July 25, 2017 – Two Grand Slams, Including Encarnacion Walkoff in the 11th Inning
Mike Clevinger was pitching against his old team as the Angels came to town for a mid-week series. The Angels were throwing Jesse Chavez.
Both Clevinger and Chavez threw 1-2-3 innings to start the game, but the Indians offense woke up in the bottom of the second. Edwin Encarnacion laced a double to center field to lead off the inning. Jose Ramirez followed with a line drive double of his own, which drove Encarnacion home. After striking out Carlos Santana on three pitches, Chavez suffered a sudden loss of control. He walked Austin Jackson and Yan Gomes to load the bases. Then he issued a third consecutive walk to Gio Urshella to give the indians their second run.
With the bases still loaded, and facing a 3-1 count, Bradley Zimmer was not content to take to take pitches. He sent the Chavez pitch over the wall in right center and into the bullpens for his first career grand slam.
After a pop-out by Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley followed with a home run of his own. Overall in the second, the Tribe sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on four hits.
The Angels narrowed the lead to three runs in the top of the third, when Kole Calhoun took Clevinger deep with a three-run home run. Luis Valbuena took advantage of an Indians error to drive in Andrelton Simmons for an RBI single.
The Indians chased Chaves from the game in the bottom of the third, while Clevinger held on until the top of the fifth. After giving up another home run to Luis Valbuena, Terry Francona made the call for Nick Goody and both bullpens were at work.
In the top of the sixth, Goody gave up a leadoff single to Kaleb Cowart. Yuniel Escobar sent a line drive down the right field line. Cowart scored comfortably, but Escobar got caught in a rundown trying to stretch the hit into a triple and was tagged out at third.
With the game now tied, the bullpens battled into the bottom of the 11th. The Angels called on reliever Bud Norris. After being held scoreless for eight innings, Bradley Zimmer drew a seven-pitch walk to lead off the inning and then stole second base. Norris could not find his command against Francisco Lindor. On a 3-2 count, Norris’ pitch got away from backup catcher Juan Graterol, allowing Zimmer to take third.
With no outs and runners at the corners, the Angels elected to intentionally walk Michael Brantley to set up a potential double-play. The Angels shifted into a five-man infield. Edwin Encarnacion stepped in and sent Norris first pitch deep into the Cleveland night for a walkoff grand slam.
Bradley Zimmer later said, “You could put the whole team on the infield and it’s not going to work. The guy was made for situations like that.”