American League Roundup : Guidry Has Right Mix, Wins, 4-0
In 1978, Ron Guidry owned a crackling fastball that produced a 25-3 record and an impressive 1.74 earned-run average.
But six-plus seasons have passed since the pitcher known as Louisiana Lightning led the New York Yankees to a world championship and claimed the Cy Young Award. Indeed, last season, the wear-and-tear on a 34-year-old arm had begun to show, and the loss of velocity may have accounted for a 10-11 mark, Guidry’s worst record in the majors.
This season, however, a crafty Guidry, using an assortment of pitches, is proving that he’s far from washed up. Saturday afternoon, he raised his record to 8-3 with a 4-0 shutout of the Tigers at Detroit.
Guidry, who surrendered four hits in winning his seventh game in a row, recorded his second straight shutout and had the Tigers off balance all afternoon.
“It’s not 1978, where I can just blow the fastball past them,” Guidry said. “I can still throw hard, but I have to mix it up and set them up. To be a good pitcher, you have to accept the fact that you might have to change--especially if you want to stay around. I’m not hard-headed.
“It was difficult, though, especially the way I was programmed to pitch.”
As far as the Tigers’ Kirk Gibson was concerned, it’s still vintage Guidry. Especially, after the Yankee pitcher struck out the side in the first inning.
“He’s throwing as well now as he was a couple of years ago,” said Gibson, who had his hitting streak snapped at eight games and also struck out twice. “But he’s a little different type of pitcher now. He’s got some knowledge there.”
Guidry, who ended the Tigers’ four-game winning streak, finished with six strikeouts, didn’t allow a walk and gave up only one hit over the last five innings. In 15 games, Guidry has walked only 14 batters.
The Yankees had a 2-0 lead with one out in the sixth when Don Mattingly singled. One out later, Don Baylor slammed his 12th home run off loser Dan Petry (9-5).
Boston 5, Toronto 3--Bill Buckner’s two-run single in the eighth inning was the key hit for the Red Sox in a rain-delayed game at Toronto.
With Boston trailing, 3-2, Wade Boggs led off with an infield single against Jim Acker (4-2), and Jim Rice followed with another infield hit. An error by third baseman Rance Mulliniks allowed the runners to advance, and Buckner greeted reliever Gary Lavelle with his single.
Reliever Bob Stanley went the final 2 innings to even his record at 3-3.
Toronto Manager Bobby Cox was ejected during a fifth-inning rain delay--which lasted 3 hours 16 minutes--for arguing with the umpires over whether the game should be halted.
Seattle 2, Kansas City 1--Bret Saberhagen threw a perfect game for seven innings but faltered in the eighth and eventually lost to the Mariners at Kansas City.
Saberhagen, 21, was bidding to become the second-youngest pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter. However, Gorman Thomas singled to center on a 3-and-1 pitch to open the eighth. Saberhagen (7-4) eventually loaded the bases, then balked, allowing the first run to score. He walked Ken Phelps to reload the bases, bringing on reliever Dan Quisenberry. Al Cowens got an infield hit to score Seattle’s second run. The Royals scored a run in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough.
Vida Blue was about a month younger than Saberhagen when he had a no-hitter against Minnesota on Sept. 21, 1970, while pitching for Oakland.
Oakland 6, Cleveland 4--Carney Lansford hit his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the 11th inning, to give the A’s the victory at Oakland.
Alfredo Griffin led off the 11th with a single off Jeff Barkley (0-1). One out later, Lansford hit Barkley’s first pitch into the left-field stands.
Jay Howell (7-3), who gave up the tying run in the ninth, got the victory.
The Indians are 8-21 on the road.
Minnesota 3, Texas 2--The Twins scored three runs in the sixth at Minneapolis to keep new Manager Ray Miller unbeaten after two games.
Gary Gaetti had an RBI single, and Kent Hrbek supplied a two-run double to sustain the rally. Hrbek, hitting .256, has raised his average 23 points in the last six games.
Miller, the former Oriole pitching coach, took over Friday for Billy Gardner, who was fired.
Baltimore 3, Milwaukee 2--After blowing a 7-1 lead Friday night at Milwaukee, the Orioles stopped a four-game losing streak on a decisive sixth-inning RBI single by Cal Ripken.
Winner Scott McGregor (6-6) surrendered seven hits in seven innings before giving way to former Angel Don Aase.