AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Canseco Homer Doesn't Bother Blue Jays

Maybe the Toronto Blue Jays, who have built a reputation in recent years for figuring out a way to lose in a pennant race, are going to do things differently this year.

Jose Canseco hit a three-run home run in the first inning Friday night at Toronto to get the Oakland Athletics off to a fast start.

In other seasons, the Blue Jays, after falling behind so quickly, probably would not have battled back. They did this time. Kelly Gruber drove in three runs and the Blue Jays rallied for a 7-6 victory.

The comeback enabled the Blue Jays to retain a 3 1/2-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

Under ordinary circumstances, the 3-0 lead would have been enough for Dave Stewart, but this is an off year for the hard-throwing right-hander. He didn't make it through the fourth inning, giving up five runs and eight hits. Stewart, who won 20 or more four consecutive seasons, is 11-9.

Although he had one of his poorest outings (six runs in 6 1/3 innings), Jose Guzman improved to 7-2. Tom Henke pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in his 33rd opportunity.

In addition to his 39th home run, Canseco singled in a run in the seventh.

Joe Carter drove in a run for Toronto for his 100th RBI. He became the first player to drive in 100 runs for three different teams. Previously, he did it for Cleveland and San Diego.

"I hope this will be our month and October, too," Gruber said. "I take the same approach whether it's April or September."

Henke, who is bothered by tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, said it wasn't 100%.

"Even tonight, it felt a little tight," Henke said. "It's just something I have to work through. This is not going to go away until I get some rest after the season is over."

Boston 5, New York 4--The Red Sox were missing two of their top players, third baseman Wade Boggs (bruised ankle) and center fielder Ellis Burks (sore back).

But they had rookie Phil Plantier, and he hit a three-run pinch home run in the sixth inning to bring the Red Sox from behind. It was the ninth victory in 10 games for the Red Sox, who remain 3 1/2 games behind Toronto.

Plantier's home run was the first by a Red Sox pinch-hitter in more than a year.

Jeff Reardon pitched the last two innings for his 38th save. There was a scare with two out in the ninth when Don Mattingly pulled a drive off the top of the wall in right, barely missing a home run. Randy Velarde popped out to end the game.

"That's the kind of game that if you're going bad, you lose," Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan said.

Detroit 3, Milwaukee 2--Bill Gullickson won his career-high 18th as the Tigers rallied at Milwaukee to remain 5 1/2 games out of first place in the East.

Gullickson gave up six hits in eight innings and was backed by four double plays. Jeff Kaiser pitched a perfect ninth to get his second save.

Minnesota 7, Texas 3--The Twins continue on their way to the title in the West. Kirby Puckett scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning at Arlington, Tex., with an infield single and Kent Hrbek followed with a three-run home run.

Texas' Brian Downing led off the first inning with a home run. It was the 23rd game-opening home run for the former Angel.

A thunderstorm delayed the game for 58 minutes in the third inning.

Baltimore 5, Cleveland 4--Pinch-hitter David Segui singled home Tim Hulett in the ninth inning at Baltimore as the Orioles overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Indians.

Mike Devereaux's three-run home run in the eighth tied the score.

Kansas City 3, Seattle 2--Bill Pecota tied the score with a two-run single in the ninth inning at Kansas City and a walk in the 12th won it.

Mike Jackson walked Kurt Stillwell with the bases loaded. Before walking Stillwell, Jackson (6-5) struck out Kirk Gibson and Bert Mayne. Then he threw four consecutive balls.

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