American League Roundup : Blue Jays Deal a 1-0 Setback to Red Sox, Whose Lead Is Cut to 4

If the Boston Red Sox wind up losing their lead in the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays are sure to claim some of the credit.

Mike Flanagan, who was winless since Aug. 9, held the Red Sox to 4 hits in 8 innings Wednesday night at Toronto, and the Blue Jays squeezed out a 1-0 victory.

Fred McGriff hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to drive in the only run and beat Wes Gardner (8-5). The Red Sox, playing without baseball’s best hitter, Wade Boggs, didn’t get a runner to second base against Flanagan (12-13).

The Red Sox, who are only 33-41 on the road, now head for New York and a three-game weekend series. The Yankees, who beat Baltimore on Don Slaught’s home run in the 12th inning, are only 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. The Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Angels, 10-3, trail the Red Sox by 4.


It was Boston’s eighth loss in 10 games against the Blue Jays. Next week, the Red Sox will play the Blue Jays 3 more times in Boston.

Flanagan came into the game in a slump. He had lost 5 in a row and had gone beyond the sixth inning only once in 8 winless starts.

But he had the Red Sox at his mercy before giving way to Duane Ward in the ninth. He gave up a pair of two-out singles, then induced Jim Rice to hit a long fly to left field.

“People said he (Flanagan) hadn’t been throwing too good lately,” Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan said, “but the guy outpitched us by a run. I had a hunch he’d be trouble, but I didn’t think he would shut us down.


“We still control our own destiny, boys. It’s been that way almost all season. We’re still in front, and now we go into New York for 3 games. It looks like another hectic weekend with the pinstripers.”

Boggs, who went 3 for 3 to reach 201 hits in Tuesday’s win, fouled a pitch off his ankle, and it was swollen. He is expected to play against the Yankees Friday night.

New York 3, Baltimore 2--Don Slaught hit a home run with one out in the 12th inning in New York to renew the Yankees’ hopes of winning the East.

The sweep of the 3-game series with the Orioles set the Yankees up for the invasion of the Red Sox. A sweep would make it a wild finish in the East.


Dave Winfield rejoined the club after missing Tuesday’s game because of his mother’s illness. But Don Mattingly, suffering from back pains, could only pinch-hit, and he hit a soft fly to left in the ninth.

Detroit 3, Cleveland 2--The Tigers have finally recovered from a long slump and have started winning close, tough games. But it may be too late.

Darrell Evans hit a 2-out double in the eighth inning at Detroit to drive in Matt Nokes with the tiebreaking run.

The Indians had jumped in front, 2-0, and Tom Candiotti held the Tigers hitless for 4 innings.


But the Tigers rallied to pull it out and move within 5 games of the Red Sox.

Although he gave up 11 hits before being replaced by Eric King in the ninth, Doyle Alexander improved to 13-11.

Oakland 6, Minnesota 3--Shortstop Walt Weiss made his first error in 59 games in the eighth inning at Oakland, but it turned out to be a good turn for the bullpen.

The miscue took Bob Welch out of the game. So Dennis Eckersley was given an opportunity to save Welch’s 16th victory and enable the A’s to set a major league record with their 61st save. The Cincinnati Reds had 60 in 1970 and in 1972.


Eckersley retired the side in order in the ninth for his 43rd save. He needs three more in the Athletics’ last 9 games to tie Dave Righetti’s major league record.

Jose Canseco, who needs 2 steals to join the 40-40 club, and several other regulars sat out the game, the Athletics’ 98th victory.

Kansas City 5, Seattle 4--As the time nears for Bo Jackson to resume his hobby, professional football, the Royals’ slugging outfielder has his mind firmly on baseball, his occupation.

Jackson hit 2 home runs, walked, stole second and scored the winning run on a double by Jim Eisenreich in the ninth inning at Seattle. It gave Mark Gubicza his 19th victory.


Jackson, who had struck out in 10 of his previous 13 at-bats before the home run in the second inning, has 25 home runs. He will join the Raiders after the baseball season.

Chicago 6, Texas 1--Former Dodger Shawn Hillegas held the Rangers hitless until Pete O’Brien singled with one out in the seventh inning at Arlington, Tex.

Hillegas (2-2) missed a shutout when second baseman Fred Manrique made an error with 2 out in the ninth.