AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Key Wins No. 16 as Yankees Sweep Indians
Jimmy Key became the majors’ first 16-game winner as the New York Yankees continued their domination of the Cleveland Indians, 4-1, on Sunday at New York.
The Yankees’ three-game sweep improved New York to 9-0 against the Indians this season. The Yankees have won 11 in a row against the Indians dating to last season.
Key (16-3) benefited from four double plays and two sparkling defensive plays. The left-hander had been roughed up in his previous two outings, but held the Indians to six hits in eight innings.
“They made some great plays behind me to enable me to do that,” Key said. “I’m sure on the other side they’re saying there’s no way we can lose nine games to them, and they’re probably right.
“Whatever voodoo we’re holding over them or whatever you call it, I hope it’s still there the next time we play them.”
Bob Wickman got Albert Belle to hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded for the second out in the ninth, and Steve Howe got the final out for his 15th save.
New York has won 14 of 17 games since the All-Star break and leads the second-place Baltimore Orioles by eight games in the American League East.
Paul O’Neill leaped to the top of the right field wall to rob Indian leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton in the first, and center fielder Bernie Williams cut off Eddie Murray’s line drive to right-center leading off the fifth, throwing Murray out attempting to stretch it into a double.
New York scored three times against Dennis Martinez (10-6) in the first inning with the aid of Belle’s two-run throwing error.
Belle, who begins a six-day, seven-game suspension today as a result of his use of a corked bat, had six hits and four runs batted in during the three-game series, giving him 98 RBIs and raising his batting average to .359. “Right now, after losing three ballgames here, it’s a tough time to lose Albert,” teammate Candy Maldonado said. “He’s been the heart and soul of the middle of the lineup.”
Kansas City 9, Minnesota 5--The streaking Royals won their ninth in a row, holding off the Twins to complete a three-game sweep at Kansas City.
The Royals got three doubles during a four-run second inning and 16 hits to extend their longest winning streak in five years.
“Winning is such a motivating thing,” said Vince Coleman, who had three stolen bases in his first start since July 24. “It’s great to see the excitement in this clubhouse, the excitement among the guys. It’s a winning atmosphere. We’re contenders now. We’ve got the fans behind us. We’re playing winning baseball.”
Coleman, Bob Hamelin and David Howard each drove in two runs for Kansas City, which last won nine in a row Aug. 15-23, 1989.
Rusty Meacham (3-3) got the victory in relief of Tom Gordon, who could not get out of the fifth despite the offensive support. Meacham gave up only one hit in 2 1/3 innings. Gordon gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Minnesota starter Jim Deshaies (5-11) gave up five runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings. He lasted only 1 1/3 innings in his last start against Kansas City on May 5.
Toronto 6, Baltimore 4--John Olerud homered and tripled as the Blue Jays built a five-run lead and held on at Baltimore.
Olerud hit his 10th homer, a two-run shot, in a four-run second inning against Ben McDonald (12-7). Down, 6-1, the Orioles fought back but suffered their ninth loss in 12 games.
Jeffrey Hammonds had three hits and Mark McLemore drove in two runs for Baltimore.
Juan Guzman (11-10) gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings to improve to 5-1 in his last six starts. Darren Hall, the last of four Toronto pitchers, worked the ninth for his 14th save.
Chicago 8, Seattle 1--Lance Johnson hit a grand slam to cap a five-run sixth inning at Chicago.
The final game at Comiskey Park before the Aug. 12 strike deadline drew a crowd of 42,507. That pushed the series total to 126,025, the largest three-game crowd since the new Comiskey opened in 1991.
The victory also gave the White Sox a two-game lead in the American League Central after Cleveland lost to New York, 4-1.
Wilson Alvarez (12-6) gave up a first inning run on a single and Jay Buhner’s run-scoring double, then held the Mariners in check. He gave up four hits in eight innings, struck out three and walked one. Seattle, which has lost its last seven games, had only one hit after the second.
Milwaukee 5, Boston 2--Five Brewer pitchers combined on a seven-hitter at Boston.
Jaime Navarro (4-7), who entered the game in the second inning when starter Ricky Bones left because of a strained right hip muscle, gave up three hits in 4 1/3 innings and struck out five.
Detroit 5, Oakland 4--Junior Felix’s two-run double capped a three-run comeback in the seventh inning at Detroit.
The Tigers trailed, 4-1, but Oakland’s bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
Storm Davis (1-3) got the victory with two innings of relief. Ed Vosberg (0-1) pitched to three Tiger batters in the seventh and gave up two hits and a walk. His last victory was with Oakland on June 21, 1993.