The 1995 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 1995 American League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians against the West Division champion Seattle Mariners. The Mariners had the home field advantage, which was predetermined and assigned to either the West Division champion or their opponents in the Division Series.
The two teams were victorious in the AL Division Series (ALDS), with the Indians defeating the East Division champion Boston Red Sox three games to none, and the Mariners defeating the wild card qualifier New York Yankees three games to two. The Indians won the series four games to two to become the American League champions, and lost to the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1995 World Series.
Cleveland won the series, 4–2.
Tuesday, October 10, 1995, at Kingdome in Seattle, Washington
The Indians called on the veteran Dennis Martínez for Game 1. The Mariners rode the arm of Bob Wolcott. Wolcott got off to a shaky start by walking three straight hitters to open the game, but he would get out of the bases-loaded, nobody-out situation with ease. In the second, Mike Blowers hit a two-run homer to put the Mariners in front 2–0. However, the Indians would put together a run in the next inning and in the seventh, Albert Belle's solo homer tied the game at two. With Martinez still pitching in a tie game, the Mariners would take the lead thanks to Luis Sojo's go-ahead double in the bottom half of the seventh. Norm Charlton would come on in the eighth for a 1 1⁄3 inning save. He would retire the side 1–2–3 in the ninth.
Wednesday, October 11, 1995, at Kingdome in Seattle, Washington
The Indians' second veteran Orel Hershiser was called upon to stem the tide against Tim Belcher. Both pitchers dueled for four innings until the Indians broke through in the top of the fifth with a two-run single by Carlos Baerga. In the next inning, the Indians grabbed two more on a Manny Ramírez homer and an RBI triple by Sandy Alomar, Jr.. Ken Griffey, Jr.'s sixth postseason homer put the Mariners on the board to make it 4–1 in the bottom of the sixth. The Indians would put the game away when Manny Ramírez hit his second homer of the game in the eighth to make it 5–1. Hershiser would give way to José Mesa in the ninth. Mesa would issue a one-out solo homer to Jay Buhner but would recover to close out the win.
Friday, October 13, 1995, at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio
In Game 3, the starting pitchers were Randy Johnson and Charles Nagy. Nagy and Johnson pitched a scoreless first but the Mariners broke through on a solo homer by Jay Buhner. Then an error in the third by Álvaro Espinoza gave the Mariners one more run to make it 2–0 Mariners. The Indians put a run on the board after a leadoff triple by Kenny Lofton and a sac fly by Omar Vizquel in the fourth. The Indians then tied the game due to an error by Buhner. Johnson and Nagy both left the game tied at two. The game moved to extra innings and in the eleventh, Buhner came through once again with a three-run home run to give the Mariners a 5–2 lead. Charlton, who came on in the ninth in relief, got the win and shut down the Indians in the bottom of the eleventh.
Saturday, October 14, 1995, at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio
With their backs to the wall in Game 4, Cleveland called on Ken Hill to help tie the series. Opposing him would be Andy Benes. Benes wouldn't fare well against Hill and the Cleveland hitters. The Indians put three on the board in the first, a rally capped by Eddie Murray's two-run homer. A sac fly by Kenny Lofton made it 4–0 in the second. Then the rain began to fall on Seattle's parade in the third as Benes surrendered a two-run homer to Jim Thome in the rain. Benes was done and the rain ended after the third was over. Hill would pitch beyond expectations and lead his team to an easy 7–0 shutout.
Sunday, October 15, 1995, at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio
Game 5 was a matchup between Chris Bosio and Orel Hershiser. Hershiser was looking to continue his excellence and he got off to the right start when the Indians knocked home a run in the first thanks to an error by Tino Martinez. But Hershiser's slim lead would be cut in the third when Ken Griffey, Jr.'s RBI double tied the game. In the fifth, an error by Albert Belle gave the Mariners the lead. The Mariners were closing in on a 3–2 lead going home but the Indians wouldn't allow it as Jim Thome stepped to the plate in the sixth with a man on and hit a two-run homer to give the Indians the lead back. The Mariners had their share of chances. In the seventh, they had men on the corners with one out and Griffey, Jr. at the plate. Paul Assenmacher was summoned from the bullpen. He proceeded to strike out Griffey on a high fastball as the crowd cheered, and the camera showed his wife going crazy. Then Jay Buhner stepped to the plate. Normally manager Mike Hargrove would bring in a right-hander, but he stayed with Assenmacher. He struck out Buhner on a low breaking ball and then slowly, stoically walked off the mound, head down, somber expression, with 40,000 fans screaming wildly. The Mariners could never capitalize on any more opportunities and José Mesa closed the door in the ninth.
Tuesday, October 17, 1995, at Kingdome in Seattle, Washington
In the potential clincher, Dennis Martínez faced Randy Johnson. Both pitchers kept the game scoreless until the top of the fifth. A key error by Joey Cora allowed Kenny Lofton to single home a run to put the Indians up 1–0. With the score still 1–0 in the eighth, the Indians put three runs together against Johnson. A passed ball with two men in scoring position allowed both of them to score. Kenny Lofton made a mad dash from second base, sliding in just ahead of the tag, and the entire dugout ran onto the field to celebrate. Then Carlos Baerga followed with a solo homer to give the Indians a commanding 4–0 lead with six outs to go. Once again, José Mesa came on to close the door in the ninth and did so with shocking ease. The Indians had won their first pennant since 1954. The Mariners were one of the very few teams to have lost in two shutouts in one series.
1995 ALCS (4–2): Cleveland Indians over Seattle Mariners