Hoiles Joins Grand Club With Slams
By the time Chris Hoiles’ second grand slam sailed past the foul pole, his fan club pretty much had the run of Jacobs Field on Friday night.
Hoiles treated more than 20 friends and family members in the stands to a feat even rarer than a perfect game, becoming the ninth major leaguer and first catcher to hit two grand slams in a game as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Cleveland Indians, 15-3.
“It’s a bunch of things wrapped into one,” said Hoiles, whose mother and pregnant wife, Dana, were among the 43,169 in attendance. “I had friends and family here. Just to do two in one game, that in itself is pretty exciting.”
Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox was the last player to hit two grand slams, on Sept. 4, 1995 against Texas.
Eight of the nine players tied for the record are American Leaguers. The only National League player was a pitcher, Tony Cloninger of the Atlanta Braves in 1966.
Hoiles joined Jim Gentile and Frank Robinson as the Orioles on the list. He tied Mike Piazza for the major league lead with three grand slams, and his eight RBIs were a career high.
Hoiles, a native of Bowling Green, Ohio, didn’t seem to grasp the historic nature of his accomplishment. The more he thought about it, the more impressive it became.
“I heard some pretty good Oriole names that I joined, and to be only the ninth guy to do it, that’s pretty special,” he said.
Even for Hoiles, who has eight career grand slams, two in one game is incredibly hard. There was a better statistical chance that Hoiles would catch a perfect game from winning pitcher Mike Mussina (11-6). There have been 13 of those since 1900.
The several thousand fans who remained when Hoiles made it 15-2 with his second slam off Ron Villone in the eighth gave him a standing ovation.
“I didn’t know quite what to make of that,” Hoiles said. “I don’t know if they became [Oriole] fans for a minute or what.”
New York 6, Texas 4--Bernie Williams and Chuck Knoblauch hit solo homers as the Yankees extended their latest winning streak to nine, defeating the Rangers at New York and knocking Texas out of first place in the AL West.
The Rangers lost for the fifth time in six games and are a half-game behind the Angels.
The Yankees (89-29) improved to 60 games over .500, one short of the team record set in 1939, when they finished 106-45.
Detroit 13, Oakland 4--Damion Easley hit his first grand slam to help the Tigers snap a nine-game losing streak. The victory also ended Detroit’s 10-game home losing streak.
Justin Thompson (10-9) pitched six innings, giving up four runs (one earned) and four hits, walking three and striking out seven. A.J. Sager pitched three innings for his first save.
Easley injured his right hand in the eighth inning while sliding into second. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
Boston 13, Minnesota 12--Rookie Donnie Sadler hit a two-run single in the seventh inning and the Red Sox held on at Boston.
The teams totaled 32 hits and every starter got at least one hit.
Trailing by two runs, the Twins loaded the bases with one out in the ninth off Tom Gordon. Marty Cordova grounded out to drive in a run, but Ron Coomer grounded to third, giving Gordon his 34th save.
Sadler drove in three runs for the Red Sox, who trailed, 6-0, in the third inning and 9-8 in the fifth. Sadler’s single to left scored Troy O'Leary and Jason Varitek in the seventh to snap an 11-11 tie.
Kansas City 11, Tampa Bay 9--Johnny Damon homered and tripled and Dean Palmer drove in four runs to lead the Royals at Kansas City.
Jose Offerman, who has hit safely in 32 of his last 33 games, had three singles as the Royals defeated the Devil Rays for the fifth time in six games.
Rolando Arrojo (11-9), who pitched a three-hit shutout against the Royals on May 6, lasted only 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and seven hits.
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Grand Slam, Grand Slam
The major league league record for grand slams in a game is two:
* TONY LAZZERI: New York, May 24, 1936, second and fifth innings.
* JIM TABOR: Boston, July 4, 1939, second game, third and sixth innings.
* RUDY YORK: Boston, July 27, 1946, second and fifth innings.
* JIM GENTILE: Baltimore, May 9, 1961, first and second innings.
* JIM NORTHRUP: Detroit, June 24, 1968, fifth and sixth innings.
* FRANK ROBINSON: Baltimore, June 26, 1970, fifth and sixth innings.
* ROBIN VENTURA: Chicago, September 4, 1995, fourth and fifth innings.
* CHRIS HOILES: Baltimore, August 14, 1998, third and eighth innings.
* TONY CLONINGER: Atlanta, July 3, 1966, first and fourth innings.