American League Roundup : Indians Finally Out of Gate, Beat Chisox
The Cleveland Indians were expected to be one of the contenders in the American League East this season. Even though they had a problem with their pitching, they figured to score runs in bunches.
Just about everything that could go wrong did in the first 20 games and the Indians were left at the gate. They didn’t score many runs and their pitching was worse than expected.
Even their ace, Tom Candiotti, who won 16 games last season, had his troubles, winning only one of his first four decisions. To make matters worse, he came down with a sore elbow.
Just about the time Manager Pat Corrales was about to become a basket case, there are signs things are going to change for the Indians.
First, Candiotti reported the pain is gone from his elbow and he will be ready to pitch in a few days. Next, center fielder Brett Butler prepared to come off the disabled list.
But the best omen may have been what happened in the ninth inning Wednesday night at Cleveland in a wild battle with the Chicago White Sox.
Doug Frobel, a big left-handed hitter recently brought up from the minors, hit Bob James’ first pitch for a 400-foot home run that gave the Indians a 6-5 victory.
The Indians, who blew a 2-0 lead and a fine performance by Greg Swindell, trailed, 5-3, going into the bottom of the eighth inning. But Julio Franco, Mel Hall and Pat Tabler came through with singles to produce two runs and tie the score.
Froebel is a 6-4 outfielder who spent three years with Pittsburgh and a few weeks with Montreal, and mostly remembered failure. Obviously, he didn’t waste all his time. He did remember James.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what Bob James is going to throw,” an excited Frobel said. “James was with Montreal when I was in the National League and he is going to keep throwing fastballs.”
Froebel, in 502 at-bats in the National League, batted only .209. But 18 of his hits were home runs.
The homer gave the win to Rich Yett, who pitched 1 scoreless innings of relief.
Milwaukee 8, Oakland 7--Glenn Braggs, Jim Gantner and Greg Brock each had three hits at Oakland to lead the Brewers to their 18th win in 20 games.
The 18-2 start ties the Brewers with the best start ever in the American League. In 1984 the Detroit Tigers were also 18-2.
Chris Bosio (3-0) gave up one run in three innings of relief to get the victory. Dan Plesac earned the save although he gave up a run in the eighth. Plesac has a league-leading seven saves.
Braggs had a triple, his fourth home run and a single. Mike Davis hit his fifth homer for the Athletics.
The Brewers, who blew an early 3-0 lead on Tuesday to the Angels, took a 4-0 lead over the Athletics in the second inning. Paul Molitor accounted for the first three runs with his third homer of the season, a drive to left-center, and Brock had an RBI single.
Molitor raised his American League-leading average to .395 with the homer, but he strained a hamstring as he sprinted out of the batter’s box and had to leave the game.
Texas 8, New York 7--The Rangers rallied for three runs in the eighth inning at Arlington, Tex. to tie the game, then shoved over a run in the ninth to win a club record sixth consecutive game.
Pinch-hitter Geno Petralli looped a two-out, two-strike single to right to score Don Slaught with the winning run.
Slaught’s two-out double started the rally against Cecilio Guante.
The Rangers jumped on Dave Righetti, the Yankees’ bullpen ace, to tie it in the eighth. Righetti hit a batter and walked two others to fill the bases. Scott Fletcher delivered a two-run single and Pete O’Brien hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.
Kansas City 5, Baltimore 4--In one of the wildest games of the season at Kansas City, the Royals recovered from a base-running mistake to pull out the victory on an error.
A two-out triple to right by Willie Wilson drove in the tying run. It would have been a game-winning hit, but Thad Bosley was out moments before trying to go from first to third on a single.
With Wilson on third, Kevin Seitzer hit a routine grounder to third. Floyd Rayford, playing third in place of injured Ray Knight, fielded it cleanly. But, his throw was in the dirt and first baseman Eddie Murray couldn’t come up with it. Wilson scored.
Cal Ripken Jr. almost won it for the Orioles. He had a home run and a double earlier, then triggered the two-run rally in the top of the ninth with a triple.
Toronto 8, Minnesota 1--Joe Johnson held the Twins to one hit in seven innings at Toronto and Lloyd Moseby and Ernie Whitt hit home runs to lead the Blue Jays to their third win in a row.
Johnson gave up a single to Tom Brunansky in the eighth and lost his shutout when Greg Gagne doubled Brunansky home. That sent Johnson (1-2) to the bench.
Boston 11, Seattle 5--Mike Greenwell drove in four runs at Seattle and right-hander Al Nipper pitched a strong seven innings to improve his record to 3-0.
Greenwell replaced injured Jim Rice in left field and hit his first home run since Oct. 4, 1985. It was a two-run shot in the fourth to give the Red Sox an 11-2 lead.
Scott Bradley and Ken Phelps hit consecutive home runs off Boston reliever Wes Gardner in the eighth. It was Phelps’ seventh home run.