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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Winfield Is Back in the Swing

Dave Winfield missed the 1989 season because of back surgery. Without him, the New York Yankees were never in contention in the American League East.

Winfield has returned, apparently fully recovered. He also is pleasantly surprised by New York’s attitude.

With Tim Leary pitching well and Winfield, making his first start in left field since 1984, delivering a two-run single, the Yankees beat the Tigers, 4-1, Tuesday night at Detroit. It was New York’s fourth victory in five games and kept the Yankees on top of the division.

Leary, pitching in the American League for the first time in four years, gave up six hits in seven innings.

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“What’s beginning to happen isn’t luck,” Winfield said. “Some very positive signs are emerging. There is emotion in the clubhouse. There is unity I haven’t seen for quite a while. We have the offense and pitching to do it as a team. There are no great pitching stars, but a lot of good, solid guys who are capable of putting up wins.”

One of those is Leary. He was a 17-game winner for the Dodgers in 1988, then fell to 8-14 with the Dodgers and Cincinnati last season.

Leary had a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning when Winfield singled home two runs with the bases loaded and two outs. Jesse Barfield’s bloop single scored the other run.

Dave Righetti pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his third save.

Toronto 8, Baltimore 2--Pat Borders, Kelly Gruber and Junior Felix hit home runs at Toronto and helped Mike Flanagan win his second game of the season.

Flanagan gave up a run and four hits before being replaced with nobody out in the sixth inning.

Borders hit the first pitch of the third inning for his second homer of the season and started Baltimore pitcher Jeff Ballard’s downfall. Gruber’s second homer came in the fourth inning and Felix hit his second in the fifth with Borders on base.

“It’s pretty hard not to go to our bullpen,” Flanagan said. “You could put all the names in a hat and pull one out and it wouldn’t be bad choice.”

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Chicago 2, Boston 1--Ozzie Guillen singled home Sammy Sosa with one out in the ninth inning at Chicago.

It was the third victory in a row for the White Sox and their fifth in six games.

Boston suffered its fourth loss in the last five games.

John Dopson of the Red Sox was working on a three-hit shutout when his elbow stiffened while pitching to Ron Kittle in the sixth inning. Rob Murphy replaced Dopson and Kittle hit his second pitch for a game-tying home run.

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Kansas City 4, Cleveland 2--Kurt Stillwell drove in two runs with a triple in the sixth inning at Kansas City and continued home on a throwing error.

The Indians had jumped in front, 2-0, going into the sixth inning behind former Royal Bud Black. A double, a walk and Bo Jackson’s single cut the lead to a run, then Stillwell delivered the big blow.

Steve Farr got the victory, facing only one batter, Sandy Alomar, and getting him on a pop with the bases loaded.

Texas 6, Milwaukee 2--Pete Incaviglia hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to rally the Rangers.

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He has hit two home runs and driven in 10 runs in just eight games.

Kevin Brown (2-0) held the Brewers to three hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings.

Ruben Sierra hit his 100th career home run for the Rangers in the second inning.

Minnesota 6, Seattle 5--Kent Hrbek hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning at Seattle to enable the Twins to end a three-game losing streak.

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Kirby Puckett doubled off Keith Comstock (0-1) with one out in the ninth in a 5-5 tie. Until Puckett’s double, Comstock had retired all 10 batters he faced this season.


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