Milwaukee set an AL record with 31 hits in Friday night's 22-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays, the most in a nine-inning game in the major leagues in 91 years. Jim Gantner's infield single in the ninth broke the previous AL record set by the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 28, 1923.
"I'm at a loss to explain it," Brewer Manager Phil Garner said. "It's just one of those nights when everything happened. I put guys in the lineup in the middle of the game and they ended up getting three hits."
The only other nine-inning game this century with 31 hits was on June 9, 1901, when the New York Giants did it against the Cincinnati Reds. The all-time record for a nine-inning game is 36, accomplished by Philadelphia against Louisville in a National League game on Aug. 17, 1894. The AL record in extra innings is 33, set by Cleveland against Philadelphia in 18 innings on July 10, 1932.
"Whoever we threw out there, they hit," said Jimmy Key (8-12), Toronto starter. He gave up three runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing this year.
"I'm pretty disappointed too," Key said. "Normally when I pitch two good games back to back, I keep it going. I don't know where this came from tonight."
Milwaukee, which ended a five-game losing streak and a 10-game road losing streak, set a team-record with 22 runs--topping the 20 scored against the Angels on July 8, 1990. The Brewers' offense--26 singles, five extra-base hits--broke the AL record of 24, set by Cleveland in 1928 and matched by Boston in 1953.
"I'm never comfortable. I never feel I can relax," Garner said. "I wasn't comfortable until we got 15 runs."
Kevin Seitzer and Scott Fletcher had five hits each for the Brewers, and Pat Listach and Darryl Hamilton had four apiece. Fletcher and Hamilton drove in five runs each, and Paul Molitor drove in four as the Brewers moved within 4 1/2 games of AL East-leading Toronto. Robin Yount had one hit, leaving him 13 away from 3,000.
"It's definitely fun to put up numbers like that and tie the best there's ever been," Hamilton said.
It was all very impressive to Toronto's David Cone, obtained Thursday in a trade with the New York Mets. Cone, today's scheduled starter, charted Friday night's game for five innings.
"I guess he's thinking, 'Tough league,' " Key said. "We'll have to ice his wrist down after that one."
It was the most runs given up by the Blue Jays since they gave up 24 to the Angels on Aug. 24, 1979.
Rookie Cal Eldred (5-1), given a 7-0 lead in the third, scattered seven hits over seven innings.
A look at the contributors to Milwaukee's American League-record 31-hit, 22-2 rout of Toronto on Friday night.
PLAYER RUNS HITS Kevin Seitzer 4 5 Scott Fletcher 3 5 Pat Listach 3 4 Darryl Hamilton 0 4 Paul Molitor 1 3 Jim Gantner 0 2 John Jaha 3 2 B.J. Surhoff 4 2 Greg Vaughn 1 1 Robin Yount 2 1 Dante Bichette 1 2 Total 22 31
* Major league record for most hits in a nine-inning game: 36--Philadelphia, vs. Louisville, Aug. 17, 1894, National League.