American League Roundup : Tigers' Evans Becomes First at 40 Ever to Hit 30

September 19, 1987|DAN HAFNER

When Darrell Evans homered in the fifth inning Friday night at Detroit to become the first 40-year-old to hit 30 home runs in a season in the majors, it was a joyous occasion. The crowd of 30,104 called for Evans to take a bow.

The home run, with Alan Trammell on base, gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead. With Walt Terrell, who has been practically unbeatable recently, pitching, a victory seemed a cinch.

But after Terrell (15-10) lost his shutout in the eighth, Manager Sparky Anderson decided to give the veteran right-hander the rest of the night off. And the Brewers jumped on Detroit's two best relief pitchers, Mike Henneman and Willie Hernandez, for five runs, including a three-run home run by Paul Molitor.

Finally, Eric King got the last two outs to preserve a shaky 7-6 victory. The last out of the game was a drive by Greg Brock that center fielder Chet Lemon hauled in nearly 440 feet from home plate.

It was the sixth win in a row for Terrell and gave him 15 wins in each of his three seasons with the Tigers. In three of his previous four starts, Terrell went the distance. He is 12-2 at Tiger Stadium this season and 31-7 there in his three seasons with the Tigers.

Terrell went into the eighth with a three-hit shutout. The run in the eighth was only the seventh he has given up in the last 41 innings.

Until Evans reached the 30 mark, the most by a player 40 or older was 29 by Ted Williams in 1960, when he was 42.

"I guess Ted wasn't happy with just 29," Evans said. "He retired.

"I'm glad to get 30, but it really won't mean a thing unless we win the division. If we go on and win, it will be extra special.

"It's a lot of fun. It doesn't get much better unless we win it all."

Evans, who was 40 in May, drew praise from Manager Tom Trebelhorn, whose Brewers fell 8 1/2 games behind.

"He's the consummate professional player," Trebelhorn said. "He's a hustling player, hits home runs, gets big hits and starts innings with walks. Age has nothing to do with it--he just plays very, very well."

Toronto 6, New York 3--Willie Upshaw hit a two-run home run to break a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning at New York to help the Blue Jays keep pace with the Tigers.

The Blue Jays remained a half-game behind the Tigers, and the loss dropped the Yankees 8 1/2 games back.

Toronto Manager Jimy Williams protested on grounds that Yankee Stadium was in poor playing condition. A college football game was played there last Saturday night in the rain. When rain slowed the start of this game, Williams protested, a moot point after the Toronto win.

The loser was Neil Allen, who was making his first start for the Yankees. He has lost eight in a row since winning in July of last year for the Chicago White Sox.

Jeff Musselman and Dave Wells are the Blue Jays' second line of relief behind Mark Eichhorn and Tom Henke, but they were too much for the Yankees.

Musselman gave up one hit in 2 scoreless innings and Wells gave up one in 1 as they shut the door and saved Jim Clancy's 14th win.

Minnesota 9, Cleveland 4--All the Twins needed was to get back to the Metrodome.

With Randy Bush hitting his 10th home run and driving in five runs, the Twins ended a three-game losing streak and became the first team in the majors to win 50 games at home this season. The Twins, 28-47 on the road, have lost only 23 at the Metrodome.

Bert Blyleven (14-11) served up home runs to Cory Snyder and Brook Jacoby, but otherwise had things well under control.

The Twins increased their lead in the West to 3 1/2 games in the opener of a nine-game home stand. They hope to have the division clinched before finishing with six on the road.

Oakland 4, Kansas City 0--In the battle to see who will try to catch the Twins, the Athletics, behind the solid pitching of Steve Ontiveros at Kansas City, moved ahead of the Royals.

Ontiveros (9-8) gave up four hits in 6 innings, and Eric Plunk and Dennis Eckersley completed the shutout. It was the 17th time the Royals have been shut out this season.

Mike Davis hit a two-run home run in the eighth.

Seattle 1, Chicago 0--An unearned run decided this pitching duel between Mark Langston of the Mariners and Floyd Bannister of the White Sox at Chicago.

Langston (18-11) gave up six hits and pitched his 14th complete game.

Bannister (13-11), who pitched a one-hitter against the Mariners Sunday, had his five-game winning streak end on an unearned run in the sixth inning. Scott Bradley singled in the only run after third baseman Pat Keedy's two-base error put John Christensen in scoring position.

Baltimore 9-7, Boston 4-10--Larry Sheets hit a two-run home run in the opener at Baltimore to help the Orioles end a nine-game losing streak.

But rookie first baseman Pat Dodson hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning of the nightcap to highlight a six-run rally that got the Red Sox a split.

Sheets drove in five runs in the doubleheader.

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