Through seven innings Friday, it was easy to see why Detroit had lost 10 games in a row.
Then the Tigers that had led the American League East through the early part of the season returned.
Cecil Fielder capped a four-run eighth inning with a game-tying homer onto the roof of Tiger Stadium, and Mickey Tettleton added a two-run shot in the 10th, giving Detroit a 6-4 victory.
Tettleton’s upper-deck shot was his fourth game-ending homer in the last two seasons. He said Fielder’s 484-foot blast provided the inspiration.
“We were struggling again, and it’s hard to describe the feeling we had when that ball went out,” said Tettleton. “All of a sudden, we were right back in the game again.”
Through seven innings, Kevin Brown had held the Tigers to two hits, and the Rangers had a comfortable 4-0 lead. After Brown allowed two singles to the start the eighth, he was pulled for Matt Whiteside. Travis Fryman greeted Whiteside with a double to deep center. Fielder followed with his blast, the longest homer in the majors this season.
“That’s as far as I’ve ever seen him hit one,” Anderson said. “He hit one out of the park in Milwaukee, but this one would have cleared the stadium there, too. That would have been a homer in heaven.”
Mike Henneman (2-1) got the victory with two perfect innings of relief, and Bob Patterson (2-3) took the loss for Texas.
It was Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson’s 2,040th victory, tying him with former Dodger manager Walt Alston for fifth place on the all-time list.
Kansas City 3, Toronto 2--Brian McRae scored from second base when third baseman Luis Sojo threw wildly to first in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Royals a victory at home on the night that their park was renamed for their owner--Ewing Kauffman Stadium.
Kauffman, who has bone cancer, was too ill to attend the ceremony.
McRae hit an infield single off Danny Cox (5-4) to open the inning, and went to second on George Brett’s walk before Gary Gaetti laid down a sacrifice bunt to Sojo.
Mark Gubicza (1-6) pitched two innings of relief of Hipolito Pichardo for his first victory since beating the Blue Jays on June 19, 1992.
Chicago 12, Baltimore 1--Robin Ventura’s grand slam and three other homers made it easy for Alex Fernandez (9-4) at Chicago, and the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.
Bo Jackson and Ozzie Guillen--who had four runs batted in--added two-run homers, and Ellis Burks a solo shot as the White Sox backed Fernandez with 13 hits. He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out three in eight innings.
Ventura’s third career grand slam and 14th homer this season, and Jackson’s sixth homer highlighted a seven-run fourth inning that beat Mike Mussina (9-4).
Minnesota 11, Milwaukee 10--Brian Harper singled home Kirby Puckett from second base with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Twins.
Puckett opened the ninth by beating out a high chopper to shortstop against Mike Fetters (2-1). Puckett took second on a sacrifice by Gene Larkin and, after an intentional walk to Dave Winfield, Harper hit Fetters’ first pitch just inside the third-base line.
Larry Casian (2-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
The Brewers had 14 hits against four Twins pitchers, including four by Greg Vaughn and a solo homer by Dickie Thon.
The Twins hit three home runs. Kent Hrbek had Minnesota’s first four RBIs on a single in the first and a three-run homer in the third for a 4-2 lead.
Harper hit a solo shot in the fifth and Winfield a two-run homer in the sixth to pull Minnesota within 10-7. Winfield’s homer, his ninth, was his 2,927th hit, tying him for 25th place with Al Simmons.
Oakland 4, New York 3--Terry Steinbach hit a decisive homer, and Bobby Witt pitched a six-hitter as the Athletics extended their winning streak to four games at Oakland.
Witt (8-5) struck out a season-high 10 to end New York’s four-game winning streak with his second complete game.
The A’s were behind, 3-2, when Ruben Sierra started the sixth inning with a double off Bob Wickman (8-2). Troy Neel flied out to center fielder Dion James, but his throwing error to third allowed Sierra to score the tying run.
Steinbach then hit his seventh homer.
Bernie Williams hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.