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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Sutcliffe Helps Orioles Remain in Contention

Rick Sutcliffe is making a determined bid to keep the Baltimore Orioles in the race in the American League East.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander overcame the second triple play of the month against the Orioles for a 2-0 victory Sunday at Seattle.

The Orioles’ Brady Anderson walked to open the fifth inning and Randy Milligan singled. Mike Devereaux hit a drive to right that Jay Buhner caught while crashing into the fence. While on his knees, Buhner threw to second baseman Harold Reynolds. The runners became confused and shortstop Omar Vizquel made the putout on both of them at second base. The Orioles, who hit into a triple play against Cleveland on Aug. 7, turned one against the Angels on Tuesday.

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Sutcliffe (14-11) got his fourth victory in a row. The Orioles, who are 15-12 in August, won all six games Sutcliffe started. He went into the seventh in all of them, giving up only eight runs in 45 innings.

Sutcliffe gave up nine hits, including two doubles by Edgar Martinez, who increased his major league leading average to .346.

“If we’re 10 games back, I might still be home,” said Sutcliffe, whose mother died of cancer on Aug. 23. “But I know Mom would want me to be here. So deep down, this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Said Oriole Manager John Oates: “He’s got some kind of intensity now. I really think he’s charged up for this race. You can just see it.”

Back-to-back shutouts of the Mariners gave the Orioles 13 for the season, most in the majors.

Oakland 7, Cleveland 5--With Mark McGwire on the disabled list and Jose Canseco not seeing any good pitches, the “little” guys are doing the job for the Athletics.

It was Walt Weiss, with a two-run double, and Jerry Browne, with a two-run single, who provided the big hits at Oakland as the A’s beat a nemesis, Charles Nagy.

Nagy (13-10) was 2-0 with an ERA of 2.86 against Oakland this season. But he gave up a career-high 15 hits and all seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Ron Darling (12-8) got the victory, but the A’s needed five pitchers for the third game in a row. They didn’t use Dennis Eckersley, but there were anxious moments before Rick Honeycutt got Carlos Martinez on a fly to center with the bases loaded during the ninth. Martinez hit two solo home runs against Darling.

Toronto 5, Milwaukee 3--The Blue Jays won after two humiliating defeats to the Brewers at Toronto, but the big news was the return of Juan Guzman.

Guzman, who rested a sore muscle in his pitching arm for more than three weeks, returned and gave up only one unearned run in four innings. He said he felt no pain and the Blue Jays’ best pitcher (12-3) expects to take his regular turn down the stretch.

After losing by 22-2 and 7-2 to the Brewers, the Blue Jays, with the help of Joe Carter’s two-run home run, remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore in the East.

Minnesota 5, New York 3--Kevin Tapani struggled at Minneapolis, but he stopped the Twins’ skid by beating the Yankees for the sixth time in seven career decisions.

Tapani (14-9) gave up eight hits and all the Yankee runs in 6 1/3 innings and Rick Aguilera worked the ninth for his 33rd save. It was only the Twins’ fifth victory in 15 games.

Yankee rookie Sam Militello lost his first game after three victories.

Kansas City 9, Detroit 4--Brent Mayne drove in three runs and scored three times at Detroit to help Kevin Appier (15-6). Appier gave up a run and seven hits in six innings.

Texas 10, Chicago 4--Juan Gonzalez hit his 37th home run and drove in three runs for the White Sox at Arlington, Tex.

Gonzalez’s third home run in two games was a 418-footer.


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