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American League Roundup : McGwire Crashes His 36th Home Run as Athletics Rout the Tigers, 10-1

July 23, 1987|DAN HAFNER

There is no telling how many home runs Mark McGwire would hit if he could play a few more games at Tiger Stadium.

The Oakland Athletics' rookie hit his 36th home run, a double and two singles Wednesday night at Detroit to lead the A's to a 10-1 victory over the Tigers.

It was the rookie first baseman's sixth and final appearance at Tiger Stadium this season. His home run, which put him just one home run behind Al Rosen's American League rookie record, traveled about 450 feet.

McGwire's first major league home run was hit at Tiger Stadium off Walt Terrell last Aug. 25. Little did anyone realize it was the beginning of an attack on the ancient home-run hitter's park.

In his six games there this season, McGwire has hit seven home runs. In 31 at-bats in the park, he has hit eight home runs.

"I don't know why I hit so well here, but I like this park," McGwire said. "I hit that ball well. It's like Death Valley out there. That's a long drive. But I don't think it went as far as (Jose) Canseco's last night."

McGwire has hit 14 home runs in his last 23 games.

"He's a great high fastball hitter," Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson said. "If you get the ball up and over the plate, he's gonna hit it a long way."

Even though he doesn't get another whack at Tiger Stadium, the question is not whether McGwire will break the record for rookies, but whether he can break Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs in a season.

The major league record for rookies is 38 held by Wally Berger and Frank Robinson. McGwire has 68 games in which to break it.

McGwire doubled in a run in the four-run second that broke open the game, then hit his home run with one on in the eighth.

Baltimore 10, Chicago 5--If the White Sox had started a left-hander at Chicago, they wouldn't have had to face Larry Sheets.

But they did, and Sheets, a left-handed hitter, had three more hits, including a pair of two-run singles to lead the sizzling Orioles to their eighth victory in a row.

Sheets, who plays only against right-handers, was 8 for 11 in the three-game sweep.

Harold Baines hit his 155th home run to become Chicago's career home run leader.

John Habyan, who went into the game with a 6.84 earned-run average, pitched 6 scoreless innings of relief to win the game.

Ken Gerhart hit two solo home runs for the Orioles.

Minnesota 3, New York 1--While their offensive leader (Don Mattingly) sits in the dugout with a sore wrist, the Yankees are finding runs hard to come by at Minneapolis.

Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett hit home runs, and Frank Viola pitched masterfully as the Twins took advantage of Mattingly's absence beat New York again.

Viola (10-6) gave up four hits in eight innings. He is 8-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 12 starts.

Viola and Bert Blyleven held the Yankees to two runs in two games.

"They've pitched pretty good," Twin Manager Tom Kelly said, "but it helps with Mr. Mattingly not able to play."

The Yankees say Mattingly's status is day-to-day.

The Twins remained two gamesahead of Oakland in the West.

Kansas City 5, Cleveland 1--Jim Eisenreich drove in two runs at Kansas City to pace the Royals. Eisenreich singled home two runs in the fifth and also walked and doubled.

Frank White and Bo Jackson homered for the Royals to back the eight-hit pitching of Mark Gubicza. It was Jackson's 19th homer.

Seattle 2, Milwaukee 1----Mark Langston pitched a four-hitter and struck out seven at Milwaukee to end his three-game losing streak. The strikeouts increased his league-leading total to 159.

Rey Quinones singled in the winning run in the seventh off Bill Wegman (8-9). It was the fifth complete game for Wegman and the fourth he's lost.

Texas 5, Toronto 3--Mark Eichhorn walked two Rangers with the bases loaded in the eighth inning at Arlington, Tex., to force in the two runs that made the difference.

With the score tied, 3-3, Eichhorn walked Steve Buechele to load the bases. He also walked Jerry Browne and Scott Fletcher.

The Blue Jays remained three games behind the Yankees in the East.

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