The Indians send their fans home in grand fashion as a 12th inning grand slam by Carlos Martinez gives Cleveland a 12-9 walk-off win over Seattle to complete a three-game sweep of the Mariners.
The two teams combine to use 38 players, including ten different pitchers, in the nearly four hour long contest that was decided by the Tribe in a five-run final frame.
The Indians led early on a three-run homer from Albert Belle off of Seattle starter Brian Fisher. Solo homers from Tino Martinez in the second and Mike Blowers in the third off of Rod Nichols cut into that lead, but Belle’s second homer in as many at bats gave the Indians a 4-2 lead. The Indians slugger was intentionally walked in the fifth and Cleveland scored two more ahead of his solo homer in the seventh (his 29th of the season and third of the game) to extend the Tribe lead to 7-5. A Jay Buhner homer in the seventh dropped the Indians lead to one and a one-out RBI-double by Ken Griffey Jr. off of Steve Olin in the ninth made it a seven-all tie with the blown save.
Working in his fourth inning in the 12th, Olin gave up a one-out single to Martinez and Buhner put a two-spot on the scoreboard with his second homer of the game to give the Mariners a 9-7 lead. But with one out in the bottom of the inning, Kenny Lofton singled and stole second. Wayne Kirby drew a walk to bring on Mike Schooler from the bullpen. Carlos Baerga made it a 9-8 game with an RBI-double, scoring Lofton and putting the tying run at third in Kirby. An intentional walk to Thomas Howard loaded the bases, but Paul Sorrento flew out to short left, not deep enough for Kirby to score the tying run. In stepped Cleveland’s Martinez, who lifted an 0-1 pitch to deep left-center to clear the bases and the ball park, with the Indians leave the yard a 12-9 winner.
The grand slam allowed by Schooler was the fourth that he had given up that season, tying a Major League record.