June 14, 1997 – First Interleague Win
On June 14, 1997 the Indians played a game in St. Louis for the first time since 1953 when the Browns became the Orioles. Despite both teams being foundational members of their League (St. Louis since 1900 and Cleveland since 1901) they had never crossed paths in the World Series. The Indians faced Brooklyn in the 1920 Series, the Boston Braves in 1948, the New York Giants in 1954, and the Atlanta Braves in 1995. Otherwise, they had played outside the American League only in Spring Training.
Over 43,000 were in Busch Stadium for this new and novel matchup on a Saturday afternoon. Bartolo Colon faced off against Cardinals righty Andy Benes. In the bottom of the second, Benes helped out his own cause with an RBI single to right field. However, a spot-on throw by Marquis Grissom put Mike DiFelice out trying to advance from first to third to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Colon gave up a leadoff home run to John Mabry and a double to Gary Gaetti. Gaetti was driven in by DeFelice to make it a 3-0 ballgame.
The Indians bats finally came alive in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff ground out by Sandy Alomar, Marquis Grissom singled to right and then stole second. Brian Giles drove in Grissom with a line drive single to left field. After a fly out by Omar Vizquel, Julio Franco singled to center and advanced Giles to second. Jim Thome pushed both Giles and Franco across the plate with a deep line drive to left field, tying the game 3-3.
Albie Lopez pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh.
In the top of the 8th, the Indians manufactured five runs on four hits. A throwing error by Delino DeShields extended the inning after Omar Vizquel grounded to second.
With an 8-3 lead, Alvin Morman and Paul Shuey both chewed through the Cardinals lineup on eleven and fourteen pitches, respectively. This sealed the Indians first inter-league win. In the inter-league era, the Indians are 16-10 against the Cardinals and 137-146 overall.