AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : While the Athletics Keep Moving Toward a Title, Red Sox Find Trouble

The Oakland Athletics are marching resolutely to the American League West title, but the Boston Red Sox may be in trouble in the East.

Scott Sanderson held the Red Sox to three hits and pitched his first shutout with the Athletics in a 4-0 victory over the Red Sox at Oakland Monday night, stretching their lead to six games over Chicago.

But the loss that cut Boston's lead over Toronto to two games wasn't the big worry for the Red Sox. The possible loss for an indefinite period of their offensive leader, Wade Boggs, was.

Boggs chipped a bone on the middle toe on his right foot when he fouled a pitch Sunday at Seattle.

Boggs missed the opener of the three-game series with the A's. His status is being called day to day, but a prolonged absence might be too much for the Red Sox, who have trouble scoring runs when Boggs isn't playing.

Sanderson, who has been a solid starter for the Athletics, improved his record to 12-7. He is assured of his best record since 1980 when he was 16-11 for Montreal.

Until his first two starts this month, Sanderson had gone at least five innings in all 22 starts, however, it was his first shutout since 1986.

In five of his defeats, including Nolan Ryan's no-hitter, the Athletics scored a total of two runs.

Ron Hassey and Dave Henderson drove in runs in the second inning for the A's and Doug Jennings, in the lineup while Jose Canseco rests his aching back, homered for the third Oakland run. It was his first home run since April 1988.

Carney Lansford had two hits for Oakland. He is 11 for 16 in the last four games.

Baltimore 3, Seattle 2--Rookie sensation Ben McDonald needed help at Seattle, but he picked up his fifth victory in five starts.

McDonald had a three-hitter through eight, but he was in trouble in the ninth. Gregg Olson gave up a run-scoring single to Edgar Martinez, but got the last out for his 27th save.

McDonald, 22, who relieved six times before he made a start, has a 5-0 record and a 1.56 earned-run average.

Cal Ripken had two hits, drove in a run and scored once for the Orioles.

Toronto 4, Chicago 3--The White Sox's talented rookie, Alex Fernandez, celebrated his 21st birthday with another strong outing at Chicago.

Fernandez gave up five hits and an unearned run in eight innings. When the White Sox scored twice in the bottom of the eighth, another win seemed assured.

But Bobby Thigpen failed to protect a lead for only the sixth time in 43 opportunities. Junior Felix's run-scoring single climaxed a three-run rally in the ninth that won it for the Blue Jays.

Lance Johnson had the big hit in the eighth for the White Sox. His triple drove in the tie-breaking run and he scored the other.

It was the second time in three starts that the Chicago bullpen failed to save a win for Fernandez.

Detroit 6, Cleveland 5--Cecil Fielder was fooled by Jeff Shaw's pitch in the first inning at Cleveland, but he got enough of it to send it just over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.

Fielder's major league leading 36th home run helped Walt Terrell win his first game since rejoining the Tigers.

Terrell, who had his best seasons in Detroit before being traded to San Diego after the 1988 season, went six innings.

Kansas City 5, Texas 3--The defeat wasn't the worst thing that happened to the Rangers at Kansas City.

Kevin Brown, a 12-game winner, had to leave the game in the second inning because of a hyperextended right elbow. He was sent home for further tests.

Gerald Perry, batting .466 in the last 10 games, led the Royals' offense. He had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two.

Kevin Appier (8-4), one of the Royals' best young pitchers, went 6 2/3 innings for the win. The Royals, who climbed out of the cellar in the West a couple of weeks ago, are now only three games behind third-place Texas.

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