The New York Yankees are committed to a youth movement in pitching. As could be expected, the youngsters have had their ups and downs.
First, they sent the Yankees into contention in the American League East and then they took them out of it.
It has been up to Scott Sanderson, a 35-year-old right-hander, to provide the consistency on the starting staff.
Sanderson, a 17-game winner for league champion Oakland last season, turned in another solid effort Friday night at New York.
Sanderson (14-8) slowed Toronto’s dash to the championship in the East. He held the Blue Jays to six hits in eight innings in a 9-2 victory that ended Toronto’s five-game winning streak.
Matt Nokes hit two home runs and Mel Hall another as the Yankees jumped on Todd Stottlemyre (12-6) for five runs in the fifth inning.
The Yankees led, 1-0, and there were two out and nobody on in the inning when the fireworks started. Steve Sax singled and Hall, a .417 lifetime hitter against Stottlemyre, hit his 18th home run. Hensley Meulens singled, and Nokes followed with his 22nd home run.
When Sanderson pitched a one-hitter against the Angels July 11, he was 10-3. He lost five of his next six decisions. In the five defeats the Yankees scored only seven runs. Last Sunday at Toronto Sanderson left in the seventh inning with a 7-2 lead, the bullpen blew it and the Yankees lost, 11-7.
Sanderson, who struck out eight Friday, lost his shutout when Joe Carter hit his 29th home run.
Just before the game the Blue Jays learned that acting manager Gene Tenace probably would run the club the rest of the season. Manager Cito Gaston has not responded to treatment for a serious back problem.
The loss was a blow to the Blue Jays’ hopes of building a solid lead over Detroit before Sept. 10. On that date the Blue Jays begin the stretch drive playing only teams in the West, including six with defending champion Oakland and six with runaway leader, Minnesota.
While the Blue Jays are facing the tougher opposition, the Tigers will finish up against teams in the East, all of which, except Boston, are below .500.
Oakland 6, Detroit 3--Mark McGwire hit a three-run home run with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting the Athletics over the Tigers at Oakland.
All nine runs came on six homers. Rickey Henderson homered twice and Jose Canseco also connected for the A’s, who won for the second time in seven games. Mickey Tettleton and Pete Incaviglia hit home runs for the Tigers.
Canseco, who earlier tied Cecil Fielder for the major league lead with 36 home runs, started the winning burst with a one-out single. Canseco stole second as Terry Steinbach struck out then stole third. After Jerry Don Gleaton intentionally walked Brook Jacoby, McGwire hit his third homer in three games and 20th overall.
Dennis Eckersley (2-2) pitched one inning for the victory.
Boston 3, Seattle 2--Luis Rivera singled home the tie-breaking run in the ninth inning at Seattle and Joe Hesketh (9-3) finished August with a 5-1 record.
Steve Lyons doubled with one out off Erik Hanson (7-7) in the ninth inning and Rivera, facing reliever Mike Jackson, dropped a fly ball in front of center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. to score the go-ahead run.
Hesketh gave up seven hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking none. Jeff Reardon picked up his 33rd save.
Baltimore 11, Minnesota 5--Joe Orsulak, who has hit safely in 24 of the last 25 games, went five for five, scored three runs and drove in three to lead the Orioles’ 17-hit attack.
The Twins did some hitting of their own but were a little late getting started. They had 15 hits, but they trailed, 9-0, before they scored.
Kent Hrbek hit a two-run home run for the Twins to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.
Cleveland 3, Chicago 2--After ending their 10-game losing streak against the Indians Thursday night at Chicago, the White Sox led this one, 2-0, after seven innings.
But, the Indians jumped on Alex Fernandez in the eighth. Carlos Baerga capped the three-run rally with a two-run single.
The 10th loss in 11 games left the White Sox 8 1/2 games out of first in the West.
Texas 6, Kansas City 2--Nolan Ryan struck out eight and gave up two hits in 5 1/3 innings at Arlington, Tex., for his ninth victory of the year.
Although he was visibly tired when he was replaced, Ryan tied Tom Seaver for 14th on the all-time victory list with his 311th.