American League Roundup : Boggs Gets His 200th Hit in 13-2 Red Sox Win
In a season that will probably be known as the Year of the Pitcher, Wade Boggs is the exception.
They can take the rabbit out of the ball, make the strike zone bigger and whatever else they can think of to help pitchers, but they can’t stop the Boston Red Sox third baseman.
Boggs, on his way to his fourth consecutive batting title, became the first batter in modern major league history to get 200 hits in six consecutive seasons Tuesday night as he led the Red Sox to a 13-2 victory over the Blue Jays at Toronto.
Boggs went 3 for 3 and scored twice to allow Roger Clemens to breeze to his 17th victory and lower the Red Sox magic number to 7 with 11 games to play. Clemens gave up 6 hits and both runs in 7 innings.
The Red Sox received a scare in the third inning when center fielder Ellis Burks was struck in the eye by a piece of his bat when it splintered. Although he left the game, Burks was not injured seriously.
Last year, when 28 hitters had more than 30 home runs, Boggs proved he had power, too, hitting a career-high 24 homers while batting .363.
This season, with just 12 days left, only 3 players have hit 30 or more home runs. Boggs has cut down on home runs, but nothing else. His .362 average is better than his career mark of .354.
With two more walks Tuesday, Boggs has 117. He joins Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig as the only players to get at least 200 hits and 100 walks in 3 consecutive seasons.
Apparently, Boggs, 30, has been a good hitter from the start. In five minor league seasons, he batted over .300 each time. The Red Sox brought him up in 1982, though they weren’t convinced he was a major league hitter.
Until third baseman Carney Lansford went out of the lineup with an injury on June 25 of that year, he languished on the bench. Once in the lineup, the Red Sox found out what a hitter Boggs was. As a regular he batted .361. He has been the toughest out in baseball ever since.
“I got my magic number, now we have to get ours,” an elated Boggs said. “You know, last year I had 198 (hits) and tore a cartilage in my knee. I held off surgery until I got a home run and double and retired.
“It’s something that consumed me more than anything else. The scary part is whether you’ll get hurt before you can get to 200. It’s a big relief now that it’s over.
“The other magic number, clinching the division, is the real big one. We just have to keep winning.”
It was only the second victory in his last eight decisions for Clemens.
“I’m getting stronger with each outing,” he said.
New York 7, Baltimore 1--The Yankees haven’t given up hopes of winning the East, but apparently many of their fans have.
Only 16,227 showed up at Yankee Stadium to watch Rick Rhoden (12-10) pitch a 5-hitter and win his fifth game in a row.
Jack Clark and Ken Phelps hit consecutive home runs in a four-run, fifth-inning rally.
“My fastball really surprised me,” Rhoden said. “I haven’t had one that good for more than a month. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever come back.”
The Yankees played without their leading hitter, Dave Winfield, who left the club for St. Paul to be with his mother, who is seriously ill.
Amid reports he will be replaced by Dallas Green, Manager Lou Piniella is trying to keep his club focused on the pennant race.
“We’re keeping the heat on,” Piniella said. “Remember, we have three left with the Red Sox here this weekend.”
Detroit 3, Cleveland 1--For the last month or so, the Tigers’ luck has been almost all bad. It may be a little late, but it’s possible it has finally turned.
With 1 out and 1 on and a 1-1 tie in the ninth at Detroit, Chet Lemon hit a long drive to left field. Dave Clark had the ball in his glove and it popped over the fence for a home run to give the Tigers the victory.
The first Tiger run came in the fifth on Darrell Evans’ home run. It made Evans the 22nd player in major league history to hit 400 home runs.
Jack Morris (13-13) pitched a 6-hitter, holding the Indians scoreless after the second inning.
Texas 4, Chicago 1--Bobby Witt (7-10) pitched a 5-hitter at Arlington, Tex., for his 12th complete game.
Barbaro Garbey and Oddibe McDowell hit consecutive run-scoring singles in the seventh to win it for Witt.
Oakland 12, Minnesota 3--The Athletics’ offense sent Frank Viola to his earliest exit of the season, and their bullpen tied a major league season record with 60 saves in the victory at Oakland.
Tony Phillips knocked in three runs with a home run and a double, and Jose Canseco singled, doubled and stole his 38th base to lead Oakland’s 17-hit attack.
Viola (22-7) allowed 6 earned runs and 9 hits before he was relieved with 2 out in the fourth inning.
It was the first time this season that Viola failed to last 5 innings. The 6 earned runs were the most he has allowed in a game since 1986.
Storm Davis (16-5) allowed 1 run and 6 hits in 5 innings to get the win with relief help from Eric Plunk and Rick Honeycutt, who posted his seventh save. Oakland’s bullpen shares the major league record with the 1970 Cincinnati Reds.
Seattle 11, Kansas City 10--Dave Valle singled home the game-winning run in the eighth inning, and Alvin Davis drove in five runs in the Mariners’ victory at Seattle.
Darnell Coles opened the eighth with a home run off Jerry Don Gleaton to tie the score, 10-10. Gleaton walked Steve Balboni before being relieved by Steve Farr. Jim Presley then singled pinch-runner Mike Kingery to second before Valle singled to right for the game-winner.