His Milwaukee teammates are beginning to get the same feeling Rob Deer has had for several days--that they are invincible.
Deer hit his fifth home run, and the Brewers tied an American League record Saturday at Milwaukee for the fastest start in a season with a 4-3 victory over the slumping Texas Rangers.
The Brewers’ 11th consecutive win tied the record set by the Oakland A’s in 1981. The major league record is 13, set by Atlanta in 1982. Both teams turned the promising beginnings into division titles.
The Brewers may also be setting records for delaying the start of games to accommodate big crowds. Friday night, there was an hour delay while 41,548 fans jammed into County Stadium. On Saturday, the game was delayed half an hour when 39,715 showed up. In their first four home games, the Brewers have averaged slightly less than 28,000.
Glenn Braggs drove in the other three Milwaukee runs. Braggs doubled home two runs in the third to tie the score, 2-2. Deer broke the tie in the fourth with his home run and Braggs drove in the final Brewer run in the fifth.
The Brewers continued to get adequate pitching. Bill Wegman (1-0) went 7 innings and Dan Plesac retired the last four batters, three of them on strikes, for his fourth save. Plesac came to the rescue after Pete Incaviglia’s fourth home run cut the lead to 4-3.
“We have the feeling we can hit anybody and beat anybody,” Deer said. “When you’re going as good as this is and as well as I am, you can’t wait to get out there each day.”
While the Brewers, expected to finish last in the East, are soaring, the Rangers, expected to be a contender in the West, have been left at the gate. This was their eighth loss in a row and they are last in the West with a 1-9 record.
“Every game is a big deal,” Milwaukee Manager Tom Trebelhorn, suddenly a well-known figure, said. “We’re playing with the right perspective. It’s a marvelous streak to be on. But I think it’s only one in a row with another game tomorrow.”
Boston 6, Toronto 4--Jeff Sellers and Danny Sheaffer are just trying to make sure they remain on the Red Sox roster. Both improved their chances in this game at Toronto.
Sellers, the temporary replacement in the rotation for ailing Oil Can Boyd, survived a rocky second inning to last six innings and gain the victory.
Sheaffer, the back-up catcher, at least until May when the Red Sox are expected to sign Rich Gedman, had two hits, including a single in the fifth inning that drove in the winning run.
Sellers gave up three runs in the second inning, but settled down after that. Calvin Schiraldi struck out three in 2 innings to earn his second save.
“As long as I’ve got a locker in the clubhouse and a uniform to put on,” Sheaffer said, “I’m not going to worry about Gedman. I’m just going to take advantage of my opportunities.”
Detroit 3, Chicago 2--The Tigers are making do rather well without injured ace Jack Morris. Morris, suffering from a mysterious neck injury, again missed his turn at Detroit, but the Tigers beat the White Sox for the fifth time in a row.
Dave Bergman hit a two-out home run to right in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie.
Rookie Jeff Robinson took over the starting assignment and held the White Sox to two runs and six hits in seven innings. Eric King pitched two scoreless innings in relief to get the victory.
The Tigers scored twice in the first inning and knocked out Neil Allen. Allen gave up two hits and walked two while retiring only one batter.
Baltimore 16, Cleveland 3--Ray Knight, who completed one of his best seasons by being voted the Most Valuable Player in the World Series last fall, is showing no signs of letting up.
He is really enjoying his first good look at American League pitching.
Knight had three more hits and drove in three runs at Baltimore as the Orioles pounded the Indians deeper into the cellar in the East.
This was supposed to be a big year for the Indians. Instead, they are off to one of their worst starts (1-10).
Knight, the league’s leading hitter (.513), has hit safely in all but one of the Orioles 11 games. In eight of them he has had at least two hits. He is 20 for 39. His two-run single in the first inning drove in the tying and go-ahead runs and the Orioles just kept building the score.
Cal Ripken hit his fourth home run, a double and a single, drove in four runs and scored three.
Eric Bell (2-0) went a shaky 5 innings to get the victory for the Orioles, and Dave Schmidt gave up just one hit in 3 innings to earn his first save.
The Indians’ start is their worst since 1969 when they opened by winning only one of their first 16 games.
Oakland 7, Seattle 5--Mike Davis hit a two-run home run, capping a three-run ninth at Seattle that snapped the A’s four-game losing streak.
An error by left fielder Phil Bradley, a sacrifice and a bloop single by Alfredo Griffin gave the A’s the lead and then Davis hit his fourth home run.
Jay Howell (2-1) worked the last two innings to gain the victory. The Mariners scored a run in the bottom of the ninth.