Because of the hitting feats of Angel rookie Wally Joyner, the Oakland A's Jose Canseco has been forced into the background. It may be that only Bay Area fans are aware of it, but the rookie slugger is doing rather well, too.
Canseco hit his 11th home run, a double and a single and drove in three runs to lead the A's to a 9-4 victory over Toronto Wednesday at Oakland. The 3-for-4 day raised the young right fielder's average to .285. Dave Kingman, for the second game in a row, and Mike Davis also homered for the A's.
"The last 2 1/2 weeks I've been very consistent," Canseco said. "I've been hitting a lot to the opposite field and hopefully I can hit for average.
"I don't want to be known just as a home run hitter. I want to hit for a high average, steal a few bases and help my team."
Canseco led the assault on Dave Stieb, last year's league leader in earned-run average. Stieb, in dropping to 0-5, gave up nine hits and eight runs, six of them earned, before departing with two out in the seventh.
It was a 3-3 tie going into the seventh. Jerry Willard singled, was sacrificed to second and scored when second baseman Damaso Garcia booted Ricky Peters' grounder. The next two batters, Canseco and Kingman, hit home runs. Stieb attempted to slip a slider past Canseco and failed. After an out, Davis also hit one out to finish Stieb.
"Now that Kingman is starting to hit," Canseco said, "I'm getting to see some good pitches to hit."
Canseco is now third in the league in home runs, second in runs batted in with 31 and third in total bases with 75.
Few rookies have been more highly touted in recent years, and it appears he is beginning to live up to the raves.
Manager Jimy Williams is at a loss to figure out what has happened to Stieb. "I didn't think he was tired in the seventh when he threw the home run balls," Williams said. "In fact, in the last two games, he's had good stuff. He's been throwing better. It may have been that the error upset him. I just know he'll come around."
Milwaukee 9, Seattle 6--Manager George Bamberger decided to shake up the Brewer lineup in the hopes of ending a three-game losing streak in this game at Seattle.
When he put Charlie Moore in the No. 2 spot, it was a stroke of good timing. Moore had two hits, scored two runs, drove in two runs and reached base five times.
His hitting and sharp relief pitching by rookie Dan Plesac (2-1) enabled the Brewers to end the brief skid. Plesac gave up two hits and no runs in 4 innings and struck out three.
Although he had four hits Tuesday night, Mariner rookie Danny Tartabull is suffering from vitamin deficient anemia and was placed on the disabled list just before the game.
Kansas City 5, Cleveland 0--Mike Gubicza had not won since the championship series last October, and Manager Dick Howser was thinking about putting him in the bullpen.
But in his last starting chance in this game at Kansas City, the young right-hander was brilliant. He hurled a three-hitter, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter. In his previous start, he failed to get through the first inning.
George Brett snapped out of a season-long slump with a single and a double to drive in three runs and make it easy for Gubicza to improve his record to 1-4.
Chicago 3, New York 2--Bob Shirley gets to start only infrequently for the Yankees. In this game at New York, he held the White Sox to three hits in eight innings and had a 2-0 lead.
When the first two White Sox batters hit safely in the ninth, the Yankees went to the bullpen. However, the ace, Dave Righetti, had pitched two innings Tuesday, so Brian Fisher was summoned. Greg Walker singled in one run, and with two out Ozzie Guillen tripled in two more, making losers of the Yankees.
Detroit 8, Texas 2--The Tigers hit three home runs, and Walt Terrell (4-1) pitched a five-hitter at Detroit. But the talk after the game was about a fielding play by Terrell.
With the Tigers leading, 2-0, on Chet Lemon's two-run homer, the Rangers had runners on first and third with one out. Gary Ward hit a bullet that struck Terrell in the left thigh. He pounced on the ball and threw home, trapping the runner from third. In the ensuing rundown, two Rangers were tagged out to end the threat.
Baltimore 8, Minnesota 3--Floyd Rayford came out of a 2-for-19 slump with a two-run double that ignited a seven-run seventh inning at Baltimore, enabling the Orioles to win their fifth in a row.
John Butcher had a 2-1 lead going into the seventh, but when he gave up his third hit, a single to Cal Ripken, he was removed. Fred Lynn hit a three-run homer to cap the seven-run outburst.