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American League Roundup : Yankees’ Fast Start Defeats Blue Jays Again, 2-0

It took a visit to their favorite ballpark away from home--Exhibition Stadium in Toronto-- to get the New York Yankees straightened out.

Dave LaPoint went a strong 6 2/3 innings Tuesday night and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 2-0, for the second night in a row.

Since 1985 the Yankees are 19-9 in Exhibition Stadium. The Yankees have to make the most of this season, because the Blue Jays move into the SkyDome next season.

LaPoint, a left-hander signed as a free agent in December, won his first game for the Yankees.

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“It seemed like every time they hit the ball, we had a guy standing in front of it,” LaPoint said. “I think, more than anything, that took the wind out of their sails tonight.”

Dave Righetti gave up two hits in the last 2 1/3 innings to preserve the shutout.

The Yankees scored both runs off Jeff Musselman, who failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. Don Mattingly and Steve Balboni each singled in a run.

The Yankees, who lost six in a row after winning the season opener, are 5-8 and only two games out of first place in a division in which nobody is over .500.

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A fine performance by Andy Hawkins gave the Yankees a victory Monday night.

Texas 6, Milwaukee 2--There is a much different story in the West. There are five teams with records good enough to lead the East.

One of them, the Rangers, are winging it, though, leading the division by three games with an 11-2 record.

Cecil Espy, the one-time Dodger who won the center-field job after the Rangers traded Oddibe McDowell away during the winter, led the offense in this one at Arlington, Tex.

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Espy, 26, has good speed and can play several positions. But he’s never proved he could hit major league pitching.

In this game he had four hits, stole three bases, scored three runs and gave Bobby Witt plenty of support.

Witt (2-0) pitched a four-hitter, two of them home runs by Paul Molitor and B.J. Surhoff.

Manager Bobby Valentine of the Rangers couldn’t want more than he is getting from his leadoff hitter. Espy, with 17 hits in 51 at-bats, has scored 14 runs and has 10 stolen bases.

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Each time he scored in this one he was driven in by Rafael Palmeiro, obtained during the off-season in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

The loss dropped the Brewers to .500.

Minnesota 9, Detroit 8--After a one game pause, the Twins resumed their pounding of the Tigers.

Kent Hrbek hit his second home run of the game with two on in the fifth inning at Minneapolis and the Twins barely hung on to beat the Tigers for the 13th time in the last 14 meetings. The Twins have beaten them the last nine times at the Metrodome.

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Jeff Robinson, who ended the Twins’ streak when he shut them out last Thursday, couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in this one.

Hrbek, angered in the fourth inning when umpire Joe Brinkman called a strike on a 3-and-1 pitch, then popped out. But after hitting the three-run home run in the next inning, he added a solo shot, his fourth of the season, in the eighth.

The Tigers scored two runs in the ninth to cut the Twins’ lead to a run, but with runners on first and third, Jeff Reardon struck out Ken Williams to end the game. Williams had homered in the sixth.

Kansas City 7, Baltimore 4--It was a long night at Baltimore, but a happy one for the Royals.

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The start of the game was delayed an hour because of rain, and the teams battled into the 13th inning.

Three singles and a double by Kevin Seitzer gave the Royals three runs in the 13th to win it. Former Angel catcher Bob Boone opened the winning rally with a single.

Frank White, who singled in the winning rally, doubled in the seventh and scored on Gary Thurman’s single to tie the game, 4-4.

Jim Eisenreich hit a three-run home run for the Royals in the first inning.

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Oakland 5, Seattle 3--Stan Javier broke a tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning and Billy Beane also drove in two runs at Seattle.

Javier’s game-winning hit came after Dave Parker was given an intentional walk so that Jerry Reed could pitch to Javier.

The Mariners gave Steve Trout a 3-0 lead, but he wasn’t able to hold it.


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