Tim Leary has been the New York Yankees' most effective pitcher this season. But usually, the Yankee batters give him almost no support.
In a throwback to the days of the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees hit six home runs and gave the hard-working right-hander enough runs for three victories Wednesday night at Minneapolis.
"I really enjoyed watching those balls sailing over the fence and knowing they were making it easier for me," Leary said.
In a game marred by a bench-clearing incident, Leary gave up just four hits and struck out 11 in pitching the Yankees to a 12-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Leary's record is only 3-4, but this was the seventh time Leary held the opposition to three runs or fewer. It was his first shutout since 1988 with the Dodgers.
Although the near-brawl came in the fourth inning when Tim Drummond (0-1) almost hit Mel Hall in the head with a pitch, it started in the second inning.
After hitting a tremendous home run into the upper deck, some 440 feet away, Hall took about a minute to trot around the bases. Drummond didn't forget. The dugouts emptied, but it was a battle of words only.
The Yankees hit only 22 home runs in their first 36 games. But Steve Balboni hit two home runs, Deion Sanders hit a three-run shot and Roberto Kelly and Jesse Barfield also hit homers in support of Leary.
Detroit 5, Texas 1--Cecil Fielder hit his major league-leading 17th home run, a two-run shot in the third inning at Detroit, and the Tigers won for the eighth time in nine games.
Brian DuBois (2-2), struck out seven and gave up seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to get the victory.
Mike Jeffcoat (0-1), starting in place of injured Nolan Ryan, hit Lloyd Moseby with two out in the third and Fielder followed with his homer to center field.
The A's chased Bill Wegman (2-1), who shut them out last week in Milwaukee, with eight runs in the first 2 2/3 innings.
Mike Moore (4-3) pitched seven innings to get the victory for Oakland, which has snapped a slump with four victories in five games.
Kansas City 4, Boston 1--Bret Saberhagen is back in his best form. He followed up Friday's two-hitter against New York with this seven-hitter at Boston. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter, improving his record to 3-3.
Steve Jeltz, an .067 hitter, broke a 1-1 tie with a run-scoring single in the seventh and Willie Wilson singled in two more runs.
Chicago 6, Baltimore 3--Dan Pasqua, in the starting lineup for only the 13th time this season, showed his appreciation with a three-run home run in the first inning at Baltimore.
Pasqua also hit a solo home run in the seventh to help Eric King win his third without defeat. King gave up only two hits in six innings, but one was a three-run home run by Joe Orsulak, his third in two games.
Erik Hanson (4-3) held Cleveland to five hits in eight innings while walking none and striking out nine. Mike Schooler pitched the ninth for his 12th save.