For the third straight game, the New York Yankees’ bullpen fizzled, and once again it cost the team a chance to make up ground on the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays.
Dave Righetti was ineffective Saturday and, one day later, Dennis Rasmussen was unable to stop the Blue Jays during a six-run third inning. On Monday, it was Brian Fisher’s turn to be belted.
Julio Franco hit a two-run triple during a six-run ninth, and Andre Thornton ripped a pair of two-run homers, giving the Cleveland Indians a 9-5 victory over New York at Yankee Stadium.
The loss, the Yankees’ fourth in a row, left them five games behind Toronto, which was idle Monday.
Trailing, 5-3, entering the ninth, the Indians scored a run on successive singles by George Vukovich, Brook Jacoby and Jerry Willard and an RBI groundout by Jerry Butler. Franco then tripled into the right-field corner off Fisher (4-4) to make it 6-5.
Thornton followed with his second two-run homer and 17th this year, a shot to left field, to make it 8-5. Joe Carter capped the inning--in which Cleveland sent 10 batters to the plate--with an RBI single.
“I left Fisher in because I’m not going to have the fans dictate to me what I’m to do,” New York Manager Billy Martin said. “If I take him out he gets booed and I don’t want him to lose his confidence. I kept thinking he’d get the next batter out and the game would be over. It didn’t work out.”
Fisher, a rookie, was rattled over the defeat.
“It’s going to happen sometimes, but the only thing that bothers me now is it put us five games out,” he said. “We were 9 1/2 out once and we got back (to 1 1/2 after Thursday’s win) and we have to do it again. Martin told me not to let it bother me. He said it’s just part of baseball. I didn’t have my fastball, no velocity at all. I’m here to pitch and as long as I’m out there I’ll take the ball and throw it.”
Seattle 5, Kansas City 1--Danny Tartabull belted a two-run homer to support the five-hit pitching of Mike Moore as the Mariners handed the Royals their second loss in their last three games at Seattle.
Moore struck out five and walked three to improve his record to 15-8 with his 11th complete game of the year.
The loss reduced the Royals’ lead in the American League West to two games over the idle Angels.
Baltimore 14, Detroit 7--Cal Ripken homered twice and Rick Dempsey, John Shelby, Eddie Murray and Fred Lynn hit one each as the Orioles ripped the Tigers at Detroit.
Ripken, Murray and Lynn homered consecutively in the eighth for the Orioles, who had 19 hits and increased their total to 194 homers this year, most in baseball.
Detroit also got three home runs, including two by Nelson Simmons, one of which was a three-run shot over the center-field fence to the right of the 440-foot mark.
Tippy Martinez gave up Simmons’ second home run but was credited with his third victory in six decisions for two innings of three-hit relief.
Milwaukee 5, Boston 3--Boston pitcher Bob Ojeda balked Ted Simmons home with the winning run in the seventh inning, helping a two-out, three-run rally by the Brewers at Milwaukee.
Bob McClure (4-1) pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief and gained the victory.
Ojeda (7-10) was called for the balk with two out and the score tied, 3-3, as he was pitching to Earnest Riles. Ojeda later walked Riles. Paul Householder singled Randy Ready home from third.
Minnesota 7, Texas 6--Gary Gaetti lined a home run over the left-field fence with one out in the 11th inning at Minneapolis.
Gaetti’s 18th homer of the year came on a 3-0 pitch from Greg Harris (4-4), who pitched three innings of relief. The drive carried 374 feet over the left-field wall.
Frank Eufemia (4-2) pitched a scoreless 11th inning for the victory.