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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Red Sox Waste Chance to Gain Ground

From Associated Press

Dwight Evans spent 19 years with the Boston Red Sox and experienced many of the tough losses that have plagued the franchise during the past two decades.

Evans, therefore, empathized with his former teammates when he drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a 6-5 victory and a doubleheader split Thursday at Baltimore.

The split left the Red Sox exactly where they started the day, 2 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who were idle.

“I’ve got some friends over there,” Evans said of the Red Sox. “I hope they do well, but I’m an Oriole now. I want us to win, but I’d like to see them do well, too.”

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The Red Sox won the first game, 2-1, as Roger Clemens (18-8) pitched a seven-hitter and struck out 10, raising his major league-leading total to 227.

Clemens did not walk a batter and lowered his earned-run average to a major league best 2.38. He pitched his 12th complete game and beat the Orioles for the first time since since Aug. 11, 1989. Phil Plantier hit his eighth homer and Jack Clark hit his 26th for the Red Sox.

“It’s a whitewash. We’re back at square one,” said Clemens, who is 6-0 with a 1.33 ERA over his last seven starts. “I’ve kind of got mixed emotions right now, the way things came out in the second game.”

Joe Hesketh, who started the second game and left with a 5-3 lead, echoed Clemens’ thoughts.

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“It’s a useless day for us unless we win two,” he said. “One more out is what we needed, and we didn’t get it.”

It was the second time this week that the Red Sox blew a lead when they were one out from victory. On Sunday, relief ace Jeff Reardon gave up a home run in the ninth inning at New York and the Yankees beat the Red Sox in extra innings.

Reliever Greg Harris (11-12) was the culprit Thursday. He preserved a 5-4 lead in the seventh by getting Randy Milligan to ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end the inning. But in the ninth, Chris Hoiles singled with one out and moved to third on a two-out single by Mike Devereaux.

With Reardon unable to pitch because of a stiff neck, Harris stayed in the game and gave up a game-tying single to Cal Ripken, who earlier had hit his 32nd home run. Harris walked Milligan, loading the bases, and then Evans, losing the game.

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Harris blamed home plate umpire Vic Voltaggio.

“That sucker just wouldn’t call strikes,” Harris said. “He’s calling strikes all day and I get in there and it’s not a strike unless I throw it down the middle.”

Todd Frohwirth (7-3) earned the victory.

Detroit 6, Cleveland 5--Tony Phillips’ takeout slide at second base in the seventh inning allowed two runs to score, giving the Tigers the victory at Detroit.

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Jose Martinez homered for the Indians. Rob Deer homered for the Tigers.

Milwaukee 6, New York 2--Bill Wegman (14-7) pitched a six hitter for his career-high 14th victory and Paul Molitor got his league-leading 200th hit at Milwaukee.

Kevin Maas hit his 21st homer for the Yankees.

Oakland 10, Texas 0--Jose Canseco hit his career-high 43rd home run, pulling even with Cecil Fielder for the major league lead and the Athletics eliminated the Rangers from the AL West race.

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Mike Moore (16-8) pitched a four-hitter in the game at Oakland and won his fourth consecutive decision.


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