AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Twins Complete Series Sweep of Red Sox
The way things started out for Minnesota’s Kevin Tapani against Boston Sunday, it appeared that he wouldn’t be pitching very long.
Tapani opened the game by walking Wade Boggs and then giving up a double to Jody Reed.
But he struck out three consecutive batters to get out of the inning after throwing 33 pitches, and then didn’t allow a run until the eighth as the Twins beat the Red Sox, 3-1, at Minnesota for a three-game series sweep.
“The first inning told the story of this game,” Boston Manager Joe Morgan said. “We swung at a ton of high fastballs out of the strike zone, and that’s how he got out of the inning.”
Tapani (6-3) said: “I wasn’t out there trying to strike everybody out. I was trying to throw good pitches and get out of there with as little damage as I could.”
Minnesota’s Dan Gladden showed the Red Sox how to do it. He hit the second pitch in the bottom of the first inning from rookie Dana Kiecker (0-2) some 407 feet for his fourth home run of the season.
Gladden also scored in the third inning when he singled with two outs, stole second and came home on a single by Al Newman.
Brian Harper singled home the Twins’ third run with two outs in the fourth after Kirby Puckett led off with his 15th double, tops in the American League.
The Red Sox finally broke through in the eighth when Boggs led off with a double, continued to third on left fielder Gladden’s error and scored on a single by Reed.
Minnesota last swept Boston in Minnesota on Aug. 23-25, 1983. The Twins, winners of four in a row, outscored Boston, 25-6, in the series, including Friday night’s 16-0 rout.
Chicago 2, Detroit 1--The only really spacious part of Tiger Stadium worked against the home team as Cecil Fielder’s 435-foot drive with the score tied 1-1 was run down on the warning track in the sixth inning by White Sox center fielder Lance Johnson near a point where the fence is 440 feet from home plate.
An inning later, Ron Kittle singled home the tie-breaking run following a two-out intentional walk to Carlton Fisk.
Loser Jack Morris (2-7) had allowed just one hit going into the seventh--a fifth-inning homer by Fisk--but Robin Ventura singled to lead off the inning. Pinch-runner Rodney McCray stole second with one out and Dan Pasqua struck out. But Fisk was walked intentionally before Kittle spoiled the strategy.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a controversial home run. Mike Heath hit a fly ball down the left-field line. Ivan Calderon leaped for it, but the ball hit the foul pole and bounced into the stands in foul territory for Heath’s first home run of the season.
The White Sox argued that the ball hit the pole below the top of the fence, which would have made it a ground-rule double.
Fisk’s homer was his 2,100th career hit. It also lifted him into a tie for 45th place on the all-time home-run list with Boog Powell at 339.
Kansas City 6, New York 2--They still have the American League’s worst record, but the Royals’ spirits were up after their victory at Kansas City.
“This was a good, solid team outing, the way we’ve thought we should be playing all year,” said reliever Mark Davis, who struck out Jesse Barfield and Don Mattingly with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, although he then walked in a run. Jeff Montgomery was credit with the save.
Kevin Appier (1-0), given a chance to replace the ineffective Richard Dotson as the Royals’ fifth starter, responded with seven innings of seven-hit pitching.
Kevin Seitzer, who had only five RBIs in 165 at-bats, hit two doubles and a home run.
Baltimore 9, Texas 2--Jeff Ballard, an 18-game winner last season, won for the first time this season as the Orioles prevailed at Arlington, Tex.
Ballard (1-5) yielded two runs and five hits over six innings as the Orioles swept a road series for the first time since last June 19-21 in Seattle.
It was Ballard’s ninth start of the season and first victory since he beat Detroit last Sept. 20. The Orioles continued their mastery of the Rangers, having won 16 of the last 20 meetings. Texas has lost 19 of its last 26 games.
Ballard was 8-1 after nine starts a year ago when the Orioles scored 55 runs in his first nine starts. This season they had scored 22 runs for Ballard in his previous eight starts.
Toronto 5, Seattle 1--Manny Lee, Junior Felix and Pat Borders homered enabling the Blue Jays to complete a sweep of the series at Seattle.
It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Mariners, who are 8-14 at the Kingdome, the worst home record in the league.
Lee and Felix, Toronto’s eighth and ninth-place hitters, hit back-to-back homers leading off the third inning against Randy Johnson (3-3).
Borders homered after George Bell’s infield single in the sixth, giving Toronto a 5-1 lead. It was the 12th homer yielded by Johnson, most in the majors.