1995 Game Recap: A First for the History Books—Indians 10, Royals 0

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 May 9, 1995.

Sometimes when it rains, it pours.

For Kansas City Royals starter Doug Linton (0-1, 7.56), the first inning precipitation wasn’t quite strong enough, but the Indians hitters certainly had no trouble pouring it on in their record-setting 10-0 victory.

The Indians demolished Linton from the start and tied a Major League record by scoring eight runs in the first inning before recording an out. Linton tried and tried to slow things down as a light drizzle threatened to turn into a downpour, but the only things washed away were the Royals chances for the evening.

Centerfielder Kenny Lofton started the barrage with a solo homerun and first baseman Paul Sorrento capped it off with the first grand slam in Jacobs Field history. In between the two blasts came a walk to Omar Vizquel, another homerun deep into the KC bullpen by Carlos Baerga, back-to-back singles from Albert Belle and Eddie Murray and then back-to-back walks to Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. Before many of the 27,225 fans had even finished their hot dogs, the Tribe held an 8-0 lead and had tied the record feat completed by the 1954 Indians and 1960 Yankees of runs before making an out. For what it’s worth, both of those teams won the pennant in their respective seasons.

Tribe starter Orel Hershiser (1-1, 4.05) had already worked a 1-2-3 inning before the Indians bats exploded on Linton, but the inning took so long that he had to go throw in the dugout as his offense kept circling the bases. Hershiser was outstanding and efficient, allowing just four hits in eight innings of work as he earned his first victory as a member of the Indians.

After Linton had retired catcher Tony Pena, picked off Lofton who had singled and then got Vizquel to fly out to mercifully end the first, Royals Manager Bob Boone attempted to save his bullpen by sending Linton back out to wolves in the second. More like sharks smelling blood in the water, the Tribe bats came back to life and plated a couple more runs to push the score to 10-0. The first run came after a Belle infield single and a Murray walk, as Thome rifled a double deep into the right-centerfield gap. The next and final run of the ballgame came curtesy of a Ramirez groundout that brought home Murray for the game’s final score.

Remarkably, Linton did settle down and worked three scoreless innings after giving up 10 runs in the first two frames. Reliever Paul Assenmacher struck out a pair of Royals in a perfect ninth inning after Hershiser had pitched his gem. Hershiser’s eight innings of work mark the longest game by an Indians pitcher thus far this season and despite his brilliant effort, the talk of the game was still the historic performance by the Indians offense that continues to be other-worldly during the early stages of this season.

Through the club’s first 12 games, the Tribe still boasts five regular starters that are batting over .350 (Lofton .352), two of which are batting over .390 (Belle .396, Ramirez .391) and two that are still hitting over .400 (Baerga .412, Murray .449). In addition, Sorrento’s blast was already his fifth of the season and his 19 RBI continue to pace the league as well.

The beatdown of Linton and the Royals lasted just two hours and 23 minutes, as the Indians got a much needed short game after their marathon six hour and 36 minute match against the Twins on Sunday.

The Tribe (8-4) will wrap-up their three game series with the Royals and look for the sweep and their fourth win in a row on Wednesday night at 7:05. Charles Nagy (1-0, 3.27) will hope that the Indians saved some runs for him as he gets the start against Royals reliever Chris Haney (0-0, 0.00), who will get his first start of the season in place of the scheduled Mark Gubicza, who is battling an injury. The game can be seen locally on SportsChannel or listened to on WKNR-AM/1220 on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.

Photo: Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer

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