October 17 in Cleveland Indians history: Tribe ends 41-year drought

Kenny Lofton scores from second base on a passed ball in the eighth inning - Bill Chan / AP

Again, only one game on this date, but it was a great one as Dennis Martinez delivered us to the World Series by handcuffing the Mariners.

October 17

W

L

Pct

All-Time

1

0

1.000

Road

1

0

1.000

Tuesday

1

0

1.000

Mariners ALCS-6 1995

1

0

1.000

1995 ALCS Game 6, Kingdome: Indians 4, Mariners 0

After a tense game five win and a travel day to the West Coast, Dennis Martinez was called on to take on Randy Johnson with the Mariners' backs to the wall. Being the road team, the Indians got first crack. Johnson struck out Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel grounded to third. Carlos Baerga and Albert Belle each hit singles, and the Tribe had runners at first and second. But Eddie Murray forced Belle at second. Would that be the best chance against Johnson?

Dennis Martinez got Vince Coleman to ground to second while Joey Cora dribbled one in front of the plate, where Tony Pena threw him out. He walked Ken Griffey Jr. but Edgar Martinez forced him at second. The Indians went in order in the second, with Johnson fanning Herb Perry and Alvaro Espinosa. Tino Martinez lined to left, Jay Buhner struck out and Mike Blowers lined to center, a 1-2-3 inning.

Johnson retired the Indians in order again in the third and Dennis Martinez worked around a leadoff double by Luis Sojo in the bottom half. Belle doubled to left in the fourth but never moved. Edgar singled to center with Tino forcing him at second before Buhner popped out to end the fourth.

In the fifth, Herb Perry lined to second, but Cora's throw allowed Espinosa to reach second. Pena's flyball wasn't deep enough to move him over. But Lofton singled to left near the line. Espinosa scored an unearned run with Lofton taking second. Omar hit a deep liner to left for the third out. Blowers led off their fifth with a single, but Sojo doubled him up, 6-4-3 and Dan Wilson grounded to Omar.

In the sixth, Baerga singled to left. With Belle batting, a pitch got away from Wilson, but not far enough away as Wilson threw quickly to first, nailing him. Belle struck out and Murray grounded to second. The Mariners, still within just one, put up their best chance in the bottom of the sixth. Coleman singled up the middle and stole second. Cora attempted to bunt him to third but lined it to Perry. Griffey's fly ball did move Coleman to third. Edgar Martinez was hit by a pitch and stole second when Pena did not want to chance a throw with Coleman at third. But Dennis Martinez struck out Tino Martinez for the third out.

Neither team got a baserunner in the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Tony Pena laced a leadoff double to deep right-center. Ruben Amaro pinch ran for Pena and moved to third on Lofton's bunt single. Like the inning before, Lofton stole second as Wilson did not want to risk a throw. But Wilson was then charged with a passed ball, scoring both Amaro and Lofton. Omar lined to deep left and Baerga then hit a solo shot, finally ending Johnson's night.

Now with a four run lead, Mike Hargrove went to the pen. Julian Tavarez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. The Indians went in order against Norm Charlton in the ninth. Jose Mesa came out to finish it off in the ninth. Griffey grounded to second. Edgar Martinez whiffed. After a Tino Martinez walk, Mesa got Buhner to ground to Espinoza, and the Tribe was headed back to the Series for the first time in 41 years.

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