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American League Roundup : Yankee Bullpen Falters Again as Brewers Win

The New York Yankees brag about their bullpen. They claim the relief corps, headed by Dave Righetti and including such specialists as Brian Fisher, Rod Scurry and Bob Shirley, is the best in baseball.

The Milwaukee Brewers have yet to be impressed.

Charlie Moore ripped a one-out triple to left-center field to score Jim Gantner from first base in the 11th inning Saturday at Milwaukee and give the Brewers a 4-3 victory. It was the second straight game in which the Brewers came from behind to beat the Yankee bullpen.

Friday night, Dennis Rasmussen departed after giving his team a 5-2 lead through six innings. Scurry, Fisher and Shirley failed to hold it as the Yankees lost, 6-5.

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Saturday, Ron Guidry, going after his third consecutive victory, gave up five hits and an unearned run in seven innings and turned over a 3-1 lead to Righetti.

The reliever couldn’t hold it. In the eighth, Rob Deer, a Giant castoff, hit a two-run home run to get the tough, young Brewers even.

With Scurry on the mound in the 11th, Gantner walked with one out, and Moore drilled the hit that sent the Yankees to their third loss in a row.

In two games and 5 innings, the Brewers have jumped on the vaunted New York bullpen for six runs and 11 hits. On the other hand, the Brewer relievers, not nearly as famous, have been sharp. Rookie Dan Plesac pitched four perfect innings Friday night to win, and veteran Bob McClure threw one shutout inning to win Saturday.

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Yankee Manager Lou Piniella was philosophical about his bullpen’s inability to stop the Brewers.

“It happens,” he said. “We’ve done it to other teams, and now the Brewers have done it to us twice.”

Toronto 6, Kansas City 5--It seems that people are quick to give up on Doyle Alexander. Although he has won 17 games in each of the last two seasons for them, the Blue Jays became alarmed when the 35-year-old right-hander was pounded in every outing during spring training.

Unlike Billy Martin, who let him go twice while he was the Yankee manager, once in 1976 and again in 1983, the Blue Jays didn’t give up on Alexander. Once the season started, they realized their patience had paid off.

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Alexander held the Royals to 3 hits and 2 runs in 7 innings to improve his record to 2-1. In three starts, he has an earned-run average of 2.19 and has allowed only six runs.

“I don’t think anybody plays in the spring like they do in the season unless they’re trying to make the ballclub,” Alexander said. “I had an outside chance of making the club. I think next spring, I’ll just go fishing.”

Alexander found a new way to get around George Brett, too. Brett had walked 15 times in 10 games, but Alexander hit him twice.

“They were both slow pitches, a knuckleball and a breaking pitch. George didn’t move a muscle on either pitch. He wanted to be hit,” Alexander said. “He shouldn’t have been awarded first.”

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Boston 3, Chicago 2--Wade Boggs ended one of the worst slumps (0 for 15) of his career with an eighth-inning double that ignited a two-run rally at Boston and gave Oil Can Boyd his first victory of the season.

Boggs scored the tying run on Don Baylor’s grounder to shortstop with the bases loaded and nobody out. Shortstop Ozzie Guillen stepped on second for a force, then threw wild to first and the winning run scored.

Boyd (1-1) went the distance, giving up six hits and striking out four.

Cleveland 8, Detroit 6--Last season, the Indians’ bullpen was an arson squad. In the early part of this season, it is a strong point.

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Except for one bad outing by Ernie Camacho in a game the Indians won, the bullpen has done the job.

Scott Bailes gave up two runs in 3 innings of relief for Neal Heaton to gain his second win in relief, and Camacho, retiring the last four Tigers, earned his third save.

Brook Jacoby hit a two-run double to key a three-run fifth for the Indians, and Tony Bernazard and Julio Franco hit home runs. Chet Lemon hit two homers for the Tigers, and Alan Trammell hit another.

Baltimore 10, Texas 4--Eddie Murray has emerged from his worst start with a bang. The slugging Oriole first baseman was batting .094 after eight games.

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He hit a grand slam and a run-scoring double in this game at Baltimore and has 7 hits in 12 at-bats in the last three games. His 13th slam broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth, and the Orioles were in command the rest of the way.

“We count on Eddie,” Manager Earl Weaver said. “He was a little slow to get going. But now he seems to have it together. Everything is falling into place.”

Oakland 7, Seattle 2--The A’s Jose Rijo struck out a club-record 16 batters at Seattle, and the two teams struck out a record 30 times.

Dave Kingman, who had six singles this season, hit two home runs and drove in five runs.

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The previous Oakland one-game record for strikeouts was 13 by Vida Blue.


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