As he watched the Angels’ chances dwindle to one, Lance Parrish planned what he would do when he got the fastball Mark Davis would throw him.
“Standing in the on-deck circle, I was picturing getting a good swing on it,” Parrish said, smiling at the memory. “It’s the first time I pictured something and it actually happened.”
His swing was picture perfect, as was the ending for the Angels. Parrish powered a 1-and-1 fastball from Davis 410 feet and over the center-field fence with two out in the ninth inning, and the solo shot gave the Angels a 3-2 victory over Kansas City Monday night before 26,604 at Anaheim Stadium.
“I’ve got to tip my hat to him,” Davis (1-3) said after the Royals’ seventh consecutive loss of the season, their longest skid. “I felt I was throwing the ball good. He hit it real high. You hope it stays in the ballpark, but he’s strong.”
Parrish said: “I can’t really say I wasn’t swinging for a home run. Ideally, in that situation, you want to drive it and get it up in the air. I have enough power and fortunately I hit it solid.”
Parrish’s 10th home run of the season made Angel starter Bert Blyleven a winner for the fifth straight time and 277th of his career. Blyleven walked three and struck out four in keeping pace with another veteran right-hander who is pursuing 300 victories, Nolan Ryan, who drew a roaring ovation when his face appeared on the Anaheim Stadium message board.
Ryan pitched his sixth career no-hitter up in Oakland, where the Athletics’ 5-0 loss to Texas enabled the Angels to pull within 9 1/2 games.
“Nolan’s in a class by himself,” said Blyleven, who ranks 26th in career victories to Ryan’s 19th and fourth in strikeouts with 3,610, behind all-time leader Ryan.
Blyleven is in a fairly lofty class himself, with 241 complete games and a 6-3 record, comparable to the 7-2 record he had after nine decisions last season en route to a 17-5 record.
“He’s about where he was last year,” Manager Doug Rader said. “He’s doing super. A lot of good things happened tonight, winning when we did. Bert was done--(Bryan Harvey) was coming in the ballgame.”
Blyleven, who has two of the pitching staff’s three complete games this season and missed another by one-third of an inning last Wednesday at Kansas City, agreed that he had gone about as far as he could go.
“After the ninth, Lach (pitching coach Marcel Lachemann) told me that was enough,” Blyleven said. “I’m very thankful Lance hit that ball out and I was the beneficiary. . . . I’m just trying to keep my club in the game and hopefully the results will turn out like they did tonight.”
They turned out so favorably for the Angels because of pitching and power, the two assets that brought them 91 victories last season. Dave Winfield had driven in the Angels’ first two runs with a home run to right in the fourth off starter Tom Gordon, Winfield’s second in two games and fourth in his last five starts.
The Royals had scored in the second on back-to-back doubles by Danny Tartabull and George Brett and again in the seventh, on a rare walk issued by Blyleven to Willie Wilson, a single by Mike Macfarlane and a sacrifice fly by Frank White.
“That bothered me. I’ve got to make Willie Wilson make contact there,” said Blyleven, who has walked only 13 batters in 82 innings. “He’s the type of guy when he walks, they get a hit and you know he’s going to make third. You know what’s going to happen.”
Winfield didn’t know what had happened to his home run swing until the tale of the tape showed him he wasn’t his old self. An examination of old videos showed him subtle differences between his hand position in his best Yankee days and now, and he made the necessary adjustments that have paid off so handsomely in the last week.
“The tapes were real helpful,” said Winfield, who has eight RBIs in his last five starts and is six for 18 with two doubles in addition to his four home runs. “In Kansas city, I hit a curveball out and I thought he’d try to stay away from me today. He did. I just hit it where it was pitched. When I start hitting the ball hard and long distance, people aren’t going to challenge you that much inside.”
The complaint filed by the Angels regarding the Yankees’ conduct following the Dave Winfield-Mike Witt trade remains on the desk of Commissioner Fay Vincent. However, Angel General Manager Mike Port said he did not discuss the matter with Vincent during the Commissioner’s visit to Anaheim Stadium last weekend. “The thought was, why spoil his visit with something of that gravity?” Port said. “I have to think we’ll know something within a month’s time.”
Told that the Yankees had professed to be mystified by the Angels’ grievance, Port said that was “all the more reason to do it. I think the phrase is,” and he feigned a wide-eyed, innocent look, “‘Moi?”’
As expected, infielder Kent Anderson was activated off the 21-day disabled list and infielder Gary DiSarcina was optioned to triple-A Edmonton. Anderson was hitting .282 with one RBI in 26 games before spraining his right shoulder May 19 in Toronto. He was originally placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 20 and was later transferred to the 21-day DL.
DiSarcina was recalled from Edmonton on May 21. He had only two hits in his first 40 at-bats but four in his last 10 at-bats. “I knew this wasn’t going to last forever,” DiSarcina said. “It was a great chance to come up and learn what it takes to play up here and learn how to conduct myself. I’ve got to look at the positive--I don’t have to worry about my hitting anymore.”
Nor does he have to worry about the three fines he was facing in today’s Kangaroo Court session. What were his transgressions? “Being a rookie, I guess,” he said.
Lance Parrish caught Wilson stealing in the ninth, ending a streak of seven straight steals against Angel catchers. . . . Five Angels remain on the DL: pitchers Bob McClure and Greg Minton, catcher Bill Schroeder and infielders Mark McLemore and Johnny Ray. McClure’s current treatment is total rest, while Schroeder and Ray are doing light weightlifting.