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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Belle Booming Again as Indians Gain Split

From Associated Press

Albert Belle made a dramatic return from his seven-game suspension, homering and driving in three runs as the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat Boston, 15-10, in 12 innings for a split of their Sunday doubleheader at Boston.

In the first game, Joe Hesketh allowed three hits in eight innings and Carlos Rodriguez went five for five and had three of Boston’s six doubles as the Red Sox won, 4-1.

In the second game, Omar Vizquel had a bases-loaded triple, giving him six RBIs, as the Indians scored five runs in the 12th. A throwing error by first baseman Mo Vaughn on a bunt was a key to the rally.

Belle, in his first game back from the suspension for having a corked bat, hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat, a 439-foot shot way over the Green Monster in left field. It was his 36th of the year and gave him 100 RBIs.

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Belle added a run-scoring single in the second and went three for seven, raising his average to .360. He was thrown out of the game in the 12th after arguing with an umpire about a fair-or-foul call.

The game also featured a remarkable play in center field by the Indians’ Kenny Lofton. Racing at full speed with his back to the plate, Lofton hauled in Tom Brunansky’s blast over his shoulder on the warning track. He spun and fired the ball to the infield, nearly doubling a runner off first. The catch came with the bases loaded and one out in Boston’s big fourth inning. Brunansky ended up with a sacrifice fly.

Seattle 10, Kansas City 6--Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 38th home run, capping a six-run rally in the seventh inning at Kansas City as the Mariners beat the Royals for the second day in a row. Seattle stopped the Royals’ 14-game winning streak on Saturday.

Griffey’s three-run homer enabled him to tie Chicago’s Frank Thomas for the American League home run lead. Griffey also made a strong throw to the plate to prevent a run.

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Jay Buhner, called in to pinch-hit in the seventh, hit a two-run single and then added a two-run homer an inning later for the Mariners, who won for the fifth time in six games, overcoming a 4-2 deficit against David Cone (16-5).

Baltimore 6, Milwaukee 3--Mike Mussina won his 16th game by limiting the Brewers to six hits through eight innings at Milwaukee.

“I didn’t have good stuff early,” said Mussina, who is on pace to win 24 games if a strike is somehow avoided. “I was just bad. It was very uncomfortable and they were getting hits off everything.”

Mussina (16-5) gave up just three hits after the first, when the Brewers went ahead, 2-0.

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Minnesota 7, New York 6--Kent Hrbek, who announced Thursday that he will retire after the season, capped a fine series against the American League’s best team with a two-run, two-out, eighth-inning single off New York relief ace Steve Howe at Minneapolis.

Hrbek, who also had an RBI double in the first inning, batted .545 with seven RBIs during the four-game series, which the Twins and Yankees split.

Oakland 8, Texas 3--Rickey Henderson hit his record 66th leadoff home run and the Athletics moved within 1 1/2 games of the American League West-leading Rangers by winning at Oakland.

Troy Neel hit two homers, drove in three runs and scored three times as the A’s completed a three-game sweep. Scott Brosius added a three-run shot as Oakland blistered Kenny Rogers for four home runs. Rogers (11-8), who pitched a perfect game against the Angels on July 28, surrendered five runs in the first.

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Detroit 8, Toronto 7--Kirk Gibson hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Tony Phillips hit two home runs for the Tigers at Toronto.

Paul Molitor and John Olerud homered for Toronto.


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