1995 Game Recap: WOW! Ramirez Blasts Eck as Tribe Sweeps—Indians 5, Athletics 4
Steve Eby | On 16, Jul 2015
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back July 16, 1995.
That was the single word that Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley could mutter as he walked off the field after the juggernaut Indians wrecked another opponent’s day. Sunday’s heroics came curtesy of Manny Ramirez, who planted a hanging Eckersley cut fastball deep into the Jacobs Field bleachers to steal a 5-4 victory in the 12th and sweep the Athletics out of town. It was the first time in franchise history that the Indians have swept a four game series against Oakland in Cleveland.
Ramirez, the 23-year old slugger, took the 40-year old Eckersley yard in his first career at bat against the former Cy Young winner and MVP with 312 career saves to give the Indians their 24th come-from-behind win and their 13th victory in their last at bat this season. It was the fourth walk-off homerun of the year for the Tribe, the last two coming in extra innings and off the bat of their young right fielder.
The latest walk-off occurred with the Tribe trailing 4-3 after giving up a Rickey Henderson-produced run in the top half of the 12th. Carlos Baerga led off the bottom of the inning with a single—his fifth base hit of the day—and breathed new life into the Tribe. After two quick outs from Albert Belle and Jim Thome, a hobbled Kenny Lofton pinch ran for Baerga and stole second before Ramirez launched his 21st homerun on a 2-2 pitch that landed halfway up the bleachers.
After his five hit effort, Baerga finished the series 9-17 (.529) with three runs scored and two RBI. Baerga now has 101 hits for the season and tried his hardest to win the game for the Indians in the ninth inning.
After Baerga lined a one-out single to left, Belle roped a double into left field. Baerga rounded third and blew through the stop sign from third base coach Jeff Newman as the relay throw from Brent Gates beat Baerga to the plate. Instead of sliding, Baerga plowed into A’s catcher Terry Steinbach with his forearms—trying to knock the ball loose. Steinbach held on, however, and the score remained tied at 3-3 heading into extra innings.
The A’s got all three of their early runs in the first, as Henderson led off the game with a homerun for a record 67th time in his long career. Geronimo Berroa bettered Henderson’s blast later in the inning with a two-run shot off of Tribe All-Star Dennis Martinez.
The Tribe added a single tally in the second and then tied the game up in the seventh. With Baerga on first, Belle launched his 15th homerun of the season into the bleachers to even the score at 3-3. The homer was Belle’s first of the season’s second half.
Rookie lefthander Alan Embree (2-0, 3.86) worked the 11th and 12th innings, allowing a run and vultured his second victory of the weekend. Embree’s first career win came in the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader sweep.
The Indians (50-21) now lead the AL Central by 14 games over Kansas City and Milwaukee and will play host to the California Angels (43-30) for a quick two-game series on Monday and Tuesday. The Angels sit in first place in the AL West and are winners of four straight, as many around baseball view this series as a playoff preview. Rookie Chad Ogea (5-1, 2.19) is expected to be recalled from AAA and get the start on Monday against young lefthander Brian Anderson (2-2, 4.19). Anderson is a native of Geneva, Ohio, and grew up a fan of the Cleveland Indians. Monday’s contest at Jacobs Field is scheduled for 8:05 PM and can be seen nationally on ESPN or heard on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.