American League Roundup : A’s Let Another Get Away

The Oakland Athletics are expecting to get bullpen ace Dennis Eckersley and slugger Jose Canseco back after the All-Star break.

If Canseco has recovered from the wrist injury that kept him out more than half of the season, it will help. But what the Athletics really need is their stopper.

Julio Franco’s single in the 10th inning Saturday at Oakland drove in the winning run as the Texas Rangers beat the A’s, 5-4, handing them their fourth loss in the last five games.

In two of those defeats, Oakland, which now trails the Angels by 1 1/2 games in the West, blew the lead in the ninth inning. This almost never happens when Eckersley is around.


The A’s are 0-8 in extra-inning games this season. When they have a healthy Eckersley, who won four games last season and saved 45, extra-inning games rarely occur. Dave Stewart, who was bidding for his 14th victory and departed after eight innings with a 4-2 lead, misses Eckersley. Todd Burns, who had been pitching well in relief gave up a two-run single to Thad Bosley in the ninth, and Matt Young and Gene Nelson were unable to hold the Rangers in the 10th.

Once again, Rickey Henderson led the Oakland offense. It was his two-run home run in the eighth that provided the lead. Since coming to the A’s in the trade with the Yankees June 21, Henderson is batting .410 and has a .500 on-base average.

Stewart gave up eight hits and two runs, striking out five and walking one. In his last four starts, he has yielded only four runs in 33 innings. His record over that period is 2-1 plus this no-decision.

Before Eckersley went on the disabled list, the A’s bullpen had 19 saves in 20 chances. But in 19 games since then, Oakland pitchers have blown six save opportunities.


New York 7, Boston 5--Reliever Eric Plunk, one of the players the Yankees obtained from Oakland in the Henderson deal, is doing well as a Yankee.

Plunk gave up one hit in four innings to improve his record to 4-1. He is 3-0 since joining the Yankees.

The Yankees spotted the Red Sox a 4-0 lead in the first inning but battled back for their fourth win in the last five games.

Mel Hall ignited a three-run sixth-inning rally with his seventh home run. Later in the inning, Alvaro Espinoza and Roberto Kelly had run-scoring singles to put the Yankees ahead.


Baltimore 5, Milwaukee 2--Brian Holton gave up just three hits in 6 1/3 innings at Milwaukee and won for the first time since May 29.

Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson finished up and kept the Orioles 5 1/2 games in front of New York in the East. Olson earned his 14th save.

Bob Melvin drove in two Oriole runs.

Kansas City 4, Chicago 3--Bo Jackson hit a 420-foot home run over the left-field wall at Kansas City in the 11th inning to break up the game. It was the 21st home run by the league’s leading vote-getter for the All-Star game.


Toronto 8, Detroit 3--Rookie Junior Felix hit a two-run homer and a two-run single at Detroit to help the Blue Jays hand the struggling Tigers their sixth straight defeat.

Seattle 4, Cleveland 3--Dave Valle drove in the winning run with a one-out infield ground-out in the 11th inning at Seattle.

Henry Cotto led off with a single and reached third base on a double by Jeffrey Leonard. Darnell Coles was intentionally walked, and Valle followed with a grounder to second baseman Jerry Browne, who was unable to turn a double play.