AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Baines Hits 3 Homers, Has 7 RBIs for A’s

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The lusty hitting of the Cleveland Indians over the weekend left a lasting impression on Harold Baines and the Oakland Athletics.

The Indians scored 35 runs in the last two games of the series at Oakland.

Baines, who was hitting only .258 and had one home run, hit three home runs and added a double Tuesday night at Oakland to lead the Athletics to an 11-3 romp over the Baltimore Orioles.

In his fifth at-bat Baines was walked on four pitches.

Baines’ heavy hitting made it easy for Mike Moore to improve his record to 5-0 and tie Roger Clemens of Boston and Chuck Finley of the Angels for the most victories in the majors this season.


Baines hit the home runs in his first, third and fourth at-bats. The double came in his second. Baines’ 14 total bases were a club record. It was the third time Baines, who drove in seven runs, hit three home runs in a game.

Moore gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings after A’s pitching yielded 35 runs and 40 hits in the two previous games.

Minnesota 9, Boston 3--Scott Erickson impressed observers as a prize pitching prospect when the Twins brought him up from the minor leagues last season.

With less than a year of major league experience Erickson is much more than a prospect. The big former Arizona right-hander has become a star.

He tired in the ninth inning at Boston and gave up a three-run home run to Tom Brunansky, but Erickson pitched the surging Twins to a victory over the Red Sox.

The home run cost Erickson (4-2) his third consecutive shutout and ended his scoreless string at 30 innings. He needed to complete the shutout to break Frank Viola’s club record for scoreless innings. Erickson settled for a tie.


He has won four in a row, has brought the Twins to .500 and hasn’t lost since the Twins started scoring runs for him.

Erickson, 8-4 last season, lost his first two starts this season, both 3-0. In 14 2/3 innings he gave up four earned runs and was 0-2.

He has impressed the opposition.

“Let me tell you, this kid is the toughest pitcher we’ve faced all year,” Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan said. “He throws like (Mark) Gubicza. He has a sinking slider that he throws in or out.”

Morgan may be prejudiced. Last Wednesday Erickson shut Boston out on two hits, 1-0.

“I wasn’t concerned about any club record,” Erickson said. “But I sure did want that shutout.”

The Twins have won 11 of 15 since losing seven in a row.

Detroit 5, Kansas City 4--It had nothing of the media fanfare of Darryl Strawberry’s return to Shea Stadium, but Kirk Gibson did return to Tiger Stadium for the first time since 1988.

Gibson went hitless and the Royals blew a 4-0 lead.

Bill Gullickson (4-0) survived a four-run second inning, making it through seven innings.

The Tigers broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth when Tony Phillips singled with two out, took second on right fielder Danny Tartabull’s throwing error and scored on Alan Trammell’s single.


Chicago 2, Milwaukee 1--Sammy Sosa wasn’t thinking home run when he came to bat in the 12th inning at Chicago.

Sosa’s fourth home run ended the struggling White Sox’s five-game losing streak.

Bobby Thigpen (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings to get the victory.

Milwaukee’s Kevin Brown gave up six hits in nine innings, and Chicago’s Greg Hibbard gave up six in 10 innings.

It was the third loss in a row for the Brewers.

Texas 3, Toronto 2--Brian Downing had three singles at Toronto to raise his average to .389 and help the the Rangers climb over .500 (11-10). Downing has the top AL average, but he hasn’t batted enough times to qualify for leadership.

The Rangers used four pitchers to hold Toronto to two runs. Kenny Rogers (1-3) started and gave up all eight hits in five innings. Jeff Russell pitched the last 1 1/3 innings for his sixth save.

The Blue Jays face Nolan Ryan tonight. It will be Ryan’s seventh attempt to equal Johnny Vander Meer’s feat of back-to-back no-hitters. Ryan pitched his seventh no-hitter last week against Toronto.

The Rangers have won seven of eight games with Toronto.

Seattle 7, Cleveland 6--Edgar Martinez hit a three-run double and Pete O’Brien followed with a two-run home run as the Mariners scored five times in the ninth to beat the Indians at Seattle.