Although Dan Pasqua hit only .209 in 60 games last season, the New York Yankees awarded him the left-field job before spring training started this season.
The 24-year-old, left-handed Pasqua promptly blew his opportunity during the exhibition season. He wound up batting .106 in the spring and couldn't even hit minor leaguers.
A chagrined youngster returned to the minors. After hitting .287 at Columbus, Ohio, in the International League--and despite striking out 29 times in 108 at-bats--Pasqua is back.
Manager Lou Piniella wanted more left-handed hitting against seven-game winner Moose Haas of Oakland Wednesday night at New York, so he put Pasqua in right field in place of slumping Dave Winfield.
Pasqua responded with a two-run home run and drove in four runs to lead the Yankees to a 10-4 victory. It wasn't Haas, however, on whom the Yankees teed off. Haas left after pitching two scoreless innings because of stiffness in his right shoulder. Eric Plunk bore the brunt of a 12-hit Yankee attack.
Joe Niekro (5-2) held the A's to five hits in seven innings, and Brian Fisher pitched the last two innings, giving up Jose Canseco's 12th home run.
Don Mattingly singled with two outs in the third inning, and Pasqua hit a 425-foot home run to give the Yankees a lead they never relinquished.
"Just to be back was a great thrill and to hit a home run and help the team win is even better," Pasqua told UPI. "I have total confidence now, but I didn't have any when I left in March. I thought I had blown my chance."
Piniella said he will use Pasqua extensively. "You look at the Yankee teams that have been successful and you see a left-handed power-hitter," Piniella said. "We know this young man can do it."
The Yankees managed to cool off the A's Tony Phillips. He went hitless in four tries after going 11 for 15.
Chicago 5, Toronto 4--The battling White Sox spotted the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead at Chicago and stormed back to stretch their winning streak to seven games.
Pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston singled Tim Hulett home from first base in the eighth inning with the winning run.
The White Sox tied the score, 4-4, in the sixth on a hit batsman, an infield hit and two groundouts.
Gene Nelson (4-1) pitched the last two innings to pick up the victory.
Texas 2, Kansas City 1--George Wright ripped a triple inside the right-field line with two out in the 10th inning at Arlington, Tex., to score Pete O'Brien from first base.
O'Brien singled with two out. The Royals had a chance to get O'Brien at the plate, but the relay from second baseman Frank White bounced past catcher Jim Sundberg.
The victory put Texas just one-half game out of first place in the West.
Cleveland 4, Milwaukee 2--Tom Candiotti baffled the Brewers at Milwaukee, and Dan Rohn, a last-minute addition to the lineup, hit a two-run single to key a four-run second inning.
Candiotti gave up only four hits and struck out seven to improve his record to 4-2.
Detroit 6, Seattle 4--Larry Herndon led a Tiger comeback at Detroit with a home run and a run-scoring double. It made a first-time winner out of Eric King, who pitched one-hit ball for six innings in relief.
The Mariners took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but Herndon tied it with a leadoff homer. In the seventh, he doubled in the tie-breaking run.
Boston 3, Minnesota 2--Steve Lyons doubled and scored the first Red Sox run, then singled home the winning run in the seventh inning at Boston as the Red Sox took their fifth in a row.
The Red Sox trailed, 2-1, when rain stopped play for nearly two hours at the start of the sixth inning.
Jim Rice started the winning rally with a single, and Don Baylor doubled. An infield out scored one run, and Lyons came through with the clutch hit for the game-winner.
Wade Boggs, who had five hits Tuesday night, went 0 for 4.