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This week in 1995: Tribe finish 4-3, pick up two more games on lead

The Tribe’s lead had finally ballooned to double digits after a 6-1 week. They looked to add to the lead heading into the All-Star break as the Rangers and Mariners visited the Jake.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Indians had distanced themselves from the AL Central by taking six of games from the Royals and Twins, extended their lead to 10 games. As the team, and a good portion of its roster prepped for the All-Star Game, they welcomed the Rangers and Mariners to the Jake. Also, we review the batting order splits versus the rest of the AL.

July 3- July 9, 1995

July 3: Rangers 1, Indians 9

July 4: Rangers 7, Indians 6

July 5: Rangers 0, Indians 2

Charles Nagy and Kenny Rogers opened the series. It remained scoreless until the third when Sandy Alomar Jr., in just his third game of the year, connected on his first long ball, bringing in Herb Perry. Manny Ramirez tacked on another with a double in the fourth and Omar Vizquel hit a fly deep enough to score Alomar in the fifth. Perry hit a two run shot in the sixth to finally chase Rogers, making it 6-0. Reliever Chris Nichting fared no better in the seventh as three more plated on three singles and a walk. Nagy only gave up four hits and three walks in his seven innings. The lone Ranger run was a solo shot by Pudge Rodriguez in the ninth.

Bud Black got the nod for Fourth of July, but didn't get out of the fourth himself. The Rangers scored four, with Esteban Beltre's double the final straw. The Indians created fireworks of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Carlos Baerga led off with a homer off Terry Burrows. Jim Thome crushed a three run shot and Ruben Amaro hit a two run bomb to make it 6-4. The Rangers got one back off Jason Grimsley in the next inning. Julian Tavarez had a perfect seventh and after one out in the eight, he walked Eric Fox. Rusty Greer singled off Paul Assenmacher and Otis Nixon sacrificed. Eric Plunk was called in but couldn't hold it as Mark McLemore doubled them both in to take a one run lead. The Tribe hitters got a free out in the eight and a single in the ninth, but nothing more.

The finale was a masterpiece by Dennis Martinez. Rusty Greer singled in the first and that was the only baserunner Martinez gave up in his six innings of work. In the meantime, Kevin Gross was silencing the Tribe bats too, with the exception of a two run double by Tony Pena in the second after Gross walked the bases loaded. Jim Poole pitched a perfect seventh and eighth. Joe Mesa allowed a single in the ninth, but got struck out a pair for his 21st save.

July 6 - July 9, 1995

July 6: Mariners 1, Indians 8

July 7: Mariners 5, Indians 3

July 8: Mariners 3, Indians 7

July 9: Mariners 9, Indians 3

Chad Ogea kept on the Dennis Martinez vibe, pitching a complete game on Thursday. He allowed just three baserunners all game, a single in the second, a single in the third, and a solo homer by Tino Martinez in the fourth. He retired the final seventeen batters. The Tribe's first four runs scored on two homers by Manny Ramirez off Tim Belcher. Albert Belle also connected on a two run homer in the eighth and Paul Sorrento completed the scoring with a two run double.

The Friday game didn't start great as Edgar Martinez crushed a two run homer off Mark Clark in the first. In the bottom half, Kenny Lofton and Omar both singled off Randy Johnson. Mike Blowers muffed a grounder and Lofton scored. After a double steal and a Belle strikeout, Manny scored Omar on a ground ball, tying the game. In the fifth, Jay Buhner double din a pair and Blowers atoned with an RBI single, making it 5-2. Alomar singled in one in the seventh, but the Big Unit finished off the Tribe for a complete game, his ninth win on the season.

Nagy tried to get the Indians back on the right track, but stumbled early, giving up three in the first, with the big blow a two run shot by Buhner. Belle connected in the second to make it 3-1 and in the third it was tied after an RBI triple by Lofton and a sacrifice fly by Vizquel. Alomar nudged the Tribe ahead in the fourth with his own sacrifice fly. The fifth was Chris Bosio's undoing as Wayne Kirby and Lofton hit back to back triples. Then Lofton stole home off Bob Wells to make it 7-3. Nagy cruised after that first inning though, retiring the final 16 batters in order.

The Mariners evened things up in the series finale on Sunday. Orel Hershiser and Salomon Torres traded zeroes until Baerga single in Lofton in the third. But two walks to the Martinez duo, Edgar and Tino, set the stage for a three run bomb by Buhner in the fourth. Sorrento doubled in Thome to get one back in the fourth, but it was not Orel's day. In the fifth, Alex Diaz singled in Joey Cora and Edgar doubled him home to make it 5-2. Sorrento again trimmed it by one in the sixth on a single. But Bud Black gave up a grand slam to Tino in the seventh to basically end the game.

Batting Order Splits Review

PA

R

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

BAbip

1st - Cleveland (Lofton)

690

106

64

55

280

741

302

1st - League Average

688

100

62

31

278

757

313

2nd - Cleveland (Vizquel)

677

93

61

31

264

685

279

2nd - League Average

672

90

73

18

273

752

298

3rd - Cleveland (Baerga)

657

98

99

12

312

816

312

3rd - League Average

655

94

96

7

298

865

314

4th - Cleveland (Belle)

641

123

127

6

317

1087

294

4th - League Average

642

90

103

4

275

850

291

5th - Cleveland (Murray)

634

95

101

5

302

846

322

5th - League Average

626

85

84

6

273

805

294

6th - Cleveland (Thome)

623

94

102

6

329

1028

375

6th - League Average

612

74

80

6

278

806

306

7th - Cleveland (Ramirez)

610

85

95

6

269

831

295

7th - League Average

597

71

74

7

255

735

284

8th - Cleveland (Sorrento)

586

79

92

2

290

872

306

8th - League Average

579

71

74

7

247

684

281

9th - Cleveland (Pena/Alomar)

568

67

62

9

253

666

279

9th - League Average

563

62

54

9

249

669

291

As to be expected with the highest scoring offense in the league, the Tribe outscored the average batting positions across the board, and a few of them by a wide margin. The only spot where they underperformed in RBI was the second spot, usually manned by Vizquel. But the 4-8 spots more than made up for that be having a nearly 20 cushion in each spot.

I was a bit surprised that the OPS from the top spot was below average (9th overall), but Chuck Knoblauch of the Twins skewed that number pretty high (909). The second spot was the worst, 12th, but I expected that. Even the third spot OPS came in a bit under where I thought it might be, 9th, but that is because Frank Thomas of the White Sox and Edgar Martinez of the Mariners hit there. And again he 4-8 spots really outperformed the rest of the league as they finished 1st, 4th, 1st, 1st, and 1st. The bottom spot came in 8th.

Summary

The Indians had an off week, finishing 4-3, but still picked up two more games in the standings. They headed into the All-Star break with one of the largest leads I can remember. Next week, a good portion of the roster heads to Arlington for the Game and then the second half opens with the A's visiting the Jake.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

46

21

687

-

383

273

650

Kansas City Royals

33

32

508

12.0

268

288

467

Milwaukee Brewers

32

35

478

14.0

347

318

540

Chicago White Sox

28

38

424

17.5

345

381

455

Minnesota Twins

22

46

324

24.5

312

424

363