Canseco's 2 Homers Power A's Past Angels

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jose Canseco looks back at Tony La Russa oddly when his manager tells him what he thinks of his ability.

La Russa thinks Canseco is better than Canseco thinks he is.

And Canseco doesn't know how that can be, considering what he thinks.

Canseco homered on the first pitch he saw in Oakland's 7-5 victory over the Angels at Anaheim Stadium Thursday night, and he homered again in his second at-bat, taking over the major league lead from Detroit's Cecil Fielder by hitting his 34th of the season. Canseco drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded single, and finished the night four for five with five RBIs and two runs scored.

"Even though Cecil will have 25 more games than I will have, I have enough confidence I'll beat him," Canseco said. "If I get ahead by two or three home runs, I will keep the lead. . . . I don't need a full season to put up numbers."

His five-RBI performance came despite a shoulder strain suffered last Saturday that has slowed him, contributing to a five-for-32 slide with 15 strikeouts.

The A's took a 7-0 lead.

Devon White's three-run homer was the centerpiece of a four-run Angel fifth inning that helped assure that the game did not end in an Oakland blowout.

Canseco's two-homer game was the 17th of his career and the seventh of this season. It was also his second in nine days against the Angels. He hit two in a 13-3 victory over the Angels July 25.

Bob Welch (17-4), the major league leader in victories, gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings and then waited to see if he would get the victory, tying his career best, achieved in each of the past two seasons. Dennis Eckersley pitched the ninth for the save, his 33rd.

Welch gave up four hits through the first four innings. But with one out in the fifth he issued back-to-back walks to Kent Anderson and Dick Schofield, and Luis Polonia drove in the Angels' first run with a single to center. With two out, White connected with a full-count pitch for a homer to right-center, his eighth of the season.

When Welch gave up back-to-back walks in the sixth inning, the A's brought on Todd Burns, who retired the next two batters.

But Burns got into trouble in the seventh. Polonia led off with a single to left, took second on a wild pitch and then scored on Donnie Hill's double, his second of the game. The A's lead, once 7-0, was 7-5.

Gene Nelson relieved Burns and retired White on a ball hit back to the mound. Dave Winfield grounded out, as did Lee Stevens.

Canseco drove in two runs with his first home run Thursday, a high shot off Angel starter Kirk McCaskill (7-8), who had given up an infield hit to Carney Lansford. Canseco's third-inning homer, a shot that landed about 20 rows into the left-field stands, gave the A's a 3-0 lead.

Carney Lansford walked with the bases loaded to force in a run in the fourth inning and, with Canseco on deck, McCaskill was through.

Mike Fetters replaced McCaskill, who gave up six hits and was charged with six runs.

Fetters went to a 3-and-1 count on Canseco, who delivered a single up the middle that drove in two runs for a 6-0 lead.

Ron Hassey's solo home run, his fifth, off Fetters in the fifth inning put Oakland ahead, 7-0.

Angel Notes

Bert Blyleven's wife, Patty, and children Kimberly, Timothy and Thomas were in good and stable condition at Lone Pine Hospital in Lone Pine, Calif., after receiving moderate to minor injuries in an auto accident Thursday afternoon, the Angels announced. Blyleven's son Todd was not with the family at the time of the accident. Patty, Tom and Kim Blyleven were later flown to St. Joseph Hospital. Bert Blyleven reported that they have cuts and scratches and that he was returning home with Tim. Blyleven was at the stadium when he learned of the accident and left to join his family. Blyleven's next scheduled start is Saturday. . . . Pitcher Bob McClure, who has not played this season because of tendinitis in his elbow, will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Palm Springs today. He will return to Anaheim Saturday and Sunday and is scheduled to pitch on consecutive days at Palm Springs Monday and Tuesday. . . . Chili Davis took early batting practice Thursday, saying that on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst, his back is "about a four or five." He said it was about a nine when he went on the disabled list. Davis' is likely to return within a week. . . . Former Angel Manager Gene Mauch stood in the stands behind home plate and talked through the screen with broadcaster Reggie Jackson and Oakland Manager Tony La Russa before the game.

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