Kouzmanoff Makes History With First Swing

Kevin Kouzmanoff ... what a start!

Kevin Kouzmanoff made his major-league debut for the Indians in Texas -- the Lone Star State. Yet all the other stars in the universe had to be perfectly aligned for not only Kouzmanoff, but also Tom Mastny and the Indians on Saturday night in what goes into the books as a 6-5 Cleveland victory -- though it was a game with so very much more from stunning start to plucky finish for the Tribe.

No other player, of the thousands who have appeared in a major-league baseball game, ever did what Kouzmanoff did -- hit the very first pitch he saw in his career for a grand slam.

Only two others ever hit a grand slam in their first at-bat -- Florida's Jeremy Hermida last year and the Phillies' Bill Duggleby way back in 1898. The only other player to hit a grand slam in his first big-league game was the late Bobby Bonds in 1968 for the Giants.

"That's pretty cool," Kouzmanoff told reporters.

The last Indians player to hit a homer in his first big-league at-bat was Jay Bell in 1986 -- ironically off the player for whom he had been traded by Minnesota to Cleveland -- Bert Blyleven.

The last Indians player whose first big-league homer was a grand slam was Buddy Bell, off Baltimore's Eddie Watt in 1972. But that was in Bell's sixth career game.

Tribe pitcher Steve Dunning hit a grand slam for his first big-league homer in 1971, but that was in his second season. Outfielder and future homer hero Roger Maris hit a grand slam for his first career homer with the Indians in his second game in 1957.

Enough with the history lessons -- let's get to this game, which had some other astonishing points, too.

Grady Sizemore got Cleveland started on a five-run first inning by hitting a 1-1 pitch from Edinson Volquez into the upper deck for his 22nd homer and a 1-0 lead.

Jason Michaels then singled, stole second with two outs and went to third on a throwing error. Then both Casey Blake and Jhonny Peralta walked, setting the stage for Kouzmanoff.

He was recalled in the morning to fill in for DH Travis Hafner, who suffered a bruised right hand when hit by a pitch Friday night. And Kouzmanoff picked up right where he left off in the minors by clouting the first pitch far over the center-field wall.

In 94 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Buffalo this year, Kouzmanoff hit a combined .379 with 22 homers and 75 RBI.

Cleveland built a 6-0 lead and Cliff Lee (11-10, 4.63 ERA) protected it for seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.

Fernando Cabrera pitched a perfect eighth and then Mastny (1.46 ERA) came on in the ninth, seeking his fifth save in five opportunities since being named Cleveland's closer.

He gave up a bunt single to Gerald Laird and double down the third-base line by Ian Kinsler and with runners on second and third and none out, his streak appeared in jeopardy.

He got the next batter to bounce to third baseman Andy Marte, but all-star Gary Matthews Jr., lined a single to right. That scored one run, but right-fielder Casey Blake's throw home and the tag by catcher Victor Martinez prevented the Kinsler from scoring.

"I didn't see the replay," said Wedge. "I don't know. It looked like the ball beat him and Victor did a good job of hanging on for the tag."

Then Mastny flagged down an screeching line drive by Michael Young ... and that was that ... certainly not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill 6-5 win.

Class AAA Buffalo (72-68) had its game in Rochester cancelled by rain. Weather permitting, the Bisons will conclude their season with two games in Ottawa.

Class AA Akron (84-55) had its game in Erie postponed by rain and will try to make it up today as part of a doubleheader. The Aeros have three more regular-season games remaining at Erie. Then Akron will try to win its third championship in four years. The Aeros took three of four from Portland to win it all last year and swept New Haven to win the title in 2003.

Class A Kinston (35-31, 47-23) gave up only two hits, accumulated 14, and rolled to a 12-0 win at Myrtle Beach. Rodney Choy Foo (.291) went 2-for-3 with three runs, three walks, three RBI and two homers, his 11th and 12th of the season. Stephen Head (.231) was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, Micah Schilling (.263) 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI and Chris De La Cruz (.286) drove in four runs, three of them with his first homer for Kinston and second of the season overall. J.D. Martin (1-0) allowed one hit over four innings in his third appearance for Kinston as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery last summer. In 44 1/3 innings overall between Mahoning Valley, Lake County and Kinston, he's 1-2 with a 2.01 ERA and has allowed only five walks and 30 hits while striking out 40. Starter Scott Lewis (1.48) continued his remarkable rehab, too, allowing one hit and two walks over three innings, fanning three. In 115 2/3 innings this year, he is 3-3 with a 1.48 ERA, allowing 84 hits and 28 walks while striking out 123. Scott Roehl (3.90) finished with two hitless innings. Kinston, which won the first half championship in the Southern Division of the Carolina League, is scheduled to play two more games at Myrtle Beach to end the second half before going to the playoffs.

