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Best Indians Game of 2014: Lonnie Breaks Out

Lonnie Chisenhall spent the first two months of the season making himself a fixture in the lineup. Then early in month three, he exploded.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In retrospect, this game is something of a watershed in Lonnie Chisenhall's season, and not the good kind. Through June 8, Chisenhall was smoking the ball, posting a .365/.413/.538 line and firmly establishing himself as the starting 3B in Cleveland. From June 10 until the All-Star Break, his line was .248/.345/.366. Not terrible, but certainly not what we hoped for, and an unwelcome lead up to an even worse second half.

But for one night, June 9, 2014, in Arlington, Texas, Lonnie was king.

The game started quickly for the Tribe - Walk, single, Walk, ground out scoring a run. And with one out and runners on second and third, Lonnie Chisenhall stepped to the plate and roped a single to right driving in Asdrubal Cabrera from third and moving Michael Brantley up to third, putting the Tribe up 2-0. They'd add a third run in the first, though Chisenhall was stranded. Through one at-bat he was 1-1 with an RBI. That was easily his worst at-bat of the night.

The Rangers got one back in the bottom of the first and, as with all games in Texas, you knew 3-1 wouldn't hold up. George Kottaras helped the cause with a solo shot, and Jason Kipnis knocked in two more before Lonnie came up for the second time, in just the second inning.

The score was suddenly 8-1 and felt very much in hand (as it turns out, that 8th run was the deciding run, as the Rangers would put up 7 before all was said and done). Chisenhall was 2-2 with a single, a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Solid day at the park. But he wasn't done.

Both teams kept chipping away, and Chisenhall came up again in the fourth, the score now 10-4, again with Kipnis on.

The score was now 12-4, and Chisenhall had driven in five of the 12, scoring two of them himself. 3-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R.

In the bottom of the inning, the Rangers got two more back (12-6 now) and things were quiet again until the top of the 6th, when Chisenhall came up with Brantley on first and two out. Two outs and a runner on first is not necessarily the best situation for getting runs, but Chisenhall had no concern for outs tonight, smacking a ball to the gap in left-center, and driving in another run with a double. Again he was stranded (apparently, the only man who can drive in Lonnie Chisenhall is Lonnie Chisenhall). 4-4, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI, 2 R.

By the time Chisenahll came up again, in the top of the 8th, the score was 14-6. Now, most people would say the game was over. But only Lonnie Chisenhall had the right to declare this game over.

17-6. The final would be 17-7, and you don't put up 17 runs without a team effort, but check out this final line:

5-for-5, 3 R, 9 RBI, 3 HR, 2B

Lonnie drove in two more runs than the Rangers. Only one player scored more runs than Lonnie, despite the fact that Lonnie got stranded the only two times he didn't homer.

Just for fun, that line is a 1.000/1.000/3.000 triple slash.

Lonnie may never have a game like that again (most players never get one), but he'll always have that night in Texas, capping a red-hot start to the season.

Oh, and there was this: