Leaving their mark
Indians proved they belonged in All-Star Game
Posted: Wednesday July 14, 1999 01:24 AM
BOSTON (AP) -- There should be no more complaints that there were too many Indians in the All-Star game.
After the Cleveland fans stuffed the ballot box to elect four All-Star starters, the Indians proved they belonged on Tuesday night by scoring three of the four American League runs in a 4-1 victory over the NL.
Thome's numbers are .283 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs.
Kenny Lofton, Manny Ramirez and Roberto Alomar were the other Indians elected by the fans to start the game, and with good reason. Lofton is batting .305 with an AL-leading 79 runs, Ramirez leads the majors with 96 RBIs and Alomar is hitting .324 with 78 runs.
And the Indians have the best record in baseball, 56-31.
"I think we were basically showing the world what Cleveland is all about at this point," Lofton said of the Indians' all-star performances.
But NL starter Curt Schilling was in trouble because the next batter was an Indian. With Ramirez at bat, Lofton stole second before his teammate walked.
"I'm kind of used to seeing Manny come to the plate when I'm on base," Lofton said. "It was fun to have it done at the All-Star game."
Thome followed Ramirez and singled in Lofton. And Ramirez scored on Cal Ripken's single.
"Kenny did his normal thing, got on base," Thome said. "I got lucky and got a hit. It was nice."
"Manny gets on and Thome brings me in," Lofton said. "That's what the Cleveland Indians are or have been doing all year."
They did it again with two runs in the fourth that made the score 4-1.
Thome began the rally with a walk, took second when Ripken was hit by a pitch and scored on Palmeiro's single. Ripken came home on an error by third baseman Matt Williams.
One Indian who didn't start, shortstop Omar Vizquel, made a sparkling defensive play with a runner on third and two outs in the seventh. He killed an NL rally by fielding Vladimir Guererro's grounder behind second base and flipping it out of his glove to Jose Offerman for the force at second.
After the way the Indians played Tuesday night, Thome saw no reason to doubt that they belonged in the game, regardless of the voting practices of Cleveland fans.
"We are fortunate that we sell out every game," he said. "It's one of those things where you're always going to have speculation.
"And I think every player here is very deserving, whether it be from the Indians or any other ballclub."
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