left center off Aaron Sele to lead off the inning. After retiring Marty Cordova and Will Cordero, Sele began to fade. Backup catcher Einar Diaz singled to center, and then Sele walked both Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel. 

After John Halama was brought in from the Seattle Bullpen, Jolbert Cabrera followed with a two-RBI single that cut the lead to 14-5. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Jim Thome led off with a home run off Halama. Russel Branyan took first when Halama hit him with his first pitch. Marty Cordova followed with a homer that made the deficit 14-8. Omar drove in one additional run in the 8th with a double to right field. 

Rich Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth for the Tribe. He used only seven pitches and got the offense–which was now beginning to feel a little spark–back to the plate. 

With two outs and the bases loaded, Einar Diaz singled to left, pushing Eddie Taubensee and Marty Cordova across the plate. The Mariners were forced to bring in their star reliever Kazuhiro Sasaki to attempt to quell the threat. Kenny Lofton took Sasaki’s second pitch through the left side of the infield to re-load the bases.

Vizquel worked Sasaki into a full count. On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Omar hit one sharply over the first base bag. It skipped under backup first baseman Ed Sprague’s glove and out toward the foul pole. Kenny Lofton–showing his characteristic speed, but on aging legs at this point in his career–dug hard to score from first. The bases-clearing triple tied the game at 14. The Tribe had closed the 12 run deficit over the course of just three innings. 

I turned to the exchange student. For about the fifth time in the last hour and said, “That is not usually how this works.” 

Both teams would fail to score in the 10th. The Indians’ controversial recent acquisition, John Rocker, came on to pitch the top of the 11th. Rocker struck out the side against the bottom third of the M’s order. 

Eddie Taubensee Celebrates with Kenny Lofton

After a fly out by Einar Diaz to lead off the bottom half of the frame, Kenny Lofton got aboard with a line drive single to center. Omar singled again to move Lofton into scoring position. This brought Jolbert Cabrera to the plate. Cabrera swung at Jose Paniagua’s first pitch and shattered his bat, sending fragments out to third base and the ball into short left. Lofton raced from second and rounded third. Mark McLemore threw a strike from left field to the plate, but Lofton slid in under the tag to deliver the walkoff victory. 

After the game, Lofton was beyond enthusiastic, “I can’t explain it. It was unbelievable. I’ve never been in a game like that in my life. My voice is gone from hollering so much. It was fun. Wow.”

Baseball Reference Box Score

Honorable Mention: August 26, 1995 – Eddie Murray Steals Home

At age 39, Eddie Murray was one of the grizzled veterans on the 1995 squad. I was with my father fishing for perch. We were bobbing at anchor next to the 5-mile crib with the Saturday day game on the radio. When Eddie Murray broke from third and stole home off of Tiger’s pitcher Mike Moore I asked my dad if it was a joke. It seemed unlikely, but was the real outcome of a wild fifth inning. 

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 103

July 31, 2009 – Indians Walkoff Win in the 13th after Trading Lee and Martinez

The Indians had just traded Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies and fan favorite Ryan Garko to the Giants. In the afternoon prior to Game 103, the Indians traded beloved catcher and clubhouse leader Victor Martinez to the Red Sox for Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price. The Indians were classic sellers at the trade deadline, as they were 43 and 60 going into July 31st and 11 games behind the division-leading Tigers at the trade deadline. 

Those same Tigers were in town for a Friday night contest at Progressive Field. Fausto Carmona throwing against Detroit’s Edwin Jackson. Both pitchers took a minute to find their footing. Fausto gave up two runs on three hits in the top of the first. Asdrubal Cabrera battled Jackson through a full count, sending the ninth pitch of the at bat over the right field wall for a two-run homer. 

Shin-Soo Choo gave the Tribe a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth when he doubled in Trevor Crowe, who had reached on an error to lead off the inning. 

Taiwainese reliever Fu-Te Ni came in to pitch for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth. He gave up a leadoff single to Trevor Crowe and then a line-drive RBI double to Asdrubal Cabrera. After hitting Choo in the next at bat, Ni was pulled with the score 4-2. 

Brandon Inge closed the gap for Detroit, poking a ground ball single into center that scored Maglio Ordonez to make it a 4-3 ballgame. 

Trevor Crowe led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple–his third hit of the night. Grady Sizemore drove him in with a single through the right side of the infield to extend the lead to 5-3. 

