American League Roundup : A’s Stewart (8-1) Continues to Win


Dave Stewart became the first pitcher in the major leagues to win eight games for the second season in a row Saturday, working out of a first-inning jam and holding the Boston Red Sox to six hits in 7 2/3 innings at Oakland as the Athletics won, 6-3.

Dennis Eckersley, coming right back after giving up a grand slam to Dwight Evans Friday night, got the last four outs to earn his 13th save.

Actually, Stewart’s record isn’t quite as good as it was a year ago, when he went on to post a 21-12 record. In 1988, he won his first eight. This year, the 8-1 record is probably more of an accomplishment, mainly because Jose Canseco has not appeared in a game, taking away a big part of the Athletics’ punch.


While most observers realize that Stewart has become an outstanding pitcher, it is Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan who points to an extra part of Stewart’s game.

“It seems that in every game he pitches against us,” Morgan said, “he makes at least one great defensive play. Taking (Danny) Heep’s smash and getting the double play, that saved the game for him. He not only pitches, he does whatever he has to, to win.”

Mike Greenwell’s single in the first inning had driven in a run, and there were Red Sox runners on first and third with one out. Stewart speared Heep’s shot up the middle. Instead of going home, he wheeled to second to start the inning-ending double play.

“That early there isn’t much chance two or three runs is going to beat us,” Stewart said. “So I’d rather try to get out of the inning than try to cut down the run at the plate.”

Mike Gallego and Terry Steinbach homered for the A’s, and Dave Parker drove in two runs with a pair of singles. Eckersley came in with the bases loaded in the eighth--the same situation as the night before--but disposed of Rich Gedman on a ground-out.

“I was anxious to get back in there after what happened last night,” Eckersley said. “I wanted it bad. I didn’t sleep well after the home run.”


Baltimore 5, Cleveland 1--Jeff Ballard, 8-12 with the ineffective team of last season, is off to the best start for an Oriole pitcher since Wayne Garland won his first eight decisions in 1976.

Ballard gave up four hits in 7 2/3 innings at Baltimore to improve his record to 7-1. The key hit for the Orioles, who built a 5-0 lead, was a bases-loaded single for Craig Worthington to make it 3-0 in the seventh. Worthington is 5 for 5 with seven runs batted in when the bases have been loaded.

After his fast start, Garland went on to win 20 games. Arm problems then wrecked his career and he soon faded from the scene.

Detroit 2, Kansas City 1--The Tigers are 2-0 since Manager Sparky Anderson was sent home for a rest.

Both wins at Detroit have come on ninth-inning home runs. Friday night, Lou Whitaker hit a two-run homer. In this one, Alan Trammell led off the ninth with his second home run.

For the second game in a row, Mike Henneman won it with two scoreless innings of relief.

The Royals had a chance to break it open in the seventh. But Pat Tabler, who also has a phenomenal record when batting with the bases loaded, flied out with three runners on.


Toronto 11, Chicago 1--Ernie Whitt had four hits, including a three-run home run, and Lloyd Moseby drove in three runs at Chicago to lead the Blue Jays.

Jimmy Key (5-2) allowed four hits in eight innings, including Ron Kittle’s eighth homer.

Minnesota 19, Texas 3--Randy Bush hit two home runs and tied a club record with eight RBIs as the Twins breezed to victory at Arlington, Tex.

When the Rangers ran out of pitchers, infielder Jeff Kunkel pitched in the eighth and ninth.

He gave up Bush’s second three-run home run in the ninth.

Seattle 6, New York 4--Ken Griffey Jr. hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning as the Mariners beat the Yankees at Seattle.

Reliever Steve Trout (4-2) retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning to get the victory, and Mike Schooler pitched the last two innings for his 11th save.

Dave LaPoint (5-2) had his five-game winning streak snapped, allowing five runs on nine hits and five walks, but Griffey connected off reliever Dale Mahorcic.


Rookie Bob Geren put the Yankees ahead, 4-3, in the sixth with his first major league home run.