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Game 76

June 28, 2016 – Lindor Steals Home Against the Braves

The 2016 Indians were 16 games over .500 and visiting the last place Braves for an interleague matchup. Corey Kluber was matched up with Matt Wisler.

Wisler struck out Carlos Santana to start the game, but then gave up consecutive singles to Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. Jose Ramirez scored Kipnis with a single into right field, and Lindor advanced to third.

With Lonny Chisenhall at the plate, Jose Ramirez broke to steal second. Atlanta catcher AJ Peirzinki’s throw was off the mark. When it was bobbled by shortstop Eric Aybar, Lindor broke for home. Both runners were safe and the Indians ended the frame up 2-0.

Corey Kluber retired the first 15 Atlanta batters in order and was untouched until he gave up a single to Eric Aybar in the bottom of the sixth, followed by another single by Emilio Bonifacio.  Aybar and Bonifacio would eventually come around to score on a RBI single. Ender Inciarte was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double and ended the inning with the score tied 2-2.

Kluber mowed through the Braves lineup once again, eventually pitching 8 innings, giving up three hits, one walk, and recording seven strikeouts. Michael Martinez pinch hit for Kluber in the top of the ninth. The Braves had a wild inning, giving up three runs on two hits, two walks, an error and a wild pitch.

Indians closer Cody Allen came in to hold the 5-2 lead. Despite a solo home run by Jace Peterson, Allen was able to record the save and preserve the Tribe’s winning streak (this was win number 11 out of an eventual 14 from June 17 to July 1st.)

Baseball Reference Box Score

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Game 61

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.

Albie Lopez

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.

Baseball Reference Box Score

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