American League Roundup : Red Sox Sweep Yanks; Griffey Returns
Here is the latest episode of the New York Yankees’ soap opera:
--Ken Griffey showed up at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night, was fined $10,000 and hit a home run.
--Owner George Steinbrenner angrily announced a crackdown under which his players would be evaluated by a grading system and would be prohibited from making speaking engagements during the season.
--Don Baylor, traded to the Boston Red Sox by Steinbrenner just before the season started, came back to haunt New York, leading the first-place Red Sox to a three-game sweep that dropped the Yankees 6 1/2 games out.
Baylor ripped a three-run double with one out in the top of the ninth to break a 2-2 tie and give Oil Can Boyd a 5-2 victory. Boyd (9-4) allowed eight hits.
The Yankees’ plans had called for a sweep of the three-game series to cut the Red Sox lead in the East to a half-game. Although they played without baseball’s leading hitter, Wade Boggs, the Red Sox swept and now are in command.
It was the ninth game-winning hit for Baylor, a key reason the Red Sox are doing so well.
Griffey failed to show up for Tuesday night’s game and would not talk about it Wednesday except to say it was a “personal” matter. In the sixth inning, he hit his eighth home run to tie the score. Earlier, he touched Boyd for a double.
After announcing the fine for Griffey, Steinbrenner denounced the play of his team, which has lost four in a row and the last seven at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s time for our million-dollar employees to start looking like million-dollar employees,” Steinbrenner said. “If you want to get paid like a champion, you’ve got to play like a champion. We’re not playing to our potential.
“We are grading the players on a 1-to-5 scale. Everything outstanding, good or bad, they do will be written down. But for everything else they will be given a grade from 1 to 5.”
The grading will be done by Steinbrenner’s “baseball committee,” made up of Manager Lou Piniella, General Manager Clyde King and Vice President Woody Woodward.
“If they (the players’ association) say I don’t have the right to do that, well then I’ll schedule meetings for every night of the week to watch game films,” Steinbrenner said. “I sure have the right to do that.”
Oakland 1, Kansas City 0--It may be that Bret Saberhagen is not pitching quite as well as he did last season, when he was 20-6 and won the Cy Young Award. It is definite that his luck isn’t as good.
In this game at Oakland, the 22-year-old right-hander made only one mistake. But Dave Kingman hit it over the left-field fence in the second inning for the only run of the game. Kingman was in a 2-for-19 slump and was batting .197.
Kingman’s 15th homer of the season made a winner of Curt Young (5-3), who, like Saberhagen, gave up just four hits.
Saberhagen’s record fell to 4-7. At this point last season, he was 7-3.
“He’s pitched well,” Manager Dick Howser said. “He should be at least .500 and could easily be 7-4.”
In his last five starts, Saberhagen has pitched 38 innings, has given up 9 runs and has a 2-2 record.
Milwaukee 3, Toronto 1--Ted Higuera, last season’s Rookie of the Year, just keeps on winning. In this game at Milwaukee, he gave up eight hits and improved his record to 9-5, stopping the Blue Jays’ four-game winning streak.
Mike Felder, playing center field in place of injured Robin Yount, hit a two-run home run in the third inning for his first major league homer to provide Higuera with the run he needed.
“If you’re going to beat Ted, you have to get him early,” Brewer Manager George Bamberger said. “The mark of a good pitcher is that he gets tougher as the game goes on. He’s a good closer.”
Detroit 6, Baltimore 1--Eric King (3-0) pitched a five-hitter at Baltimore for his first complete game and handed the Orioles their eighth loss in the last 10 games. Before sweeping the three-game series, the Tigers had lost 12 of 16.
Larry Herndon, a career .319 hitter against the Orioles, hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to give King all the help he needed
Cleveland 5, Seattle 1--Ken Schrom gave up only three hits in seven innings at Cleveland, and the Indians stopped the Mariners’ winning streak at four.
Brett Butler had a double and a triple and scored twice to pace the Indian offense.
Schrom strained his Achilles’ tendon, and Scott Bailes pitched the last two innings for the save.
Minnesota 10, Chicago 9--Steve Lombardozzi’s triple down the left-field line with none out in the 10th inning at Minneapolis scored Kirby Puckett from first base and gave the Twins their fourth win in a row.