July 16, 2004 – 50 Total Bases, Back-to-Back-to-Back Home Runs
The Indians entered this game against the Mariners with a 43-46 record and 4.5 games back of the division-leading White Sox. Cliff Lee was on the mound in the Emerald City against Travis Blackley.
Blackley got off to a rough start, loading the bases in the top of the first and forcing in a run on a five-pitch walk of Travis Hafner. He then retired first baseman Lou Merloni, but the Tribe had the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Omar Vizquel led off with a line drive single to center. Matt Lawton took Blackley’s 1-1 pitch deep to make the score 3-0. Victor Martinez followed him with a home run of his own. Not to be outdone, Casey Blake stepped in and sent the 2-1 pitch up and out for back-to-back-to-back home runs!
Clearly struggling with control, Blackley hit the next batter, sending Travis Hafner to first. Lou Merloni knocked a ground-ball single into left center. Then Jody Gerut doubled to right field, scoring Hafner. Mariner’s skipper Bob Melvin had finally seen enough of Blackley and brought J.J. Putz in to face Coco Crisp with no outs and Merloni on third. Crisp popped out, but Ronnie Belliard was able to push across the sixth run of the inning before Putz retired the side.
Cliff Lee pitched effectively, until the bottom of the fourth, when he gave up a three-run home run to Mariners third baseman Justin Leone.
Ron Villone replaced Putz on the mound for the Mariners in the top of the sixth, and immediately got himself into a bind. He walked Vizquel to lead off the inning, and then hit Matt Lawton. With those two on base, Victor Martinez crushed the 0-1 pitch for a three-run home run which extended the Tribe lead to 10-3.
Victor eventually accounted for fourteen of the Indians’ 50 total bases, including a two run single in the top of the seventh and a third homer–this one a solo shot off Justin Mateo–in the top of the ninth.
In all, the Indians scored 18 runs on 21 hits, including eight home runs. The Indians would not hit back-to-back-to-back homers again until Game 72 of the 2019 Season.