American League Roundup : Another ‘Ninthmare’ Beats Twins

It is getting to be a recurring nightmare for the Minnesota Twins. They keep losing on dramatic ninth-inning home runs.

Don Mattingly hit a three-run home run with two out in the ninth inning Monday at New York to climax an amazing Yankee comeback and give them a 9-8 victory. The Yankees fought back from an 8-0 deficit.

It was the fourth consecutive game in which the Twins have given up ninth-inning home runs and the third time the blow has beaten them. Ron Davis has lost all three.

The string began in Baltimore Friday night. Fred Lynn broke a 5-5 tie with a home run off Davis with one out in the ninth. On Saturday, with two on, two out and the Orioles trailing, 2-1, Lynn did it again, this time off Curt Wardle. When Lynn hit a three-run homer in the ninth Sunday, it wasn’t decisive because the Twins had a seven-run lead.


Davis was on the mound Monday night and he walked two batters before Mattingly hit a 1-and-0 pitch over the right field fence.

“The worst part,” stunned Manager Billy Gardner said, “was walking Ken Griffey with two out. Even if he hits it out, it’s only a tie game.”

The Twins built an 8-0 lead in the first two innings off Ed Whitson and Don Cooper. Whitson made only seven pitches in the first inning, but four of them were hits and accounted for two runs. They chased Whitson in the second and Randy Bush hit a three-run homer off Cooper to make it 8-0.

With Mike Smithson on the mound, it didn’t seem possible the Twins could lose. But, it’s been a strangecouple of days and they did. Butch Wynegar capped a five-run sixth with a three-run homer. The Yanks were still two runs behind when Davis started walking people in the ninth.


Yankee center-fielder Rickey Henderson was hit on the elbow with a pitch in the first inning. After being thrown out at the plate later in the inning, Henderson left the game.

In the second inning, Whitson hit lead-off batter Gary Gaetti before umpires put a stop to the beanballs.

Detroit 7, Texas 4--Lou Whitaker isn’t known as a slugger, but he joined some celebrated power hitters when he hit a home run over the right-field roof and out of Tiger Stadium in the first inning.

Among the 20 who have accomplished the feat are Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson and his own teammate, Kirk Gibson.

Gibson and Lance Parrish also homered for the Tigers.

Chicago 8, Cleveland 0--Britt Burns, once the most promising young pitcher in the White Sox organization, is back in his best form. Burns, bothered by back problems, was 4-12 last season.

In his most impressive outing this season, Burns (5-2) gave up only four hits, struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter at Chicago in pitching the White Sox’s second consecutive shutout. Floyd Bannister blanked Detroit Sunday.

Kansas City 5, Baltimore 2--Jorge Orta drove in four runs and relief ace Dan Quisenberry pitched a brilliant three innings at Baltimore to pace the Royals.


Quisenberry gave up one hit and struck out four. He also made sure that Fred Lynn, who had hit three consecutive ninth inning home runs, didn’t come to the plate in the last inning.