The Indians had acquired Kerry Wood as a free agent to be their closer after the steep decline of Joe Borowski in 2008. Wood had secured fourteen saves with the Tribe to date. He gave up a line drive single to left to Placido Palanco to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Guillen stepped in and cranked Kerry’s 3-1 pitch deep into right center. Although he retired the next three Tigers on eight pitches, he was credited with his fifth blown save of the season and the game went to extra innings. 

Tomo Okha pitched some very solid relief for the Tribe, scattering four hits across his four innings pitched. 

Johnny Perralta knocked a line drive down the right field line for a double to lead off the bottom of the 13th. Utility man Jamey Carroll, who had pinch run for Travis Hafner in the bottom of the ninth, stepped in. Carroll sliced a single just inside the first base bag to drive in Perralta and give the Tribe an emotional walkoff win. 

The next day, a Victor Martinez bobblehead promotion was planned for Game 104. Despite V-Mart’s departure the bobbleheads were distributed as planned. Six days later, the promotional team went ahead with a Victor Martinez chest protector backpack giveaway–a case study in why not to schedule player-specific promotions the week after the trade deadline. 

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 90

July 14, 2002 – Bill Selby’s Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera

A sellout crowd packed Jacobs Field for the Sunday finale of this weekend series with the Yankees. Chuck Finley took the hill for the Tribe against the Yankees Mike Mussina. The Indians trailed almost immediately, as the Yankees manufactured four runs off five singles in the top of the first. 

Mussina retired the first nine Indians he faced, while the Bombers tacked on an additional run in the top of the third via a Jason Giambi double and two in the fourth to make it a 7-0 ballgame. 

The Indians began to climb back into things in the bottom of the sixth when Jim Thome homered after singles by Omar Vizquel and Ellis Burks. 

Ramiro Mendoza replaced Mussina in the bottom of the 7th. Omar Vizquel drove in third baseman John McDonald with an RBI double. Both bullpens continued to pitch effectively, and the bottom of the ninth began with the score Yankees 7, Indians 4. 

New York brought their legendary reliever Mariano Rivera in to close the game. Rivera had already recorded 215 of his eventual career 652 saves coming into the 2002 season. In the previous season, he gave up only five home runs in 71 appearances. So, Joe Torre and the Yankees felt that the game was in more than capable hands. 

The Indians comeback kindled quickly. John McDonald led off the bottom of the ninth with a line drive single to right. Backup catcher Eddie Perez knocked a single into right, advancing McDonald to third. Einar Diaz came into pinch run for Perez while Chris MacGruder stepped to the plate. MacGruder grounded to short, and Diaz was forced out at second. McDonald scored on the play, bringing the score to 7-5.

Omar Vizquel then singled to right, advancing MacGruder to third. With runners at the corners, Ellis Burks hit a line drive to deep left field. It dropped in for a double that plated MacGruder and put Omar on third. With the winning run now at second, Mariano intentionally walked Jim Thome to load the bases and set up an inning-ending double play. Travis Fryman struck out swinging on three straight pitches, leaving the Indians down to their last out. 

Career utility man Bell Selby stepped in. He pulled Rivera’s fifth pitch deep down the right field line. It was called a foul ball, but many insist that a puff of chalk was visible. A double into the corner would have easily won the game, but Selby trotted back to the batter’s box to face a 2-2 pitch from the game’s most prolific closer.

He later told a Plain Dealer interviewer, “When they talk about somebody dying or coming close to death, they talk about how your whole life flashes before your eyes. I can remember by the time I got halfway to first and realized it went foul, on the walk back, so many things went through my mind… I remember walking back, going, ‘That was my pitch. No, no, no. Clear your thoughts. Just relax. You’ve proven to yourself now you can get to the ball. Stay relaxed and breathe a little bit.’”

On some advice from hitting coach Eddie Murray, Selby choked up on the bat and dug in again. He sent Rivera’s pitch hooking near the right field foul pole. It cleared the right field wall and dropped into the bullpen, unleashing pure joy from the sellout crowd.  The Indians scored 10 unanswered runs to come back and tie the weekend series.

In a later interview Mariano stated, ”It was where I wanted it.  It was there. He hit my best pitch. I can’t get upset at that.” This was the first grand slam that Rivera had allowed in his seven year career. He would not give up another until 2010.  

This iconic Indians moment was one of 11 career home runs for Selby, who played in 122 games across parts of five MLB seasons. 

