AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Hendersons Help Put the A's Back on Top

Rickey Henderson creates excitement and starts rallies for the Oakland Athletics. Dave Henderson plays center field and drives in key runs.

Without the two of them, in another season when Jose Canseco is hurting, the World Series champions might be in trouble.

With Canseco sidelined by a strained wrist and opposing clubs pitching around Mark McGwire, Manager Tony La Russa came up with a new lineup.

He put Rickey and Dave Henderson in the top two spots in the lineup when the A's opened their trip Friday at Toronto.

For the second game in a row, the Hendersons keyed the offense and the Athletics routed Dave Stieb in a 9-4 victory over the Blue Jays that moved Oakland back into first place in the American League West.

Dave hit a pair of two-run doubles and Rickey scored twice and drove in another run.

Friday night, in Dave Stewart's 5-0 no-hit victory, both Hendersons hit home runs and they drove in all the runs.

A six-run second inning in which Rickey walked and scored and Dave doubled in two runs made it easy for Bob Welch to become the major leagues' first 13-game winner.

Welch (13-2) didn't pitch one of his better games, but the big lead enabled him to win his 10th in a row. He gave up all four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays have lost six in a row. The sudden ineffectiveness of their best pitcher, Stieb, is more cause for concern.

Before Monday night's game at Boston, Stieb had a 10-2 record and his 2.26 earned-run average was the best in the league. Stieb faced seven batters, walked four and gave up three hits and was gone before he retired a batter.

He wasn't much better in this game. Two walks started his downfall in the second inning, and he departed after giving up four hits and six runs.

In an understatement, Blue Jay catcher Pat Borders said: "Dave is having a little bit of a problem with his control. You can't afford to get behind these guys. They hit the ball real well all the way down to their shortstop and their second baseman."

The A's shortstop, Walt Weiss, doubled into the left-center gap to drive in the first two Oakland runs. On a two-strike pitch, the second baseman, Mike Gallego, lashed a double inside first and two more scored. Dave Henderson finished Stieb with his double down the left-field line.

La Russa raved about Gallego's hit: "That was a nasty pitch and a great piece of hitting. It was a pitcher's pitch. But Mike came through."

New York 10, Chicago 7--A seven-run deficit at Chicago was too much for the White Sox to overcome.

The Yankees, who had only five hits Friday night, had six singles in the first inning to get four runs off Melido Perez and put an end to Chicago's eight-game winning streak.

Rookie third baseman Jim Leyritz hit his first two major league home runs and drove in four runs. His first home run came in the third inning with a runner on and gave the Yankees a 7-0 lead.

The White Sox battled back, twice cutting the lead to two runs, but they couldn't catch up and fell a game behind Oakland.

Texas 6, Boston 5--The Red Sox keep wasting chances to break open the race in the East.

They had a 3-2 lead Friday night at Boston. But after a long rain delay, they lost, 4-3.

In this game, they built a 5-1 lead in the second inning, didn't scored again and lost when the Rangers scored three runs in the ninth. Jeff Reardon, working for the fifth time in six days, gave up all the runs in the ninth.

The hustle of 220-pound Pete Incaviglia helped make the difference. With the game tied, 5-5, the bases loaded and one out, Incaviglia forced Ruben Sierra, but made a headfirst slide into first to beat the double play as the go-ahead run scored.

Detroit 5, Kansas City 3--Cecil Fielder hit his major league-leading 26th home run and Tony Phillips hit a three-run home run to help the Tigers end their 11-game losing streak at Kansas City.

Fielder had gone 11 games without a home run and nine games without driving in a run, but he hit a 1-and-0 pitch from Storm Davis into the left-field seats.

It gave the Tigers, who had not won in Kansas City since Aug. 2, 1988, a 5-0 lead.

Baltimore 6, Minnesota 0--Bob Milacki pitched a three-hitter at Minneapolis to win for the first time in nearly a month.

Cal Ripken Jr. had another errorless game, extending his streak to 72 games to tie the league record for errorless games. It was set by Ed Brinkman in 1972.

Seattle 6, Milwaukee 2--Jeffrey Leonard had not hit a home run for a month, but he hit two at Seattle to lead the Mariners in a game that was interrupted by a brawl.

In the eighth inning, Milwaukee reliever Bob Sebra hit Tracy Jones with a pitch after Leonard's second home run and a double by Edgar Martinez. Both benches emptied and the brawl lasted 10 minutes. Eight players were ejected.

Ted Higuera (5-2), making his first start since coming off the disabled list, gave up four runs before he got a batter out.

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