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This week in 1995: Tribe at Toronto, returns home for Detroit

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Another 5-2 week prior had the Tribe basically coasting to the finish line. This week they head north of the border for a short trip, and then back home to take on the lowly Tigers. Plus, a review of the hitting against the AL East.

Albert Belle, crushing the AL East
Albert Belle, crushing the AL East
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Indians take a quick trip to Toronto for three games and then come home to take on the lowly Tigers over the weekend. Also, we review how the Tribe fared against the AL East hitting wise.

August 21-23, 1995

August 21: Indians 7, Blue Jays 3

August 22: Indians 4, Blue Jays 5

August 23: Indians 6, Blue Jays 5

In the opener, the Tribe opened the scoring by plating four in the second off Edwin Hurtado. Paul Sorrento doubled in Jim Thome, Sandy Alomar singled in Manny Ramirez, Sorrento scored on a muffed Kenny Lofton grounder and Carlos Baerga had a sacrifice fly. A two run blast by Sorrento in the third made it a quick 6-0. Orel Hershiser was not dominant, but effective, with the Jays scoring one in the fourth and two in the fifth to make it 6-3. Sorrento added an insurance run in the ninth while Alan Embree earned his first save by retiring six of the final seven batters.

The Tuesday matchup was a good one as Al Leiter faced Dennis Martinez. Baerga scored Omar Vizquel on a grounder after he had doubled and stole third. Sandy Martinez hit a two RBI single off Dennis to get the Blue Jays their first lead. Omar crushed one to left in the fifth to tie it up. The Tribe then took a 4-2 lead in the sixth when Manny hit his 29th homer of the season. But Eric Plunk faltered in the eighth as Joe Carter led off with a homer and Sandy Martinez tied it with a single. The Tribe didn't do anything with two walks in the ninth. Julian Tavarez had a batter on first with two out as Tomas Perez hit a soft grounder to Thome. Thome's throw went down the right field line scoring the winning run.

Roberto Alomar got the Blue Jays up 1-0 in the first as his single drove in Paul Molitor. Sandy Martinez continued his hot streak as he hit a two run homer off Mark Clark in the second. The Indians tied it right back up in the third on RBI singles by Lofton, Baerga and Eddie Murray. Ed Sprague homered in the fourth and Tomas Perez had a sacrifice fly as well to make it 5-3. But again Giovanni Carrara couldn't hold the lead. Belle homered to lead off the sixth. After loading the bases, Lofton singled in the tying run. Paul Menhart relieved and promptly wild pitched to score Thome. Jim Poole got the victory after retiring the last batter of the fifth and a perfect sixth. Tavarez pitched a scoreless seventh and Embree a perfect eighth. Jose Mesa allowed a leadoff walk, but retired the next three in order for his 38th save.

August 25-27, 1995

August 25: Tigers 5, Indians 6, 11 innings

August 26: Tigers 2, Indians 6

August 27: Tigers 2, Indians 9

After a day off on Thursday, Ken Hill took to the bump against C.J. Nitkowski. Milt Cuyler tripled in Lou Whitaker in the second, but Belle hit a solo blast to tie it right back. A Herb Perry sacrifice fly edged the Tribe ahead 2-1 in the fourth. Belle's second solo blast in the sixth, his 31st on the year made it 3-1. Franklin Stubbs tied it up off Hill in the seventh with a double, but Baerga doubled in a pair of his own to make it 5-3. Travis Fryman's solo homer off Plunk got it within one in the eighth. Mesa blew his first save opportunity of the year when Chad Curtis took him deep in the ninth. The Tribe went in order in the ninth, as did the Tigers in both the tenth and eleventh against Tavarez. Belle singled in the tenth, but was stranded. But the Tribe walked off in the eleventh when Sandy Alomar went deep off Felipe Lira.

On Saturday, after loading the bases in the second off Matt Moore, Belle and Murray both scored on consecutive ground balls by Manny and Sorrento. They broke it open a bit in the fourth as Tony Pena doubled in Thome and both Alvaro Espinoza and baerga had RBI singles. The Tigers got two back off Charles Nagy in the fifth, but the lead went to 6-2 on a double steal by Sorrento and Murray as Murray stole home! Nagy and Plunk loaded the bases in the seventh but Embree got out of the jam, and then had a perfect eighth. Mesa stranded runners at second and third in the ninth but did not get a save as it was a four run lead.

The Sunday finale was much more of a laugher. Singles by Lofton, Omar and Baerga got he first run of the game and then Omar scored on a double play grounder hit by Belle. It was the third that did Jose Lima in. After loading the bases, he walked Belle. Then Murray singled in two and Thome another. Another single by Sorrento, this one off Joe Boever made it 7-0 Tribe. Murray tacked on another with a sacrifice fly and Sorrento homered to make it 9-0. Hershiser basically cruised the whole game, leaving after six with the only blemish being a two run double by Stubbs in the sixth. Poole struck out five of six batters and Paul Assenmacher only allowed a leadoff single as he finished the game.

Batting: AL East Splits Review

PA

R

HR

RBI

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Albert Belle

274

46

19

48

272

366

617

983

Omar Vizquel

259

34

4

30

276

353

380

733

Kenny Lofton

268

48

3

27

327

375

473

848

Eddie Murray

248

31

8

35

305

371

450

821

Carlos Baerga

244

30

4

35

289

320

399

719

Manny Ramirez

237

31

15

40

302

388

561

949

Jim Thome

236

38

12

30

295

428

568

996

Paul Sorrento

151

22

12

34

248

364

584

948

Tony Pena

122

10

1

8

221

279

301

580

Sandy Alomar

95

13

3

13

225

258

360

618

Alvaro Espinosa

83

8

1

8

244

256

321

577

Herb Perry

76

10

2

9

364

411

591

1002

Wayne Kirby

53

9

0

2

224

283

327

610

Dave Winfield

51

2

0

0

174

255

239

494

Ruben Amaro

13

0

0

1

077

077

077

154

Eddie Tucker

13

1

0

0

000

250

000

250

Jesse Levis

7

1

0

1

200

286

200

486

Billy Ripken

6

1

0

1

500

500

500

1000

Brian Giles

4

1

0

0

250

250

250

500

David Bell

1

0

0

0

000

000

000

000

Jeromy Burnitz

1

1

0

0

1000

1000

2000

3000

Total

2442

337

84

322

280

352

463

816

Wow, those are some serious hitting numbers. In  a total of 63 games against Baltimore, Boston, Detroit (yes they were in the East back then), New York and Toronto, they averaged 5.4 RS/game and 1.33 HR/game. They stole 56 bases, including 24 by Lofton. They struck out 340 times, which was just about 1:1 to the runs scored. Belle, Manny, Thome and Sorrento loved hitting against the AL East that year.

Summary

With the 5-1 week, the Tribe was approaching a twenty game lead yet again (a mark they will attain shortly). And as Jason so astutely noted last week, they did indeed eliminate the Twins from division contention this week.  Next week the homestand continues as Toronto visits for four games and then they head to Detroit for the Labor Day weekend.

Standings

W

L

Pct

GB

RS

RA

Pythag

Cleveland Indians

76

35

685

-

640

481

628

Milwaukee Brewers

58

54

518

18.5

610

559

540

Kansas City Royals

54

56

491

21.5

478

512

469

Chicago White Sox

47

63

427

28.5

592

629

472

Minnesota Twins

39

72

351

37.0

519

695

369