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Baseball Roundup : Blue Jays Cut Down Red Sox, 15-9

After taking two out of three in New York last weekend, the Boston Red Sox had planned to clinch the American League East title at Fenway Park.

They no longer can win it at home, and they may not win it at all.

The Toronto Blue Jays are out of the race, but they have spoiled a Boston party.

Catcher Ernie Whitt hit 2 home runs and drove in 6 runs Tuesday night to lead the Blue Jays to a 15-9 victory over the Red Sox. The Blue Jays, who have won all 6 played in Boston and lead the season series, 10-2, have rubbed salt in the wound the last two nights.

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Monday night they crushed the Red Sox, 11-1, and the Blue Jays were on top, 9-0, after 2 innings in this one. In its 6 victories at Boston, Toronto has outscored the Red Sox, 59-23.

With the New York Yankees winning, the magic number for the Sox is still 3. The Red Sox have 5 games left, one at home with the Blue Jays and 4 at Cleveland. The Yankees have 6 left, 2 at Baltimore, 3 at Detroit and 1, if necessary, with Texas in New York Oct. 3.

The Yankees are 3 1/2 behind, and so are the Tigers and the Milwaukee Brewers. But Detroit and Milwaukee each have only 4 games left.

The only bright spot for the Red Sox, who were behind, 12-0, before they scored twice in the fifth against Mike Flanagan (13-13), was the hitting of Wade Boggs. The major leagues’ best hitter went 4 for 5, raising his average to .368. He also scored a run and drove in 3.

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But Red Sox fans are beginning to remember the times the Red Sox have fallen apart.

“We gotta go out there tomorrow and show a little character,” Boston reliever Bob Stanley said. “We have to show we can come back after getting beat up two games in a row. Tomorrow’s a big game for us.”

Whitt, meanwhile, could relate to what Boston is going through.

“Last year we lost 7 games in a row at the end and were beaten by Detroit,” said Whitt, who played in the Boston farm system for 6 years. “It’s in their hands. They have to go out and win it.”

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Could the Red Sox collapse again? Stanley doesn’t think so.

“There’s no panic yet,” he said. “We’re still in the driver’s seat and we’re pretty good drivers.”

New York Yankees 5, Baltimore 1--Ron Guidry, a pitcher with considerable playoff experience, and Don Mattingly, who wants to play in one, combined their talents to keep the Yankees’ hopes alive.

Mattingly homered in his first 2 at-bats at Baltimore and the veteran left-hander pitched 7 strong innings to win only his second game of the season. Guidry struck out 6 in his longest outing of the season.

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Guidry, who has had trouble coming back from shoulder surgery, is contemplating retirement. This outing may have changed his mind.

Before the season began, Mattingly, in his sixth season with the Yankees, promised the fans a pennant.

“It keeps us alive,” Mattingly said. “I hit a slider for the first home run, then a fastball.

After winning his first game since July 17, Guidry said his slider was the best it had been in a long time. In his toughest spot, he used it to strike out hot-hitting Eddie Murray with the bases loaded in the third inning.

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“Ron gave us a big lift,” Manager Lou Piniella said. “We’re still playing hard. The cool night helped Guidry.”

Cleveland 4, Detroit 0--Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson saw on the scoreboard that Toronto scored 9 runs in a hurry at Boston, but it wasn’t giving him much satisfaction. His Tigers couldn’t hit Tom Candiotti’s knuckleball.

Candiotti (13-8) limited the Tigers to 4 hits at Cleveland and prevented them from moving within 2 1/2 games of the Red Sox. It was the first time Candiotti, who has won 6 in a row, had beaten the Tigers. He was 0-6 against them in his career.

Frank Tanana (14-11), who gave up only one run until the eighth, gave up eight hits and remained winless since Aug. 19.

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“If you don’t score runs, it really doesn’t matter,” Anderson said.

Minnesota 5, Oakland 0--Winning a World Series did wonders for the Twins’ attendance. A crowd of 48,300 watched Allan Anderson (16-9) pitch a 3-hitter for his first shutout.

It also gave the Twins a league record for attendance, 2,820,049. The Angels set the record of 2,807,360 in 1982.

With five games left, the Twins may become the first American League team to reach 3 million.

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Kirby Puckett went 2 for 3 and lost ground in his bid to overtake Wade Boggs for the batting title. Puckett is batting .355 and is 13 points behind.

Anderson, who has had a big year, lowered his earned-run average to 2.45, second in the league to Teddy Higuera (2.41).

Chicago White Sox 3, Texas 2--Former Dodger Shawn Hillegas gave up just 2 hits in 6 innings at Chicago, but was long gone when Mike Diaz won the game with a home run in the eighth.

Philadelphia 5, New York Mets 4--Pinch-hitter Tom Barrett singled home Chris James from second with 2 out in the ninth inning at Philadelphia to hand the Mets only their second loss in the last 13 games. The Mets need to win 3 of their last 5 to reach 100.

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Pittsburgh 3, St. Louis 2--Bobby Bonilla singled home 2 runs at Pittsburgh to help the Pirates clinch second place in the East.

The game ended when Pirate center fielder Andy Van Slyke threw out Jose Oquendo trying to score from third on Luis Alicea’s line drive to Van Slyke.


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