Bert Blyleven not only has a major league record, he may put it out of reach.
Blyleven allowed three home runs Monday night, running his season-total of 49, but hung on to pitch the Minnesota Twins to a 6-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Minneapolis.
“I was thinking about it every time I threw the ball,” said Blyleven (16-14), who in his previous start tied the record of 46 set by Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1956. “I even thought about it in the bullpen before the game.
“There were 46 other ones before that, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Cleveland rookie Jay Bell hit the record-breaker in the third inning, hitting the first pitch he saw in the major leagues over the left field wall.
In a bit of irony, Bell, the Twins’ No. 1 draft choice in 1984, was sent to the Indians in a trade for Blyleven last season.
“I was going to swing on the first pitch no matter where it was,” he said. “It was a great thrill. I thought about it before the game, facing the pitcher I was traded for.”
Bell became the 55th player in major league history to hit a home run in his first at-bat, and the 11th to do it on the first pitch.
Blyleven, who struck out nine in eight innings, later gave up homers to Joe Carter and Brett Butler.
“I still have one more outing left,” Blyleven said with a smile, “and I might shatter the record so no one will catch me.”
Minnesota trailed, 5-4, but pulled out the victory in the eighth inning on Tom Brunansky’s sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Randy Bush’s two-run single.
Boston 7, Baltimore 5--Wade Boggs drove in three runs with a double and a single, raising his American League-leading batting average to .353 as the Red Sox beat the Orioles at Boston.
Boggs went 2 for 4 to take a four-point lead in the batting race over the New York Yankees’ Don Mattingly.
Al Nipper (10-11) got the victory for the Red Sox, who won for the 20th time in their last 27 games. John Habyan (1-3) was the loser for the Orioles, who have lost 8 of 9.
Eddie Murray hit three doubles for the Orioles.
New York 8, Toronto 1--Dennis Rasmussen scattered six hits, and Dave Winfield drove in his 100th and 101st runs of the season as the Yankees routed the Blue Jays at New York.
The only run scored off Rasmussen (17-6) came in the ninth inning on Willie Upshaw’s ninth homer.
Winfield became the first Yankee since Joe DiMaggio to drive in at least 100 runs in five straight seasons. DiMaggio did it seven straight years (1936-1942).
Mattingly went 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and an intentional walk, his average falling to .349.
New York’s Ron Kittle connected against John Cerutti (9-4) for his 21st homer.
Texas 3, Oakland 0--Pete Incaviglia hit a two-run homer, and Ed Correa and Jeff Russell held the A’s to three hits as the Rangers won at Arlington, Tex.
Correa (12-13) gave up 1 hit, struck out 8 and walked 3 before leaving with a sore arm after 6 innings. Russell pitched the final three innings for his second save.
Incaviglia hit his 29th homer, a two-run shot off Curt Young (12-9), moving to within one of the Rangers’ home run record, set by Jeff Burroughs in 1973.
Correa uncorked a wild pitch in the sixth inning that was the Rangers’ 91st of the season, tying the major league record set by Houston in 1970.
Chicago 8, Philadelphia 3--Greg Maddux of the Cubs beat his brother, Mike, who pitches for the Phillies, in this game at Philadelphia.
Jody Davis went 4 for 5, including a three-run homer, and drove in five runs to back the 20-year-old Greg Maddux (2-4). He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Mike Maddux (3-7), 25, allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 3 innings.
AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING RACE
Player Team Monday Season AB R H G AB R H AVG Wade Boggs Boston 4 0 2 147 572 106 202 .353 Don Mattingly New York Yankees 3 1 0 156 651 111 227 .349
NATIONAL LEAGUE BATTING RACE
Player Team Monday Season AB R H G AB R H AVG Tim Raines Montreal DNP 148 570 90 192 .337 Tony Gwynn San Diego DNP 155 621 101 204 .329 Steve Sax Dodgers 2 1 2 152 615 85 202 .328