Yankee Bullpen in Postseason Form
If Friday night was any indication, the New York Yankees’ bullpen is ready for another strong postseason run.
Four New York pitchers combined on a one-hitter and Bernie Williams hit a bases-loaded triple in a six-run ninth as the Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers, 8-2, Friday night at Detroit.
Andy Pettitte allowed the lone hit--Travis Fryman’s two-run single--in four innings and was lifted after throwing 75 pitches.
Brian Boehringer, Mariano Rivera and Jeff Nelson followed with five hitless innings. Rivera (6-4), who worked the eighth, earned the Yankees’ eighth consecutive win at Detroit when they broke a 2-2 tie with their ninth-inning uprising.
Boehringer was most impressive. He retired all nine batters he faced and struck out three.
Detroit’s bullpen had given up only two earned runs in its last 20 innings before breaking down this time.
Todd Jones (5-4), who got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when Cecil Fielder hit into double play, reloaded the bases in the ninth to set up New York’s big inning.
Detroit starter Justin Thompson gave up just four hits and struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings.
Oakland 8, Seattle 5--Two Mariners hits home runs in this game at Seattle, but Ken Griffey Jr. was not one of them. Griffey took the night off.
Griffey, who has 55 homers, asked Manager Lou Piniella to rest him, effectively ending his bid to break Roger Maris’ home run record of 61. Mark McGwire of St. Louis, who also has 55, failed to hit a homer Friday.
Piniella is expected to return Griffey to the lineup today and Sunday when the Mariners end their regular season against the Athletics.
Piniella rested most of his regulars for the the second game in a row. Paul Sorrento, Joey Cora and Russ Davis were the only Mariners starters in the lineup, and Davis was returning after an absence of more than a month because of a sprained right ankle.
Rick Wilkins and Raul Ibanez homered for Seattle, who increased their major league record for most homers in a season to 261 before a Fan Appreciation Night crowd of 55,560.
Cleveland 7, Minnesota 2--The Indians raised their third straight AL Central division flag in pregame ceremonies at Cleveland--then went out and showed how they won it.
Sandy Alomar Jr. hit two home runs and Tony Fernandez hit one, and Chad Ogea and four relievers held the Twins in check.
Alomar hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third off Brad Radke (20-10).
Toronto 3, Boston 0--Woody Williams, who could be left off Toronto’s protected list in November’s expansion draft, struck out Mo Vaughn three times in this game at Toronto.
Williams combined with Dan Plesac and Kelvim Escobar in the Blue Jays’ league-leading 16th shutout. Williams (9-14) allowed nine hits in seven innings, striking out six without a walk. He ended the first, third and fifth innings by fanning Vaughn.
Milwaukee 4, Baltimore 2--Pete Harnisch won for the first time since August 1996 and Doug Jones converted his 25th straight save chance as the former Oriole pitchers led the Brewers at Milwaukee.
Oriole third baseman Cal Ripken had an early night, playing only three innings while appearing in his 2,476th consecutive game.
Chicago 7, Kansas City 2--Ron Karkovice, possibly starting his last game for the White Sox, homered and drove in three runs in the win at Chicago.
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BESTS OF THE DAY
Player Team Performance Team’s Result Sandy Alomar Cleveland 2 for 4, Win 2 home runs, 4 RBIs Fernando Vina Milwaukee 3 for 4, double, triple Win double, triple Albert Belle Chicago 3 for 5, 1 RBI Win
Player Team Performance Team’s Result Brian Boehringer New York Retired all 9 batters Win faced, 3 strikeouts J. Thompson Detroit 7 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, Loss 7 strikeouts, 0 walks Woody Williams Toronto 7 innings, 0 runs, Win 9 hits, 6 strikeouts