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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Gardner Helps Red Sox Beat Blue Jays Again, Increase Lead to 1 1/2 Games

Now that the Boston Red Sox have found the secret to beating the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, they are making the most of it.

After losing 15 consecutive games at home to the Blue Jays, the Red Sox ended the string Monday night--scoring seven runs in the first two innings.

They scored all of their runs in the first two innings Tuesday night and beat Toronto, 3-0.

Doubles by Wade Boggs and Tom Brunansky produced a run in the first inning and first baseman Carlos Quintana hit a two-run home run in the second inning.

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Wes Gardner held the heavy-hitting Blue Jays to two hits in six innings, and the Red Sox increased their lead in the East to 1 1/2 games.

After Gardner issued his second walk to open the seventh, Rob Murphy came in and pitched two innings. Jeff Reardon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save and his second in two nights.

Gardner, making his fourth start since coming out of the bullpen, retired the first 13 and gave up his first hit, a single, with two outs in the fifth.

It was only the second time this season the Blue Jays have been shut out.

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It didn’t figure that Gardner would be the one to do it. Entering the game he was 1-4 and had an ERA of 6.28. He had yielded 35 hits in 28 1/3 innings.

“I had trouble sleeping last night,” Gardner said, “because this was such a big game. I just wanted to get through the first inning. Then, I wanted to throw a shutout for five, six or seven innings. I made a couple of bad pitches, but the balls were hit right at someone.”

New York 8, Milwaukee 2--Most of this season the power outage at Yankee Stadium involved the Yankees’ bats.

But this one was an electrical power failure that turned the lights out and delayed the game 16 minutes in the fourth inning.

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The Yankees’ Steve Balboni singled home the tie-breaking run in the seventh and singled in another run in a five-run eighth.

In the eighth, Matt Nokes hit a three-run home run as the Yankees gained their fifth victory in their last seven games.

Nokes’ home run was his seventh and his second three-run homer as a pinch-hitter for the Yankees in the last five games.

Cleveland 5, Baltimore 3--Pinch-runner Stan Jefferson stole second and third and scored the go-ahead run on Sandy Alomar’s two-out single at Baltimore. Two walks forced in another run for the Indians, who won moved within a game of .500.

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The Orioles, who lost their fifth in a row, tied the score in the eighth when Cal Ripken doubled and scored on Joe Orsulak’s pinch single.

In the first inning, Ripken mishandled a throw from the outfield, ending his string of errorless games at 67. The record is 72 set by Eddie Brinkman of Detroit in 1972.

Although they have outhit the Indians, 44-31, in their last four meetings, the Orioles have lost three of them.

Minnesota 5, Texas 4--A triple by Gene Larkin in the eighth inning at Minneapolis brought the Twins even and when Gary Gaetti hit a sacrifice fly, they beat Kevin Brown (9-5).

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Brown appeared on his way to his fifth victory in a row when Pete Incaviglia hit his 12th home run in the top of the eighth to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Scott Coolbaugh and Kevin Reimer homered for the Rangers, who have lost four in a row.

Oakland 3, Detroit 2--The Athletics’ usually reliable defense gave up two unearned runs at Oakland, but Scott Sanderson and two successors kept the Tigers at bay the rest of the time.

Sanderson gave up two hits and both runs in six innings, Todd Burns pitched two innings and Dennis Eckersley pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save.

The Athletics scored what proved to be the winning run on a wild throw by right fielder Scott Lusader.

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Jose Canseco was back in the lineup for the Athletics, but he went 0 for 4.

Kansas City 4, Seattle 1--Bo Jackson hit a two-run home run and Tom Gordon pitched a strong eight innings at Seattle to win his third in a row.

Jackson’s 10th home run came in the first inning and made a loser of Brian Holman (8-6).


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