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American League Roundup : Flanagan Still a Tough Old Bird as He Helps Blue Jays to 6-2 Win

September 16, 1987

Mike Flanagan was pitching against some of his best friends Tuesday night at Toronto, but he didn't do them any favors.

Flanagan, facing his former teammates, the Baltimore Orioles, for the first time, shut them out on five hits over eight innings as the Blue Jays won, 6-2.

The Blue Jays, who humiliated the Orioles Monday night, banging out 10 home runs, hit only two, but Flanagan, 2-0 since coming to the Blue Jays, didn't need much.

The Blue Jays, who remained tied with Detroit for first place in the American League East, obtained the veteran left-hander Aug. 31. Flanagan had spent 13 seasons with the Orioles.

In three starts with the Blue Jays in pressure games, Flanagan has pitched 21 innings, giving up only 2 runs. The Blue Jays have won all three.

Flanagan felt the pressure most in this game.

"I had to pitch against the best friends I ever had," Flanagan said. "I have a lot of emotional attachment to that team. I had to put it all behind me, because we are trying to win a pennant.

"I was afraid I might think too much about it and it would affect my pitching. The Orioles have a great offensive team."

Ernie Whitt, who hit three home runs Monday night, homered in the fifth to make his last six hits home runs, but the homer string ended when he doubled in the seventh.

Lloyd Moseby, who also had a homer Monday, led the attack in this one with a home run, triple and drove in four runs.

"The amazing thing to me about Mike," said Whitt, his catcher, "is the velocity of his fastball. He's throwing it extremely hard, it has good movement and good location. You can't ask for anything more."

Flanagan also impressed former teammate Larry Sheets.

"You can really see the amount of confidence Mike has now. When he was with us he was trying to throw too perfect and maybe trying to pinpoint the balls. But tonight he was throwing easy."

Things just seem to get worse for the Ripken family. Cal, Sr., the manager, has watched his team take the beatings from the Blue Jays, then Monday night he ended Cal, Jr.'s string of consecutive innings at 8,243 when he took him out in the eighth inning and, in this game, his other son, Billy, was hurt.

Billy, the Orioles' rookie second baseman, fell while trying to field a grounder in the first inning. He tore a ligament in his right ankle and is out for the season.

Detroit 9, Boston 8--Almost before the Tigers knew what hit them, they were behind, 5-0, at Detroit. A grand slam by Todd Benzinger did most of the first-inning damage for the Red Sox.

After checking the scoreboard and seeing that Toronto was winning, they went to work. A three-run home run by Darrell Evans and a two-run smash by Kirk Gibson helped the Tigers overcome the deficit and take the lead for good in the fourth inning.

Sharp relief pitching by Dan Petry (9-6) and Mike Henneman kept the Tigers on top. Petry allowed only a run and two hits in 4 innings to get the win, and Henneman retired the last seven Red Sox to earn his sixth save.

Chicago 6, Minnesota 2--There was some grumbling from Oakland and Kansas City when the White Sox announced that Jack McDowell, just out of Stanford, would make his debut in Chicago against the Twins, leaders of the West.

After McDowell held the Twins without a run and just four hits in seven innings they were cheering the choice of the White Sox.

The Twins lost ground only to Oakland. With the Royals losing to the Angels, the Twins are 3 1/2 games ahead of both challengers.

Oakland 6, Texas 5--Jose Canseco hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth at Arlington, Tex., to win the game after Mark McGwire's two home runs kept them close.

McGwire, who already has set a major league record for homers by a rookie, has 45 and is tied with George Bell for the major league lead.

With Texas leading, 5-3, in the ninth, Steve Howe walked Carney Lansford and pinch-hitter Brian Harper singled. Dale Mohorcic relieved. He had an 0-and-2 count on Canseco, but Canseco hit the next pitch over the left-field fence for his 29th home run.

New York 4, Milwaukee 3--Rickey Henderson homered to trigger a three-run fourth inning at New York, and left-hander Al Leiter held the Brewers to four hits in six innings to win his first major league start.

Four straight hits followed Henderson's home run. Leiter gave up a run on Greg Brock's single in the first, but that was all.

Dale Sveum hit a two-run home run off Tim Stoddard in the ninth, but Dave Righetti came on to get the last three outs for his 28th save.

With both Detroit and Toronto winning, the Yankees trail by 7 games in the East with only 18 games left.

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