The future didn’t look bright last winter for 31-year-old outfielder Chili Davis. The Angels decided not to renew his contract and offers weren’t pouring in.
The Minnesota Twins, who gave big money to veteran right-hander Jack Morris, managed to get Davis for considerably less. While Morris is off to a poor start, Davis is paying big dividends.
Davis hit two home runs and drove in four runs Sunday at Minneapolis to lead the Twins to an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. He made it easy for Scott Erickson to win his fifth in a row.
Morris is 2-4 with an earned-run average of 5.89. But Davis, being used as a designated hitter, is batting .317 and has hit seven home runs.
He hit a three-run home run in the first inning and a solo shot in the third to send Bill Gullickson on his way to his first loss after four victories.
“I faced Bill before a lot of times in the National League,” said Davis, a former San Francisco Giant. “I can’t say I had a great deal of success against him then.
“I hadn’t seen him in several years. I guess it was to my advantage.”
Davis leads the Twins, who are three games out of first place in the American League West, in home runs and in runs batted in with 20. He also has walked 22 times.
Erickson, who has two shutouts, held the Tigers scoreless on three hits before departing after seven innings. He has given up only two earned runs in the last 34 innings and has gone at least seven innings in each of his seven starts.
He showed what he could do by winning his last five starts last season.
“He didn’t have his best fastball today,” Manager Tom Kelly said, “but he must have been doing something right. They didn’t get many hits, and those Tigers are no slouches at the plate.”
Erickson has started three games at the Metrodome this season and hasn’t yielded a run in 25 innings.
New York 10, Oakland 6--The Yankees beat the Athletics again and Dennis Eckersley gave up another home run. Both feats are unusual.
Matt Nokes, who hit a three-run home run off Eckersley in the eighth inning, singled in a first inning outburst at New York. It was only the second time in the last 19 meetings with the A’s that the Yankees won.
Eckersley gave up only two home runs in 73 1/3 innings last season. But Nokes’ smash was the fourth he has given up this season.
Scoring runs is not that tough for the Yankees, but holding leads is. As they handed Mike Moore his first loss after five victories, the Yankee bullpen did the job with Steve Farr getting the victory.
Toronto 4, Chicago 2--Ed Sprague Jr. is surprised to be in the majors. But the son of former major league pitcher Ed Sprague is making the most of it.
Sprague hit two run-scoring singles at Toronto to spark the Blue Jays to their third victory in the four-game series.
“I was catching at Syracuse, but I was swinging a good bat,” said Sprague, brought up when third baseman Kelly Gruber was hurt. “Maybe that’s why they brought me up.”
His father was 7-2 with Milwaukee in 1974 when he tore ligaments in his knee, which virtually ended his career.
Texas 12, Boston 5--The Red Sox went into the game at Boston with the leading pitching staff in the league.
The Rangers, who had lost four in a row, left it in shambles. Ruben Sierra had a two-run home run in the first inning and added two singles in the nine-run fourth to lead the Rangers’ 19-hit attack.
Kansas City 6, Milwaukee 4--Mike Boddicker went five innings at Milwaukee before his sore right elbow forced him to retire. He was the winner as the Brewers lost their seventh in a row. Boddicker gave up four hits and two runs.
Robin Yount homered for the Brewers and Greg Vaughn extended the longest hitting streak in the league this season to 16 games by hitting a single.
Seattle 5, Baltimore 4--The Mariners, who had been on streaks of one kind or the other all season, put an end to that at Seattle.
Pete O’Brien singled home the winning run with two out in the eighth. The Mariners won six in a row before losing to the Orioles Saturday night.