American League Roundup : Morris Stops Twins on Three Hits as Tigers Roll Merrily On, 11-2

One of the reasons New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner gave for not signing any free agents last winter was that there "are a lot of guys who aren't worth the money you paid for them."

It isn't true of the free agent who most wanted to become a Yankee--Jack Morris, the durable right-hander of the Detroit Tigers.

If Steinbrenner, instead of going along with other baseball owners on a new-found austerity program, had accepted the offer of Morris, he might have saved himself some unhappy moments this season.

The presence of Morris could have prevented some bickering in the Yankee organization. The upshot is that Steinbrenner is unhappy with Manager Lou Piniella, the players are unhappy with Steinbrenner for being unhappy with Piniella, and the Yankees are struggling to keep from falling out of the division race.

When nobody made an offer to Morris, he rejoined the Tigers. The Tigers, thanks in no small part to Morris, are the team to beat in the American League East.

Morris held the Minnesota Twins, leaders of the West, to three hits in seven innings Tuesday night at Detroit and breezed to an 11-2 victory. He improved his record to 14-6.

For a change, the Tigers made it easy. They haven't been scoring much for Morris, or he would have an even better record. But they hammered Steve Carlton (6-12) for six runs in the first inning and three more before he was removed with nobody out in the fourth. Larry Herndon hit a three-run home run in the first, and added a two-run homer in the four-run fourth.

Morris, who had pitched three consecutive complete games, two of which he lost, gave up home runs to Randy Bush in the third and Roy Smalley in the seventh, making it 32 homers he has yielded this season. Otherwise, he was in control.

In the two complete games he lost, the Tigers scored only two runs in 19 innings. Morris is 18-5 lifetime against the Twins.

"We didn't give him much support there for a while," Manager Sparky Anderson said, "but the way he's pitching, we're going to be right there."

The Twins continue to be different clubs. At home they are the best in the majors (42-18). On the road they are the worst in the West (24-37), and only Boston (20-40) has a worse road record in the entire league.

Carlton, who is 0-3 at Tiger Stadium, still believes he can pitch in the majors. "Life is a series of adjustments," he said. "Maybe I'll have to learn how to pitch differently in these smaller American League parks."

Toronto 2, Oakland 1--George Bell hit a two-run home run with two out in the eighth inning at Oakland to enable the Blue Jays to stay half a game ahead of the Tigers in the East.

Dave Stieb held the Athletics to three hits in eight innings and won his seventh in a row when Bell hit his 37th home run.

New York 4, Seattle 3--Mike Pagliarulo broke a 2-2 tie with his 26th home run leading off the ninth inning at Seattle, but the Yankees needed a run-scoring single later in the inning by Don Mattingly to win it.

Dave Righetti took over for Tim Stoddard (4-2) in the bottom of the ninth, but the Mariners pulled within a run on Rey Quinones' run-scoring single and had two runners on before Righetti escaped.

Cleveland 9, Milwaukee 8--As it turned out, Paul Molitor had plenty of time to extend his hitting streak to 33 games at Cleveland.

But in his fourth at-bat in the sixth, he beat out a hit to deep short to extend the longest streak in the majors this decade. In the 12-inning game, Molitor actually had three more at-bats, getting another hit and a sacrifice bunt.

Pat Tabler, the man who loves to bat with the bases loaded, won the game for the Indians when he singled with two out in the bottom of the 12th and the bases filled.

An error by third baseman Ernest Riles of the Brewers with one out in the third extra inning gave the Indians their chance. The Brewers made the mistake of walking Junior Noboa intentionally to give Tabler his chance.

Lifetime, Tabler is 29 for 53 with the bases loaded. This season he is 5 for 7 with 10 RBIs.

Boston 14, Chicago 8--When Spike Owen and Marty Barrett, two of the weaker hitters on the Red Sox, each get four hits, it means the other team is in trouble.

In this game at Chicago, the two .260 hitters led a 20-hit attack that enabled Al Nipper (8-10) to end a four-game losing streak without pitching well.

Texas 3, Kansas City 1--Larry Parrish's two-run homer, an opposite-field blast to right with one out in the bottom of the ninth, ruined a big performance for Mark Gubicza.

A Kevin Seitzer home run had given Gubicza (9-13) a 1-0 lead, and he was pitching a three-hitter going into the ninth. A walk and Pete O'Brien's double tied the score.

Charlie Hough struck out a career-high 13 and improved his record to 13-8.

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