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American League Roundup : Bo Jackson Gets TKO, Game-Winning RBI in Royals' 3-2 Victory

July 22, 1987|DAN HAFNER

Bo Jackson, who has been hearing boos from Kansas City fans since he announced that he will play football for the Raiders, changed the boos to cheers Tuesday night. And he did it with a football maneuver.

The applause came in the third inning when the former Auburn running back bowled over catcher Rick Dempsey in a violent collision at the plate.

Although he left the game with a broken thumb, Dempsey, about 40 pounds lighter than Jackson, held onto the ball for the putout.

The cheers for Jackson were loud and long when he hit a sacrifice fly to deep right to score Danny Tartabull with the winning run in the eighth inning of a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians that snapped the Royals' six-game losing streak.

Charlie Leibrandt (9-8) pitched a five-hitter for his first victory since June 20. He struck out six and walked only one.

Jackson, benched for two games because he went into a strikeout binge after announcing he will play pro football as a "hobby," singled in the second inning and was on third when Larry Owens hit a sharp smash to pitcher Scott Bailes. Bailes threw home to Dempsey, blocking the plate. Jackson, running full speed, lowered his shoulder and sent Dempsey sprawling on the artificial turf.

Bailes wasn't impressed by Jackson's play. "He was out by 10 feet," Bailes said, "but they call it aggressive running. I didn't think it looked too good myself. It's not football season, yet."

Jackson said he regretted that Dempsey was injured.

"I'm sorry he got hurt, but that's baseball," Jackson said. "If the catcher is between you and the plate, you get to the plate the best you can. I wasn't trying to hurt him, I was just trying to reach the plate."

Cleveland Manager Doc Edwards, a former catcher, said he didn't fault either Dempsey or Jackson on the play.

Detroit 6, Oakland 5--Getting an opportunity to hit in Tiger Stadium, a home run hitter's park, Mark McGwire rapped his 35th home run to open the 10th inning at Detroit.

Instead of giving the Athletics another victory, though, it just took the youngster to within three of the rookie home run record held by Wally Berger and Frank Robinson.

John Grubb's two-out double off the center-field fence scored Lou Whitaker with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Whitaker's single scored Kirk Gibson to tie it, 5-5.

Jose Canseco and Reggie Jackson also homered for the Athletics. Canseco's 20th of the season was a shot to center that carried more than 440 feet. Jackson's landed in the upper deck in right and was the 560th homer of his career.

Minnesota 2, New York 1--The tough luck for Don Mattingly was that his sprained wrist put him out of the Yankees' lineup for this game.

The first baseman, who will probably miss at least two more games, would have had everything going for him. The game was played at Minneapolis in the Metrodome, where hot home run hitters love to bat. Moreover, the Twins' pitcher was Bert Blyleven, who for the last two seasons has been serving up home runs at a record pace.

Without Mattingly, who recently hit home runs in a record eight consecutive games, the Yankees didn't hit a home run and had only seven hits off Blyleven (9-7).

The Twins broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth when Gary Gaetti led off with a double and scored on a single by Kent Hrbek. Hrbek, usually a reliable hitter in the clutch, had not driven in a run in 11 games.

Pat Clements was the loser after Ron Guidry held the Twins to six hits and a run in eight innings.

Mattingly said the injury occurred in his last at-bat Saturday in Texas in the game in which he hit his record-tying home run.

Baltimore 11, Chicago 6--Larry Sheets, who hits White Sox pitchers as if he owns them, broke a 6-6 tie with a two-run homer in the sixth inning at Chicago to assure the Orioles their seventh consecutive victory.

Sheets also had a single and double. He is hitting White Sox pitching at a .483 clip, with four home runs and eight runs batted in.

Harold Baines homered for the White Sox in the third to tie Bill Melton at 154 for the club's career home run record. The home run extended Baines' hitting streak to 16 games.

Texas 6, Toronto 4--Ruben Sierra hit his second home run of the game, with one on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, at Arlington, Tex., to give the Rangers the victory.

Paul Kilgus, one of the victims of Mattingly's home run binge, made his first major league start and held the Blue Jays hitless for five innings. He gave up back-to-back home runs to Jesse Barfield (his 20th) and George Bell (30th) in the seventh and didn't get the victory.

Milwaukee 6, Seattle 4--Robin Yount's three-run home run in the fifth inning at Milwaukee gave Teddy Higuera the cushion he needed to win his fourth straight decision.

Higuera (9-7) staggered to the win although he gave up 13 hits. He also struck out eight.

Yount's 13th homer gave Milwaukee a 4-2 lead.

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