Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays, in his 11th start of the season, pitched a four-hitter Friday night at Toronto for his first victory, a 6-0 win over the slumping Chicago White Sox. It was the sixth loss in a row for the White Sox.
Stieb, who led the league last season with a 2.48 earned-run average, entered this game with an 0-6 record and a 6.83 ERA. Usually a fast starter, Stieb had only two good outings before defeating the White Sox, a team he has beaten consistently over the years.
He came close to a victory May 4, when he held a 2-0 lead over the Seattle Mariners going into the ninth. But he gave up two runs and did not figure in on the decision. In his next four starts, he was bombed. In 22 innings, he had given up 24 runs and 31 hits.
However, this was his first start against the White Sox.
Stieb was in charge from the outset, striking out five and walking three. Stieb is now 13-3 with a 1.73 ERA lifetime against the White Sox.
Rick Leach and Rance Mulliniks hit home runs to give the 28-year-old right-hander all the offense he needed.
In 1984, when he was 16-8, he was 7-1 on May 30. Last season he was 5-5, but in three of his defeats he gave up only a total of seven runs. He hasn't had that excuse this season. In fact, in two of his poorest outings, the Blue Jays rallied to take him off the hook.
"All those who contributed to this tonight should be happy," Stieb told the Associated Press, "but I'm happiest of all. I feel the monkey's finally off my back."
Stieb insisted he hadn't done anything different from his previous outings.
"It (the bad start) has never been a big mystery," he said. "If you look at how many people have gotten hits off the end of the bat, how many jam shots have fallen in, how many semi-hard balls have just gone by infielders, you understand."
Milwaukee 11, Cleveland 7--Paul Molitor, just off the disabled list, hit Phil Niekro's third pitch for a home run at Cleveland, and the Brewers went on a rampage.
After hammering the 47-year-old knuckleballer for five runs and six hits in 4 innings, the Brewers continued their assault on the Indians' bullpen.
In addition to his home run, Molitor had two other hits in a triumphant return from a hamstring injury. Cecil Cooper also had three hits and drove in five runs, giving him 32 RBIs for the season.
Rookie Juan Nieves gave up 11 hits in six innings, but he picked up his fifth win in a row in May.
Minnesota 13, Boston 5--Switch-hitting Roy Smalley had a home run from each side of the plate and drove in four runs at Minneapolis as the Twins ended the Red Sox's four-game winning streak.
The Twins chased rookie Rob Woodward (0-1) in a five-run third inning after the Red Sox had jumped in front, 4-3. Smalley led off the inning with his seventh homer and hit a three-run homer in the seventh.
The Twins couldn't stop Wade Boggs. The Red Sox third baseman was 3 for 5 and raised his average to .385.
Kansas City 12, Texas 2--Royal pitcher Dennis Leonard turned in another impressive performance (seven innings, six hits, one earned run) at Kansas City.
The one-sided victory improved his record to 5-4, but in his four defeats, the Royals scored only four runs.
Rudy Law led the Royals' unusual offensive display with three doubles and four runs scored. Steve Balboni and Willie Wilson each hit home runs.
Oakland 6, New York 3--At Oakland, Jose Canseco hit his 15th homer of the season as the A's ended a five-game losing streak.
Canseco blasted a towering homer high over the left-field fence off loser Joe Niekro (5-3) in the first inning. Canseco now has 46 RBIs. Curt Young (3-1) got the win.
Seattle 8, Detroit 7--Bob Kearney's one-out double in the bottom of the 12th inning scored Jim Presley from second base at Seattle as the Mariners ended the Tigers' five-game winning streak.
Presley led off the 12th with a double off Chuck Cary (0-1). After Domingo Ramos popped up trying to sacrifice, Kearney doubled over left fielder Dave Collins' head.
Mark Huisman (1-2) picked up the victory as he held Detroit hitless over the final three innings.