For the fourth time this season, the Cleveland Indians walk off as winners in their last at bat, as a Jerry Kindall two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Tribe a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over the New York Yankees.
The win, combined with a loss by the Minnesota Twins (36-27) to the Kansas City Athletics, pushed the Indians (34-24) back into first place by a half game in the standings, a spot that they had lost nearly two weeks prior. The Yankees (32-24) fell a full game behind the Indians with the defeat.
In a game that would feature four home runs and ten pitchers between the two clubs, the Indians put a three-spot on the board in the bottom of the first inning off of New York’s Rollie Sheldon. A leadoff double was chased by an RBI-single from Al Luplow. A single by Tito Francona put two on for Willie Kirkland, who knocked in Luplow with a single, and a fielder’s choice by Johnny Romano scored Francona. They tacked on three more in the next frame, scoring a run on a botched pickoff at first by reliever Bud Daley before Francona and Kirkland each drove home runs.
The Yankees plated a pair in the fourth, as an RBI-single from Bill “Moose” Skowron and an RBI-grounder from Tom Tresh off of Jim Perry made the score 6-2. Cleveland added a run in the fourth, but two round-trippers by the Yankees, a two-run home run by Johnny Blanchard in the fifth and a Roger Maris two-run blast in the seventh, made it a one-run game at 7-6. In the top of the eighth, pinch-hitter Mickey Mantle, back after missing a month injured, delivered a game-changing three-run homer off of reliever Gary Bell to give the Yanks their first lead of the day.
Kirkland delivered his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to pull the Indians back within one run at 9-8 and Kindall won it with a two-run shot off of Jim Coates with one out in the bottom of the ninth.