The New York Yankees are getting all the headlines with their manager and one of his pitchers getting into a fight, but the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t paying any attention. They’re too busy winning ballgames and getting closer to the first division title in their nine-year history.
On Monday, Jesse Barfield hit his 25th home run, and Tom Henke squelched a Milwaukee threat in the seventh inning to help the Blue Jays to a 5-1 win over the Brewers at Toronto. It gave them a six-game lead over the idle Yankees and reduced their magic number for clinching the American League East championship to eight. Any combination of Toronto wins and Yankee defeats totaling eight will give the Blue Jays the title.
Toronto starter Jim Clancy (8-5) gave up only four hits in six-plus innings, but two of them, singles by rookie Earnest Riles and Cecil Cooper, put runners on first and third with Toronto leading, 2-0, in the seventh. Henke came in and threw a double-play ball to Ted Simmons that permitted Milwaukee’s lone run to score. Henke finished up for his 13th save.
Barfield opened the scoring with his home run in the second off Tim Leary (1-2). In the sixth, he singled and stole his 20th base to become the first Blue Jay to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. Barfield was also credited with an assist in the sixth, a club-record 19th for an outfielder.
After Milwaukee pulled within a run in the seventh, the Blue Jays broke the game open with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Lloyd Moseby led off with a single and went all the way to third on Leary’s wild pitch. Rance Mulliniks followed with a double that knocked out Leary. Mulliniks is 7 for 12 in his last four games.
Detroit 2, Boston 1--Juan Berenguer, restored to the starting rotation from the bullpen in mid-August, struck out six and walked two to win at Boston. He needed help from reliever Willie Hernandez in the eighth inning, however, as Hernandez picked up his 30th save. The only run off Berenguer was unearned as he allowed only four hits in 7 innings.
The Tigers scored both of their runs in the third inning off Bob Ojeda (7-11), who has won only three of 16 starts since mid-June. Bob Melvin began the rally with a triple on a line drive that right-fielder Dwight Evans missed with a diving attempt. Doug Flynn drove in Melvin with a sacrifice fly for only his second RBI of the season. Tom Brookens followed with a double, stole third and scored on Lance Parrish’s two-out single.
Boston’s Wade Boggs went 1 for 3 and his American League-leading batting average remained at .374. Boggs has 226 hits this season.
Texas 11, Seattle 4--Gary Ward homered and drove in four runs to give the Rangers a sweep of the four-game series at home. The four straight wins tied a season-high. Ward hit a three-run homer, his 15th, in the first inning, and picked up his other RBI with a sacrifice fly.
Oakland 8, Cleveland 7--Tony Phillips and Bruce Bochte both hit two-run homers, leading the A’s over Cleveland at Oakland.
Jose Rijo (5-3) gave up nine hits in 6 innings, and reliever Steve Ontiveros pitched the final 2 innings for his ninth save. Curt Wardle (8-7) was the loser.