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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Blue Jay Rookie’s Mistake Costly

From Staff and Wire Reports

Paul Menhart made one mistake Wednesday night. As a result, he lost a no-hitter as well as the game.

Harold Baines’ second-inning homer, the only hit allowed by the Toronto Blue Jay rookie, powered baseball’s winningest pitcher, Mike Mussina (13-5), to his career-high eighth consecutive victory as the Orioles won, 1-0, at Baltimore.

Mussina pitched a four-hitter, striking out six and walking two.

Menhart (1-2), making his third major league start in place of Al Leiter, pitched his first complete game in the majors.

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“It hurts a lot. Earlier this year I had two starts, gave up five runs in each and got no decision,” Menhart said. “It’s not fair, but that’s baseball.”

Baines’ 15th homer was enough offense for Mussina, who did not allow a runner past second base.

Asked what he was thinking before serving up the 1-2 pitch to Baines, Menhart said, “Throw it outside, throw it down, anywhere but there. It was right down the middle.”

Baines’ clout was the extent of the Baltimore attack, with the exception of the sixth inning when Menhart walked the bases loaded with two out before retiring Bobby Bonilla on a ground ball.

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Detroit 5, Boston 0--Travis Fryman hit two homers and Sean Bergman pitched a four-hit shutout as the Tigers ended a five-game losing streak by beating Red Sox ace Roger Clemens at Detroit.

Lou Whitaker and Fryman hit back-to-back home runs off Clemens to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. Fryman added a three-run homer in the seventh off reliever Mike Maddux to make a winner out of Bergman (4-6), who struck out seven and walked one.

Clemens (3-4) struck out eight and gave up only three hits in six innings. He had fanned six in a row from the third to fifth innings before Chad Curtis ended the string with a groundout and Whitaker and Fryman followed with homers.

Cleveland 12, Minnesota 6--Paul Sorrento hit the third grand slam of his career and Albert Belle homered twice as the Indians won at Cleveland.

Kenny Lofton had three hits, including two triples, and three runs batted in for the Indians, who had lost five of their previous seven games.

Mark Clark (6-3), recently demoted to the bullpen after the Indians traded for starting pitcher Ken Hill, gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings in his first relief appearance since May 31, 1993.

Greg Harris (0-5) took the loss.

Chicago 5, Kansas City 2--Frank Thomas celebrated his fifth anniversary in the majors with his 28th home run to give the White Sox a victory at Chicago.

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Thomas, who joined the White Sox on Aug. 2, 1990, greeted reliever Hipolito Pichardo (7-4) with a 407-foot, two-run homer in the fifth inning that put Chicago ahead, 3-2. The White Sox added two runs in the eighth on Ozzie Guillen’s run-scoring double and an RBI triple by Tim Raines.

Roberto Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 19th save. Brian Keyser (3-4) got the win.

Texas 5, Oakland 4--Jeff Frye hit a three-run homer and Will Clark followed with a solo shot as the Rangers scored four runs in the fifth inning to win at Oakland.

Scott Taylor (1-1), making his second major league start, became only the first Texas starter to win in 16 games.

Roger McDowell, the fourth Ranger pitcher, pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his second save.

Todd Van Poppel (1-4), making his third start after spending most of the season in the Oakland bullpen, struck out a career-high nine and gave up five runs and six hits in six innings.

Oakland’s Mark McGwire went two for three with a walk in his return from a foot injury. Danny Tartabull, one for 11 since being acquired by Oakland last week, re-aggravated a rib cage injury in his left side while hitting and left the game.

Milwaukee 5, New York 2--Dave Nilsson hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie at New York as Steve Sparks (7-5) and the Brewers ended a five-game losing streak.

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Nilsson’s homer was a two-run shot off reliever Steve Howe and the Brewers added another run in the inning on John Jaha’s single.


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