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American League Roundup : Washington Homers in 18th and Yankees Win

Claudell Washington struck the biggest blow, in a year in which he’s hit quite a few, and it put the New York Yankees right back into the pennant race in the American League East.

The Detroit Tigers had just scored a run in the top of the 18th inning Sunday at New York to take a 4-3 lead.

Six hours had elapsed since the first pitch when, with Rickey Henderson on base, Washington homered off Guillermo Hernandez to give the Yankees a 5-4 victory.

The sweep of the four-game series put the Yankees ahead of the Tigers by .004 points and 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. The Tigers, losers of 17 of their last 20 games, are also 3 1/2 behind the Red Sox, but they are in a state of collapse.

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An error by first baseman Don Mattingly set up an unearned run in the top of the 18th and the Tigers thought maybe they would salvage a game and restore some confidence.

But, after Henderson opened the bottom of the 18th, Washington, who beat the Tigers and Hernandez with a home run Friday night, hit his ninth of the season into the seats in right-center.

It was the eighth game-winning RBI by Washington this season. Every time the Yankees have faltered this season, it has been Washington, more than Mattingly, Jack Clark or Dave Winfield, who has given them a lift.

“We don’t quit,” Washington said. “With our pitching coming around, we have as good a chance to win it as anyone.”

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Before Washington’s two-run homer, the Yankees had not scored since the fourth inning when Mattingly and Winfield hit back-to-back doubles.

Cleveland 4, Boston 2--Manager Joe Morgan knew things weren’t going the way he wanted when he found that knuckleballer Tom Candiotti was going to face the Red Sox at Boston.

Candiotti, surprising the leaders of the American League East with several fastballs, gave up just 5 hits in 7 innings to improve his record to 12-8.

Willie Upshaw singled home Paul Zuvella from second base with the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning to avoid losing all six games at Fenway Park this season.

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“Candiotti’s the type of pitcher who can give you trouble even if you’re hot,” Morgan said. “He has that knuckler and he gets it over pretty good.”

Doug Jones pitched two scoreless innings for his 32nd save. Joe Carter hit his 26th home run in the seventh to get the Indians even.

“Since hurting my shoulder, I’ve been going back and forth between being a knuckleball pitcher and a conventional pitcher,” Candiotti said. “I surprised them by starting out throwing fastballs. But when they began catching up, I went to the knuckleball, my best pitch.”

Milwaukee 5, Seattle 3--Although they are six games behind in the loss column, the Brewers firmly believe they have a chance to win the East.

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Seattle’s Mike Campbell threw a pitch he shouldn’t have at Milwaukee to trigger a four-run fifth inning that moved the Brewers to within 4 1/2 games of Boston.

With two on and nobody out, a pickoff signal was given for a play at second. Campbell missed it, threw home and Darryl Hamilton bunted. Catcher Scott Bradley fielded the bunt and threw a strike to first. Nobody was covering and the throw went down the line. A run scored, two runners were in scoring position and the Brewers were in business.

Oakland 8, Kansas City 7--The Athletics dropped their magic number to nine with this 11-inning victory at Kansas City. They pulled it out over the protest of Royals’ Manager John Wathan.

Luis Polonia, who went 5 for 5 and scored 5 runs to beat the Royals Friday night, opened the 11th with a smash down the right-field line. First baseman Pat Tabler made a dive for the ball and wound up in Polonia’s way. Polonia, who had a double, was awarded third on an interference call.

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After Wathan filed a protest, and was ejected when he threw his hat on the ground, the A’s scored the winning run on Dave Henderson’s sacrifice fly.

The finish climaxed a stirring comeback by the runaway leaders of the West. They trailed Mark Gubicza, who was going for his 18th victory, 5-1, after three innings.

Tabler drove in two of the runs. Naturally, he came up with the bases loaded and singled. It was his eighth hit in nine at-bats this season with the bases full. Lifetime he is 37-64 (.578) with the bases loaded.

The Athletics actually took the lead twice, the last time in the top of the ninth. But Dennis Eckersley, gave up a run-scoring double to Danny Tartabull. Instead of his 39th save, Eckersley settled for his fourth win.

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Chicago 3, Minnesota 2--Former Dodger Shawn Hillegas dealt a blow to the Twins’ slim hopes of repeating in the West when he held them to 4 hits in 8 innings.

Dave Gallagher doubled in the winning run in the eighth inning at Chicago to drop the Twins 11 games behind Oakland.

Baltimore 4, Toronto 2--Dave Schmidt survived a shaky start at Baltimore to win for the fifth time in six starts and all but end the Blue Jays’ pennant hopes.


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