American League Roundup : Parker Makes Big Difference for Athletics in Win Over Red Sox

When it became obvious before the season that all was not well with Jose Canseco, the Oakland Athletics started looking for more offense.

Dave Parker's name came up, but some said he was probably over the hill at 38.

Parker, a decade ago the most feared hitter in the National League, if not all of baseball, was hurt quite a bit last season, his first with the Athletics. He batted only .257, 40 points below his career average, hit 12 home runs and drove in 55 runs.

Parker had other ideas. Not bothered by injuries this spring, he figured he could help pick up the slack for Canseco, and Parker has done better than expected.

His eighth grand slam and first in the American League was the big hit Wednesday at Oakland in the Athletics' 7-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. It was Bob Welch's fifth win in a row.

Although Parker's average is only .263, he has 19 home runs and 81 runs batted in.

His big turnaround is part of the reason the A's appear to be on their way to another title in the Western Division.

For the Red Sox, it was more than just their second defeat in a row. They lost two of their best players, Mike Greenwell and Ellis Burks, when they collided while going for a fly ball in the fifth inning.

Both fell to the ground and appeared to be stunned. Burks suffered a shoulder separation and may miss the rest of the season. Greenwell stayed around two more innings but left because of bruised ribs.

"We're barely in the race now," Greenwell said. "It may get worse."

Detroit 11, Kansas City 5--The opposition in the West is melting away, with the Royals running into trouble at Tiger Stadium.

Detroit's Mike Brumley and Lou Whitaker hit home runs, and the Royals contributed three errors as they lost their 13th in a row at Detroit to drop 4 1/2 games out of first place in the West.

The last-place Tigers, who ruined Cleveland's hopes in the East last week, have won six games in a row, all from clubs with pennant hopes.

George Brett hit a two-run home run to get the Royals even in the third, but after a 14-minute rain delay, the Royals fell apart.

Toronto 4, Chicago 2--Todd Stottlemyre has matured just when the Blue Jays need him. The young right-hander won his fifth in a row in this game at Chicago to help the Blue Jays increase their lead to two games in the East.

Stottlemyre (7-5) gave up six hits and both runs in seven innings as the Blue Jays took advantage of three Chicago errors to score three unearned runs.

Fred McGriff went two for four, driving in a run.

Cleveland 9, Baltimore 0--The game at Baltimore was already lost when Ben McDonald, the Orioles' No. 1 draft choice, made his debut, but it was still rather impressive.

McDonald gave up one run in 2 2/3 innings in a game that Bud Black of the Indians dominated. Black (10-11) yielded only four hits.

Dion James, Cory Snyder and Brad Komminsk hit home runs in a 15-hit attack.

The Orioles were down, 4-0, when McDonald came in with two on and one out and got Snyder to hit the first pitch into a double play.

"He came into a tough situation and showed a lot of poise," Oriole Manager Frank Robinson said. "He had excellent stuff."

New York 5, Seattle 3--Mel Hall and Bob Geren each hit two-run home runs in the seventh inning at Seattle as the Yankees overcame a 3-0 deficit and won their seventh in a row.

Brian Holman had shut out the Yankees on two hits through six innings.

Texas 3, Minnesota 2--Charlie Hough gave up seven hits in six innings at Arlington, Tex., but won for the fifth time in six decisions since coming off the disabled list a month ago.

Kirby Puckett went two for three for the Twins to increase his batting lead over Wade Boggs of Boston and Carney Lansford of Oakland to three points.

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