AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : 14th in a Row Doesn’t Satisfy McRae
Not even a 14-game winning streak can blind Hal McRae’s critical eye.
“This sounds funny--but we’re not playing as well as we need to play,” the Kansas City manager said Friday night after an 8-0 victory over the road-weary Seattle Mariners at Kansas City. The win extended the second-longest winning streak in team history.
“We’re giving away four-five outs every night,” McRae said. “We’re not turning some double plays we need to turn.”
Imperfect though it was, the Royals’ 14th consecutive victory represents the longest run in the major leagues since Minnesota won 15 in a row in 1991. It’s only two short of the Royals’ 16-game streak in 1977, the longest in the majors since 1953.
Tom Gordon (11-6), with his finest outing of the year, pitched eight innings of three-hit ball. He struck out five, walked one and retired 14 of his last 15 batters. Every Royal starter but Felix Jose had at least one hit.
“It’s safe to say everybody’s having a great time,” said Mike Magnante, who pitched the ninth. “A lot of us can’t remember when we had this much fun.”
Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners left the game in the fourth inning when he bruised the inside of his right knee fouling off a pitch. “We think he’ll be all right, at least enough to DH,” Seattle Manager Lou Piniella said.
The Royals, 9 1/2 games out of first place in the Central when the streak began on July 23, pulled to within one game of Cleveland for the wild-card spot.
The Mariners are in the midst of a 32-day, 30-game trip because of ceiling problems at the Kingdome.
Baltimore 4, Milwaukee 0--Ben McDonald pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a fourth-inning single by Dave Nilsson as the Orioles won at Milwaukee.
“It was a fastball away,” McDonald said of Nilsson’s hit on a 2-1 pitch. “He stuck his bat out and blooped it over the shortstop.”
McDonald (13-7) matched his career high for victories, and also set a season high with nine strikeouts. He walked four in his first shutout of the year and fifth complete game. It was the second one-hitter of McDonald’s career.
New York 12, Minnesota 3--Jimmy Key became baseball’s first 17-game winner as the Yankees won at Minneapolis for their eighth consecutive victory.
Mike Stanley drove in four runs, including two with a double in the eight-run fourth inning.
It was the Yankees’ 10th consecutive road victory, their longest road winning streak since 1962. The Yankees are averaging 6.8 runs in compiling a major league-leading 37-17 road record. Key (17-3) is 10-0 away from Yankee Stadium.
Toronto 4, Detroit 2--Juan Guzman won for the sixth time in seven decisions as the Blue Jays beat the Tigers at Toronto. Guzman (12-10) overcame a tough first two innings in which he threw 54 pitches, giving up three walks and two hits.
Oakland 5, Texas 4--Terry Steinbach’s infield hit with two outs in the ninth inning gave the Athletics a victory over the Rangers at Oakland and ended their six-game losing streak.