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 89

July 16, 2004 – 50 Total Bases, Back-to-Back-to-Back Home Runs

The Indians entered this game against the Mariners with a 43-46 record and 4.5 games back of the division-leading White Sox. Cliff Lee was on the mound in the Emerald City against Travis Blackley. 

Blackley got off to a rough start, loading the bases in the top of the first and forcing in a run on a five-pitch walk of Travis Hafner. He then retired first baseman Lou Merloni, but the Tribe had the early 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the third, Omar Vizquel led off with a line drive single to center. Matt Lawton took Blackley’s 1-1 pitch deep to make the score 3-0. Victor Martinez followed him with a home run of his own. Not to be outdone, Casey Blake stepped in and sent the 2-1 pitch up and out for back-to-back-to-back home runs! 

Clearly struggling with control, Blackley hit the next batter, sending Travis Hafner to first. Lou Merloni knocked a ground-ball single into left center. Then Jody Gerut doubled to right field, scoring Hafner. Mariner’s skipper Bob Melvin had finally seen enough of Blackley and brought J.J. Putz in to face Coco Crisp with no outs and Merloni on third. Crisp popped out, but Ronnie Belliard was able to push across the sixth run of the inning before Putz retired the side. 

Cliff Lee pitched effectively, until the bottom of the fourth, when he gave up a three-run home run to Mariners third baseman Justin Leone.

Ron Villone replaced Putz on the mound for the Mariners in the top of the sixth, and immediately got himself into a bind. He walked Vizquel to lead off the inning, and then hit Matt Lawton. With those two on base, Victor Martinez crushed the 0-1 pitch for a three-run home run which extended the Tribe lead to 10-3. 

Victor eventually accounted for fourteen of the Indians’ 50 total bases, including a two run single in the top of the seventh and a third homer–this one a solo shot off Justin Mateo–in the top of the ninth. 

In all, the Indians scored 18 runs on 21 hits, including eight home runs. The Indians would not hit back-to-back-to-back homers again until Game 72 of the 2019 Season.

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 85

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. 

Baseball Reference Box Score

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.

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 81

July 3, 2009 – Shin-Soo Choo 4 Hits, 7 RBI

At the beginning of 2009, Shin-Soo Choo signed a one year deal with the Indians. Choo was 27 and still on the hook for two years of military service in his native South Korea before age 30. 

Choo was coming off a strong 2008 season in which he was the Player of the Month for September and the Korean national team had taken Japan to extra innings in the World Baseball Classic finals. 

The 2009 Indians were dead last in the American League at 32 and 49 for the season and were looking to get some good vibes going against the AL West basement-dwelling A’s. 

The A’s jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Indians offense was the key to this game. Travis Hafner got things started with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. In the bottom of the third, Choo drove in Ben Francisco with a single to center. 

Choo chased starter Trevor Cahill to from the game with a two-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth. By the end of the inning, the Tribe was up 8-3. 

The Indians scored five more runs in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run double by Asdrubal Cabrera and a three run home run to deep right center by Choo. 

In his fifth plate appearance, Choo led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run that barely stayed inside the right field foul pole. 

The Indians went on to win 15-3. 

After the MLB Season, Choo once again joined up with the Korean national team. They earned a gold medal in the Asia Cup, and Choo earned the military exemption that he had long sought. At 1542 games and counting, Choo is the longest tenured and most accomplished Korean in the MLB. 

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 74

June 20, 2008 – Borowski Blows Save, Credited with Win

The Indians were visiting the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine for an interleague game with a most compelling pitching matchup. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw would go on to win three Cy Youngs and an MVP award. The Indians were throwing Cliff Lee would go on to win the AL Cy Young in the 2008 season. However, neither accomplished pitcher would end up with the win this evening.

Indians took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth courtesy of a two-run homer by catcher Kelly Shoppach in the top of the third and RBI hits by Casey Blake and Jhonny Perralta.

After a groundout by Juan Pierre to lead off the first, Cliff Lee gave up a line drive single to Matt Kemp. Lee’s pitch count was at 104, so manager Eric Wedge made the call to the bullpen.

Things unravelled quickly as Rafael Betancourt gave up an RBI double to Jeff Kent. Rafi was replaced on the mound by Rafael Perez, who gave up a single to James Loney scoring Kent. Perez was able to get out of the 8th with the score 4-2.

Dodgers reliever Cory Wade quickly shut down the Indians in the ninth, using only eleven pitches to retire Shoppach, Delucci, and Sizemore.

