1995 Game Recap: Mesa’s Streak Ends, but Sandy Saves Closer—Indians 6, Tigers 5
Steve Eby | On 25, Aug 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 August 25, 1995.
One trend for the 1995 season ended on Friday night, but another one just kept right on going.
Even after Tribe closer Jose Mesa blew his first save of the season after starting out a Major League record 38 for 38, the Indians still were able to defeat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 on some more Jacobs Field magic—this one a walk-off homerun by catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Alomar’s heroics and Mesa’s first bump in the MVP-type road he is paving followed an uneven game that saw starting pitcher Ken Hill throw a solid outing, a scorching Albert Belle collect three more hits including two homeruns on his 29th birthday and the usually lights-out Tribe bullpen struggle somewhat. When all was said and done, however, the Tribe still walked away with their Major League best 74th victory, 22 of which have now come in their last at bat and 37 of which they have come-from-behind. Additionally, the Tribe launched their seventh walk-off homerun of the season and improved their record to 9-0 in extra innings.
The Tigers had struck first with an RBI triple by Milt Cuyler in the top of the second inning, but Belle followed with his 30th homerun of the season to lead off the bottom half and tie the game at 1-1. Belle has now blasted 30 homeruns in each of the last four seasons.
The Indians plated another run in the fourth when Herbert Perry lifted a sac fly to score Carlos Baerga and then Belle kept his big day going in the sixth with another solo blast to left off of reliever John Doherty to make the score 3-1 in favor of Cleveland.
After having a slow first half—by Belle’s standards—Albert has been unstoppable in the month of August. In 24 games this month, Belle is batting .426 with 12 homeruns and 24 RBI. Friday was his third two-homerun game of the season and the 17th multi-homerun game of his career. The Indians are 23-5 when Belle goes deep this year.
Hill allowed two runs to tie the score in the top of the seventh, but the Indians stormed back when Baerga roped a bases loaded double to make the score 5-3 in the bottom half. A Travis Fryman homerun off of Eric Plunk in the eighth made the score 5-4 and set the stage for Mesa in the ninth.
Mesa retired Cuyler and John Flaherty quickly to start the inning, but was tagged by centerfielder Chad Curtis even quicker. Curtis launched a 97 MPH fastball that sailed over the plate just over the 19 foot wall in left field for a solo homerun and Mesa’s first blown save of the 1995 season. It was the first earned run Mesa had allowed since June 8 and the first homerun he surrendered since the Rangers’ Dean Palmer took him deep on April 23.
Tigers’ reliever Mike Christopher and Tribe hurler Julian Tavarez traded zeroes for the next two innings, until the Tigers summoned Felipe Lira to face the bottom of the Tribe lineup in the 11th. Pinch hitter Paul Sorrento struck out to begin the inning, but Alomar batted next and sent the 41,676 fans home happy as he turned on a fastball and clanked it off of the railing on the Homerun Porch.
The Indians will continue their series at Jacobs Field with the Tigers on Saturday, as Charles Nagy (10-5, 4.84) will take on the Tigers’ struggling righthander Mike Moore (5-13, 7.19). The veteran Moore has lost his last eight decisions and 11 of his last 12. The game is scheduled to start at 1:05 and can be seen on SportsChannel or heard on WKNR AM/1220.