Today in Tribe History: September 28, 1984
Bob Toth | On 28, Sep 2020
The Cleveland Indians eliminate the Minnesota Twins from the postseason after overcoming a ten-run deficit to claim a win in their last at bat in an 11-10 victory.
With three games left on their schedule coming in to the day, the Twins were two games behind the Kansas City Royals for the top spot in the American League West. They threw Frank Viola while the Indians opposed with Jerry Ujdur.
The Twins scored first with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, as Mickey Hatcher drove in Kirby Puckett for the early lead. After giving up three hits in the first Ujdur continued to throw batting practice, allowing the first four runners to reach in the second. Jeff Barkley replaced him and, after a strikeout, gave up three straight run-scoring hits to give the Twins a 7-0 advantage.
Three of the first four reached in the third off of reliever Jamie Easterly before Ron Washington doubled in Gary Gaetti and Tim Laudner. Hatcher added his second sacrifice fly of the game to make it 10-0.
A leadoff single from Brett Butler in the bottom of the third helped to put the Indians on the board, as he stole second and scored on a home run from Joe Carter. Andre Thornton homered with one out in the sixth to start a huge inning for the Tribe, as it was followed by back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases for Jerry Willard. He singled home a pair and Butler doubled another one in to end Viola’s day. An error on a grounder from Julio Franco scored another and Thornton, the eleventh man to bat in the inning, knocked in two more on a single to make it a 10-9 game.
Carter tied the game off of reliever Pete Filson with a solo homer to even the score in the eighth. After Tom Waddell threw a one-two-three inning in the top of the ninth, Pat Tabler led off the bottom of the inning with a walk against Ron Davis. Junior Noboa struck out, but Willard walked to put the winning run in scoring position. Mel Hall pinch-hit for Tony Bernazard against new reliever Ed Hodge and singled to load the bases. Butler won the game with a single to score Tabler and ended the Twins hopes for an October, as their loss coupled with a Kansas City win over the Oakland Athletics later that night gave the division crown to the Royals.