Indians closer Joe Borowski came in to pitch the Dodgers half of the ninth. Angel Berroa sent Borowski’s second pitch into right field for a single and Russel Martin followed with a double. Borowski struck out pinch hitter Blake DeWitt, but then gave up and RBI single to Juan Pierre.

Pierre stole second, and Borowski intentionally walked Matt Kemp to load the bases and set up the double play. Jeff Kent grounded one to the shortstop and was put out, but not before Martin crossed the plate for the tying run. Because he entered the game with a two-run lead and gave up the tying run, Borowski was charged statistically with a blown save.

With two outs in the top of the tenth, Jhonny Perralta knocked a double into right field, scoring Ryan Garko and Franklin Guttierez.

Masahide Kobayashi came to the mound to try and hold on to the Indians lead. Kobayashi was one of three players to record 200+ saves in Japanese professional baseball. In 2008, the Indians brought Kobayashi to Cleveland to convert him to an MLB closer.

Kobayashi retired the Dodgers side, giving up only one hit to Russell Martin. He was awarded the save. This was his fourth of six saves in his MLB career. Selfishly, I wish that he had worked out, because I loved hearing Tom Hamilton say “Kobayashi.”

After blowing the initial save opportunity, Borowski was awarded the win because the Indians scored the winning run while he was the pitcher of record. This is an interesting statistical twist–wins are generally considered a negative statistic for closers, because it generally indicates that they blew a save. For more on Blown Save Wins and a modest proposal to fix them, visit Wendy Thurm’s piece for FanGraphs.

Borowski led the American League in saves in 2007 and contributed greatly to the Indians playoff run, but clearly did not have his best stuff in 2008. He was designated for assignment a few weeks later on July 4th.

Baseball Reference Box Score

Honorable Mention: July 6, 1956 – Jim Busby Hits Grand Slams in Consecutive Games

The first came in an 7-13 loss to the Tigers. The second came in a 6-4 win against the KC Athletics. He is one of 23 MLB players in history to hit grand slams in consecutive games–and the only Indian.

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 53

June 1, 2007 – 5 Run Comeback – Both Roberto Hernandezes Pitch

Fausto Carmona started this game against the Tigers Mike Maroth. The Tigers jumped on the board early with a leadoff triple by Curtis Granderson to open the game and RBI singles by Placido Palanco and Sean Casey.

The Tigers led by four runs at three different points in the game: after a two-run home run by left fielder Craig Monroe in the top of the 6th; after the they manufactured four runs on three hits off Indians relievers Tom Mastny and Aaron Fultz; and after Fernando Cabrera walked in a run and Omar Infante had an RBI single off Roberto Hernandez in the top of the 9th.

Indians entered the bottom of the 9th down 11-7. The Tigers sent in closer Todd Jones. After a leadoff groundout by Grady Sizemore, Casey Blake singled and Jones walked Travis Hafner on five pitches. With runners on first and second, Victor Martinez launched one to deep left field for a three-run home run.

David Dellucci

Jhonny Perralta doubled, and Ryan Garko struck out. With two outs, Jones intentionally walked Trot Nixon to set up the force out. Josh Barfield drove a line drive to short right field, scoring Mike Rouse who had pinch run for Perralta. David Delluci–the ninth batter of the inning–stepped in and completed the comeback with a walkoff line drive to center field.

This was Jones’ second straight blown save on his way to a league high 11 blown saves for the season.

Looking back, it is interesting to note that the pitchers who recorded the first and last outs for the Indians were both named Roberto Hernandez. Of course, we did not know that at the time.

Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez

The baseball world would later learn that starter Fausto Carmona had committed identity fraud and was actually Roberto Hernandez–and three years older than previously reported.

Roberto “Roberto Hernandez” Hernandez

The Roberto Hernandez who recorded out #27 was Roberto Hernandez the former All-Star who appeared in 28 games in relief for the Indians in the twilight of his 17-year MLB career. Luckily the Tribe offense was geared up to make up for the miscues of both Hernandezes on this evening.

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 49

May 29, 2001 – Jim Thome Passes Belle as Indians All-time Home Run Leader

In 1990, minor-league hitting coach Charlie Manuel would instruct a young Jim Thome to relax and extend his bat toward center field at the beginning of each at bat. That pose is now immortalized as a statue in the plaza beyond center field in downtown Cleveland.

After breaking into the big-leagues full-time in 1994, Jim Thome became a prolific slugger who was sometimes overshadowed on team’s full of power hitters with big personalities.

After Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez had signed elsewhere as free agents, Thome continued on with the Tribe through the 2002 season, bringing continuity and continued production year upon year.  

In the middle of a weekday series with Detroit, Thome was hitting 5th in the lineup when Dave Burba matched up with the Tiger’s Victor Santos at Comerica Park.

Santos struck out Jacob Cruz and Omar Vizquel to start the game. Robbie Alomar tripled, and Santos walked Juan Gonzalez on five pitches. Thome kicked off the scoring with a line drive RBI double down the right field foul line.

The Tigers manufactured two runs off Burba in the bottom of the third, taking the early lead.

Leading off in the top of the fourth, Thome sent an opposite-field home run over the wall in left-center. This was his 243rd career home run, all with the Indians. This put him over Albert Belle as the all-time franchise home run leader.

There was plenty of offense in the game, with several lead changes. Robbie Alomar’s two-run home run off Heath Murray in the top of the 7th would end up being the winning run. The Tribe went on to a 6-4 win on the day.

The next year, Thome would break the single-season home-run mark of 50 also set by Belle in 1995 when he smacked 52 before departing for Philadelphia as a free agent in the off season.

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 46

May 25, 2009 – Memorial Day Miracle

The Indians started Memorial Day 2009 with a disappointing 17-28 record in last place in the AL Central. The Rays were fresh off their surprise appearance in the 2008 World Series, but were also scuffling early in the season. They arrived in Cleveland playing exactly .500 baseball.

Although Progressive Field was customarily unkind to the Rays–they had lost 14 straight at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario–things seemed to be trending upward at the start. The Rays had recalled David Price, who had blossomed in the 2008 playoff run, from AAA Durham to match up with Fausto Carmona.

Fausto pitched a 1-2-3 inning to lead off the game, but lost his control in the second. He walked the first four batters and forced in a run before finally striking out Dioner Navarro. He then gave up consecutive RBI singles and walked Evan Longoria before Eric Wedge made the call to the bullpen.

Jensen Lewis took the mound with the bases loaded and got out of the jam, but not before the score sat at 5-0. The Rays would add on in the third with a two-run shot by Gabe Gross. Lewis’ afternoon ended after he led off the top of the fourth with two consecutive walks and then gave up an RBI single to Carlos Pena. The Rays would score two more runs off Rich Rundles (in his only MLB appearance of 2009) bringing the score to 10-0 Rays.

The Indians began to chip away in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run home run by Ryan Garko. David Price was on a strict pitch count, and was pulled in favor of Lance Cormier partway through the bottom of the fourth. Reddit user /u/OhioIT who was at this game shared his recollection with me, “If it wasn’t for an Indians home run in the 4th inning to give me a little hope, I might have left the stadium after the 7th inning like many people did that day. In the 8th we finally started hitting and added a couple more runs to the board.”

The Tribe scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, and entered the bottom of the ninth down 10-4. Grady Sizemore led off the inning with a walk. Victor Martinez popped out, and Jhonny Perralta got a base hit. Left-hander Randy Choate was summoned from the Rays bullpen to face Shin-Soo Choo.

Choo hit a double play ball to short that should have ended the game. However, rookie shortstop Reid Brignac throw the ball wide of second base. Sizemore scored, and everyone was safe on the basepaths. Again, /u/OhioIT, “It was at this point I felt the momentum shift, and somehow the Indians had the upper hand, even being down by 5 runs!”

Grant Balfour was brought in to replace Choate. Mark DeRosa lined out to third and the Indians were down to their last out.

Ryan Garko stepped in and launched his second home run of the evening into the left field bleachers.

Asdrubral Cabrera came on to pinch hit for Matt LaPorta and drew a walk on four straight pitches.

With no further insurance, and perhaps some doubt creeping in, Rays manager Joe Maddon brought in closer Jason Isringhausen. In almost a mirror image on the beginning of the game, Isringhausen walked the first three batters he faced, forcing in Cabrera and cutting the Rays lead to one.

The eleventh batter of the inning was Victor Martinez, who was 0-5 so far on the day. On a 2-2 count, Martinez sent a ground ball back up the middle, for the Indian’s second walk-off win of the season. The Indians scored their seven runs in the ninth on only three hits, but Victor certainly made his only hit of the day count. The Rays would go on to lose 18-straight games at Progressive Field, a streak that extended until Price finally defeated the Indians on July 24, 2010

Baseball Reference Box Score