Class A Lake County (33-32, 29-41) lost the first game of a scheduled doubleheader at Lakewood in 15 innings, 5-4. The second game was postponed by rain. The Captains went ahead with two runs in the top of the 13th, then yielded two in the bottom half before giving up one in the bottom of the 15th to lose it. Starter Frank Herrmann (3.90 ERA) struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs. Dan Eisentrager (4.38) worked 2 1/3 scoreless and Julio Pinto (4.60) struck out six over three scoreless innings. Jason Schutt (5.16) gave up two runs (one earned) over 1 1/3, Matt Loberg (3.94) worked 1 1/3 perfect, but allowed an inherited runner to score charged to Schutt. Mark Jecmen (4-3, 4.50) then gave up one run over the final two-thirds of an inning. Mike Conroy (.233) had two of the Captains' seven hits and one RBI. Mike Butia (.288) and Max Ramirez (.294.) each had one hit, one run and one RBI. The Captains are still scheduled to finish the season with three more games at Lakewood.

Class A Mahoning Valley (36-34) had its home game against State College postponed by rain and will try to make it up Sunday in a doubleheader. The Scrappers have those two home games against State College before finishing the New York-Penn League season with two apiece at Williamsport and Auburn.

Rookie League Burlington (34-33) finished in third place place in the East Division of the Appalachian League.

GCL Indians (21-29) finished in fourth place in the Gulf Coast League.

DSL INDIANS (44-27): The DSL Indians finished second in the Bocachica Division of the Dominican Summer League. They lost to the DSL Yankees 6-5 in 10 innings, dropping their playoff series 2-1.

TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (HITTING)

PLAYER

TEAM

AB

H

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB

SO

1. R. Choy Foo

Kinston

3

2

2

3

3

0

3

1

2. S. Head

Kinston

5

4

0

2

2

0

0

0

3. C. De La Cruz

Kinston

3

1

1

1

4

0

1

0


TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (PITCHING)

