AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Morris Hurt as Blue Jays Go Back in First

From Associated Press

Al Leiter pitched five shutout innings in relief of injured starter Jack Morris, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the White Sox, 4-1, Wednesday at Chicago to reclaim first place in the American League East.

Toronto won for only the fifth time in its last 18 games, and moved half a game ahead of Baltimore. Chicago, leading the American League West, lost for only the third time in 12 games.

Morris left the game after two innings because of an injury to his left hand. Ellis Burks opened the second with a line drive that glanced off Morris' right forearm and hit the little finger on his left hand.

Morris retired the next three batters but was replaced by Leiter to start the third. X-rays on Morris were negative, and his hand was placed in a splint. He will undergo a precautionary bone scan in Texas on Thursday.

Leiter (6-5) shut out the White Sox on two hits, walking three and striking out three. Chicago scored in the eighth against Tony Castillo on a grounder by Robin Ventura, and Duane Ward pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

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Kansas City 8, Baltimore 6--A grumpy, frustrated Hal McRae finally sat back and smiled after his Royals avoided a mild crisis by beating the Orioles at Baltimore.

The Royals were in danger of being swept by Baltimore and losing a fourth consecutive game for the first time since the season's opening week. A loss would have put them under .500 for the first time since May 23.

With all these factors weighing heavily on McRae, the Royals' manager reached the boiling point. He argued with the umpires on several calls and was finally ejected in the seventh inning.

"I was uptight and tense all day because it was a game we had to have," he said. "It was a must win. I just don't know what would happen to the ballclub if we lost today. I was trying to do whatever I could to get a victory."

Felix Jose's two-run single in the ninth inning broke a 6-6 tie. Greg Gagne had three hits and scored twice to lead a 15-hit attack.

Cal Ripken Jr. homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who had their four-game winning streak broken. Baltimore had won eight of 10 to move into first place in the American League East.

Unlike Kansas City, the Orioles could afford a loss. After all, they are 11-1-2 in their last 14.

Kevin McReynolds and George Brett singled opening the ninth. Gregg Olson (0-2), who had converted 17 consecutive save chances, got the next two outs, but Jose lined a two-run single for his first runs batted in in 62 at-bats since June 26.

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Seattle 10, New York 3--Jay Buhner had the first five-hit game of his career and drove in three runs as the Mariners beat the Yankees at New York, stopping Jimmy Key's nine-game winning streak.

Tino Martinez hit go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth and Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 24th homer. Erik Hanson (8-7) pitched a six-hitter for his fifth complete game. He allowed no earned runs, struck out three and walked two.

Key (12-3) lost for the first time in 11 starts since May 23.

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Oakland 7, Cleveland 2--The best game of Scott Hemond's career earned him a trip back to the Athletics' bench.

"I'll let Hemond sit on that one for a while. That's a nice little memory," Manager Tony La Russa said after Hemond drove in five runs with three hits, including the first home run of his career, as the Athletics beat the Indians at Cleveland.

The A's ended their five-game losing streak and Cleveland's four-game winning streak. Hemond, who hit a three-run homer, a two-run double and a single, started the night with a .197 average and six RBIs. He plays only sporadically as All-Star Terry Steinbach's backup.

"Steinie is Wally Pipp," La Russa joked. "He's our pinch-hitter from now on."

Pipp was the player replaced by Lou Gehrig at the start of Gehrig's ironman streak.

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Minnesota 7, Detroit 2--This is July, meaning Kevin Tapani is getting hot for the Twins.

Tapani, a notoriously slow starter, has a career record of 36-22 from June through October, including a 12-3 in July. His latest victory gave the Twins a sweep of their three-game series with the Tigers at Detroit.

Tapani's career record in April and May is 15-19.

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