Albert Belle becomes the first Indians’ player to hit 50 home runs in a season as his solo blast in the sixth tied the game prior to a Cleveland 3-2 walk-off win over the Kansas City Royals.
Belle entered the game already with 101 extra base hits on the season. With 52 doubles, one triple, and 49 homers, the Tribe slugger had already established a new team record for homers and had the highest doubles production in almost 70 years. With the Indians down 2-0 after a Tom Goodwin two-run homer off of Mark Clark in the top of the sixth, Belle followed an RBI-groundout from Carlos Baerga with a solo blast to the bleachers in left to tie the game at two. Baerga would win the game in the bottom of the tenth off of Jeff Montgomery, delivering the deciding single to center to score Jeromy Burnitz from third.
The previous club record for homers in a season belonged to Al Rosen, who hit 43 in 1953. He will end the season with 52 doubles, which are the most hit in a single season by an Indians player since George Burns (64) and Tris Speaker (52) in 1926. Belle accomplished his totals on a 144-game schedule, playing in all but one game of the season.
The win is the 99th of the season for Cleveland with one game remaining on the regular season schedule.