PLAYER

Team

W

L

SV

IP

ER

H

BB

SO

1. J. Martin

Kinston

1

0

0

4.0

0

1

1

3

2. S. Lewis

Kinston

0

0

0

3.0

0

1

2

3

3. J. Pinto

Lake County

0

0

0

3.0

0

4

2

6


Three-star points through Sept. 2
HITTER			1ST	2ND	3RD	TOTAL
** Kevin Kouzmanoff	14	5	3	86
Brian Barton		9	5	9	69
Brad Snyder		5	7	10	56
Ben Francisco		6	7	3	54
Trevor Crowe		6	5	1	46
Jordan Brown		6	3	2	41
Jason Dubois		6	2	5	41
Ryan Goleski		4	4	9	41
Ryan Mulhern		6	3	2	41
** Ryan Garko		5	3	4	38
** Joe Inglett		5	4		37
Jose Constanza		3	5	5	35
Rodney Choy Foo		5	2	3	34
** Franklin Gutierrez	3	4	4	34
Jon Van Every		4	4	2	34
P.J. Hiser		4	2	2	28
** Andy Marte		2	4	3	25
Lou Merloni		3	3	1	25
Eider Torres		1	5	4	24
Argenis Reyes		3	1	4	22
Wyatt Toregas		1	5	2	22
Jerad Head		3	1	1	19
Josh Noviskey		3	1	1	19
Chris Gimenez		2	2	2	18
Matt McBride		2	2	2	18
Pat Osborn		2	2	2	18
John Drennen		2	1	4	17
Josh Rodriguez		2	2		16
Dave Wallace		2	1	3	16
Mike Conroy		1	2	3	14
Matt Fornasiere			4	2	14
Josh Roberts		2	1	1	14
Jason Cooper		2		3	13
Einar Diaz		2		3	13
Lucas Montero		2	1		13
Jason Alfaro		1	2	1	12
Roman Pena			3	3	12
Matt Whitney			3	3	12
Stephen Head			3	2	11
Juan Valdes		1	2		11
Corteze Armstrong		1	1	2	10
Chris De La Cruz		1	1	2	10
Mike Butia		1	1	1	9
Brian Finegan			1	6	9
Andy Lytle		1		4	9
Fernando Pacheco		1	1	1	9
Brandon Pinckney		1	1	1	9
Alfred Ard		1	1		8
Boodle Clark		1	1		8
Javier Herrera		1		3	8
Nick Petrucci		1		3	8
** Kelly Shoppach		1	1		8
Felipe Garcia			1	4	7
Jake Gautreau			2	1	7
Brett Kinning			2	1	7
Shaun Larkin			2	1	7
Cristo Arnal		1		1	6
Jay Nilsson		1		1	6
Max Ramirez			1	3	6
Dustin Realini		1		1	6
Ramon Alvarado		1			5
Ivan Ochoa			1	2	5
Nate Panther		1			5
Michael Aubrey			1	1	4
Jason Denham			1	1	4
Trevor Mortensen			1	1	4
Micah Schilling			1	1	4
* Marshall Szabo			1	1	4
Aregenis Tavarez			1	1	4
Ramon Vazquez			1	1	4
Jose Chavez			1		3
Kelly Edmundson			1		3
* Jose Flores			1		3
Jared Goedert				3	3
Daryl King			1		3
Collin Martin			1		3
Omar Casillas				2	2
Ramon Hernandez				2	2
Carlos Rivero				2	2
Niuman Romero				2	2
Janel Arias				1	1
Adam Davis				1	1
Jansy Infante				1	1
Luis Rincon				1	1
PITCHER			1ST	2ND	3RD	TOTAL
Adam Miller		12	3	1	70
Scott Lewis		7	7	4	60
Sean Smith		10	2		56
** Jeremy Guthrie		7	3	1	45
Chuck Lofgren		6	4		42
Aaron Laffey		7	1	2	40
** Jeremy Sowers		6	2	1	37
Reid Santos		4	3	3	32
Hyang-Nam Choi		2	5	6	31
Josh Tomlin		5	1	1	29
Jensen Lewis		5	1		28
Tom Cowley		3	3	3	27
Rafael Perez		4	2	1	27
Kevin Dixon		3	2	4	25
Edward Mujica		2	4	3	25
Brian Slocum		4	1	2	25
** Tom Mastny		2	3	5	24
Luis Valdez		3	3		24
Jason Stanford		1	5	3	23
Matt Davis		1	4	5	22
Nick Pesco		3	2	1	22
Bear Bay			3	1	3	21
Joe Ness			1	4	4	21
Tony Sipp			1	4	4	21
Frank Herrmann		3	1	2	20
Osiris Perez		2	3	1	20
Rick Fairchild		3	1	1	19
Jim Deters		1	2	7	18
Alan Brech		1	3	2	16
Scott Roehl			5	1	16
Julio Pinto		3	1	1	16
Matt Loberg		1	3	1	15
Jake Dittler		1	3		14
Mark Jecmen			4	2	14
J.D. Martin		1	2	3	14
Carlton Smith		1	3		14
Jeff Stevens		1	3		14
Albert Vargas			4	1	13
Jim Ed Warden			3	4	13
* Andrew Brown		1		7	12
Bubbie Buzachero		1	2	1	12
* Ben Howard		1	2	1	12
Travis Foley			3	2	11
Erik Stiller		2		1	11
Michael Storey		1	2		11
Dan Denham		1	1	2	10
Jeanmar Gomez		2			10
Scott Sumner		1	1	2	10
Rob Bell			1		4	9
Doodle Hicks		1	1	1	9
Brandt Sanders			2	3	9
Neil Wagner			2	3	9
Cody Bunkelman			2	2	8
Ryan Knippschild			1	5	8
Joanniel Montero		1	1		8
** Jason Davis		1		2	7
Mariano Gomez			2	1	7
Chris Niesel			2	1	7
Jorge Riera		1		2	7
** Fernando Cabrera	1		1	6
Mike Eisenberg		1		1	6
Dan Frega			1		1	6
Derrick Loop		1		1	6
Matt Meyer			1	3	6
Matt Robinson			2		6
Michael Finocchi			1	2	5
Jimmy Brettl			1	2	5
William Delage		1			5
Brady Halverson		1			5
Ryan Morris		1			5
Hector Rondon		1			5
Jason Schutt			1	2	5
T.J. Burton			1	1	4
Vic Darensbourg			1	1	4
Angel Claudio			1		3
Kyle Collina			1		3
Kyle Collins				3	3
Chris Cooper			1		3
Kelvin N. Diaz			1		3
Danny Graves				3	3
Jesus Soto			1		3
Nate Bunton				2	2
Ryan Edell				2	2
Hart Hering				2	2
Juan Lara					2	2
Dustin Roddy				2	2
* Mike Adams				1	1
* Wyatt Allen				1	1
Brett Andrade				1	1
Brett Carlin				1	1
** Fausto Carmona				1	1
Dan Eisentrager				1	1
Felix Heredia				1	1
David Huff				1	1
* Steve Karsay				1	1
Tim Laker					1	1
Luis Perdomo				1	1
* - no longer in organization
** - promoted to majors

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