AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Holman Almost Gets Straight A's

From Associated Press

Brian Holman was having a game that pitchers dream about. Then Ken Phelps pinched him.

Holman lost his bid for baseball's 13th perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on Phelps' pinch-hit home run Friday night in the Seattle Mariners' 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum.

"I told myself, 'This is the last man,' " Holman said. "I wanted to throw a fastball over the plate to get ahead in the count. Give him credit. He hit the you-know-what out of it."

"I'm glad it happened that way and not a bloop single or something," Holman said. "I didn't think he was going to swing at the first pitch. You can second-guess that all you want. Maybe I should've thrown him a breaking ball."

Holman's hopes for Seattle's first no-hitter ever ended when Phelps, batting for Mike Gallego, sent the first pitch far over the right-field fence.

After Phelps' first homer of the season, Mariner Manager Jim Lefebvre went to the mound. Holman (2-1) then struck out Rickey Henderson to finish with a one-hitter. It was Holman's seventh strikeout.

Holman came close to pitching the second no-hitter of the two-week-old season. Nine days ago, the Angels' Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to beat Seattle 1-0 in the first no-hitter the Mariners had been involved in during their 14 seasons.

Holman, a 25-year-old right-hander, went to three-ball counts just three times against Oakland, which had won eight of its first nine games and six in a row. The defending World Series champions did not come close to a hit until Phelps connected.

Bob Welch (2-2) took the loss. The Mariners scored twice with two outs in the fifth on triples by Mike Brumley and Harold Reynolds and a double by Greg Briley.

Toronto 17, Kansas City 6--The Blue Jays hit five home runs and had 19 hits against Bret Saberhagen and three relievers. George Bell hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Greg Myers also had a three-run homer and Fred McGriff and Kelly Gruber added two-run homers.

Bell has always been a problem for Saberhagen, who was 23-6 last season. He's 15 for 41 (.366) with five home runs. Saberhagen has struck him out only once.

Milwaukee 5, Boston 0--So much has been made of the early season slugging of the Brewers, their effective pitching has been overlooked.

Tom Filer and two relievers held the Red Sox to four hits at Milwaukee to pitch the Brewers' second shutout in a row and the third in the last five games.

The Brewer staff has not yielded a run in 20 innings.

Rob Deer hit a three-run home run in the second inning to give Filer all the support he needed.

Texas 6, New York 5--Nolan Ryan moved closer to his goal of 300 victories. Ryan gave up three hits and struck out nine in seven innings at Arlington, Tex., to win his third in a row and boost his career win total to 292.

The Yankees had not hit a home run in seven games, but Mel Hall and Rick Cerone hit homers off Ryan and Don Mattingly hit a two-run home run in the ninth.

Baltimore 6, Detroit 0--Bob Milacki held the Tigers hitless for five innings and combined with two relievers to pitch a three-hitter at Baltimore.

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