AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Appier Strikes Out 13 in Only 5 2/3 Innings

From Associated Press

Kevin Appier struck out 13 in only 5 2/3 innings and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Texas Rangers, 8-3, Wednesday night at Kansas City, Mo.

Appier (4-5) struck out every Texas starter and Will Clark three times. He struck out the side in the second and fifth innings and nearly matched Mark Gubicza's club mark of 14 strikeouts set in 1988.

The right-hander, who has fought a season-long slump, took a two-hitter and a 4-0 lead into the sixth. But he gave up a two-run homer to Ivan Rodriguez and a triple to Chris James before being relieved by Billy Brewer after throwing 108 pitches.

Appier walked three and fell one short of the American League's season high for strikeouts, set by Toronto's Pat Hentgen.

Brewer and Rusty Meacham combined to strike out three more Rangers. The total of 16 strikeouts by the Royals tied a team record.

Five of the Royals' runs were unearned, including all three in the sixth. After third baseman Dean Palmer bobbled Felix Jose's grounder for the Rangers' third error, the Royals scored on Greg Gagne's bases-loaded walk, a double-play grounder and Vince Coleman's run-scoring single.

Chicago 12, Minnesota 1--Frank Thomas hit two homers and Alex Fernandez gave up four hits over eight innings to lead the White Sox at Chicago.

Thomas went four for five, drove in five runs to match a career-high and hit his 16th and 17th homers to help the White Sox win their season-high fifth consecutive game and eighth in their last nine.

Carlos Pulido (2-4) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.

Thomas is batting .474 (27 for 57) with 30 runs in his last 16 games.

The White Sox scored five runs in the eighth, highlighted by Ron Karkovice's three-run double.

New York 5, Toronto 2--Wade Boggs, showing a sudden power surge, hit two home runs and led Jim Abbott and the Yankees past the Blue Jays at New York.

Boggs, who did not homer in the Yankees' first 35 games, has hit five home runs in his last five games. He had the fourth multi-homer game of his career, and first since May of 1992. He drove in three runs and got four of New York's 16 hits.

Abbott (6-2) pitched a six-hitter for his fifth consecutive victory. He struck out four and walked two in his first complete game since his no-hitter last Sept. 4.

The benches and bullpen emptied in the eighth after Luis Polonia, who had four hits, was thrown out stealing at third base to end the inning. Polonia took exception to what he thought was a hard tag by Toronto third baseman Ed Sprague.

Paul O'Neill went two for four, raising his major league-leading average to .472.

Baltimore 6, Milwaukee 3--Jamie Moyer gave up six hits over eight innings at Milwaukee as the Orioles handed the Brewers their 14th consecutive defeat.

The last AL team to lose 14 in a row was the Seattle Mariners in 1992. Milwaukee, which last won on May 10, lost a three-game series at home for the first time since April 1988.

Baltimore matched its longest winning streak of the season with its fourth straight victory and Moyer (2-3), who began the game with a 6.39 ERA, won for the first time since April 19. Lee Smith got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his major league-leading 19th save.

The Orioles rocked Milwaukee starter Michael Ignasiak (1-1) for five runs in the first inning.

Seattle 1, Oakland 0--Randy Johnson struck out nine and Dan Wilson drove in the lone run at Oakland.

The Mariners had lost two in a row, including an embarrassing 10-1 defeat to Oakland on Tuesday night.

In the second inning, A's starter Ron Darling, who lost while pitching a complete game, walked Tino Martinez, who advanced to second on Mike Blowers' single to left. Felix Fermin tapped a sacrifice bunt before Wilson's hopper to right scored Martinez.

Johnson (5-3) held the A's hitless until Scott Hemond got a single to center in the third inning.

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