Seattle Puts Up Big Numbers in Win
After all that Randy Johnson has been through for the franchise, the Seattle Mariners thought he was entitled to his 20th victory.
So on an afternoon when Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 56th homer, Johnson came out of the bullpen on Saturday to become the Mariners’ first 20-game winner as they beat the Oakland Athletics, 9-3, in Seattle.
No. 20 was a gift from Manager Lou Piniella, who replaced Omar Olivares with Johnson at the start of the fifth inning and the Mariners leading, 7-2.
“I’m just pleased that I finally had an opportunity to win 20 ballgames,” Johnson said. “As good as seasons I’ve had in the past, I still came up short. Things have to be right to win 20 ballgames.”
Johnson sat out most of last season because of an ailing back and underwent back surgery Sept. 12, 1996. Then he missed four starts this August and September because of finger tendinitis.
Griffey, returning to center field for the first time since the Mariners clinched the West on Tuesday, hit a solo shot off Brad Rigby in the second for a 5-2 lead.
Griffey, who asked out of Friday night’s game to get some rest in preparation for the playoffs, went three for five and increased his major league-leading RBI total to 147.
New York 6, Detroit 1--Wade Boggs reached 2,800 career hits with an RBI triple and David Wells had a good audition for the Yankees’ postseason rotation as the Yankees won their ninth in a row at Detroit and fourth in a row overall.
Wells (16-10) got his second win in a row after five consecutive losses. He gave up five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in seven innings.
Boggs reached 2,800 career hits with a run-scoring triple and Cecil Fielder hit a three-run homer against his former teammates as the Yankees won their ninth in a row at Detroit.
Boggs, who has been bothered by a sore Achilles’ tendon, was two for three in his second start since Sept. 16. He needs 13 hits to pass George Sisler for 36th place on the list.
“I’m moving up the ladder,” Boggs said. “I’ll be glad once I get into the 100s. I’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s kind of nice.”
Boggs tripled in a run to break up a scoreless tie in the fifth and scored on Paul O’Neill’s single to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Brian Hunter will be the first Tiger to lead the majors in stolen bases (74) since Ty Cobb in 1917.
The Tigers, who lost 109 games last year, were a game over .500 before their losing streak.
“I don’t know if we didn’t realize how important [.500] was or not,” Detroit reliever Doug Brocail said. “We had our shot and we didn’t do it.”
Cleveland 10-4, Minnesota 6-6--The next time Jaret Wright pitches, he’ll be in Yankee Stadium, where he will hear the Bronx cheers and feel butterflies. But at Cleveland, the 21-year-old Cleveland rookie had his final tuneup for a Game 2 start in the division series against New York, giving up two runs while striking out six in three innings of the opener to a doubleheader.
Five Cleveland pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts. Wright gave up four hits in the brief outing.
“This was a good tuneup for the playoffs,” said Wright, who will follow Game 1 starter Orel Hershiser in the rotation. “I actually thought about next week’s start a lot this week. Now, I’ll treat it as just my next time out there.”
Bip Roberts had four hits, and Manny Ramirez had three, including a home run, and four RBIs. Ramirez’s homer was Cleveland’s 219th, breaking the team record set in 1996.
In the nightcap, Matt Lawton homered in the top of the 10th to earn a split for the Twins.
Toronto 12, Boston 5--Rich Butler had three hits, including his first major league RBI on a tie-breaking single in a four-run seventh inning, for the Blue Jays at Toronto.
Shannon Stewart added three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored for the Blue Jays.
Boston rookie Nomar Garciaparra had three hits, including his 30th home run, to break Johnny Pesky’s club record for hits in a season by a rookie. He broke Pesky’s mark of 205 hits in 1943 with a second-inning double.
Kansas City 10, Chicago 4--The Royals beat a Chicago team for the first time this season as Jeff King hit a grand slam to cap a six-run sixth inning at Chicago.
Kansas City had been 0-10 against the White Sox and was swept in a three-game interleague series by the Cubs.
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BESTS OF THE DAY
Player Team Performance Team’s Result Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle 3 for 5, 56th home run Win Todd Walker Minnesota First game: 4 for 4, 2 RBIs Win N. Garciaparra Boston 3 for 4, 30th home run Loss Eric Davis Baltimore 4 for 5, home run, 3 singles Win Jeff King Kansas City Grand slam, 5 RBIs, 1 run Win
Player Team Performance Team’s Result David Wells New York 7 innings, 5 hits, Win 1 run, 1 walk