Rickey Henderson may have hit his first home run since returning to his hometown Thursday, but it took a fine performance by another Oakland native, pitcher Dave Stewart, to give the Athletics their first win since Henderson's arrival.
Stewart pitched a four-hitter, striking out six and walking none, to become the first 12-game winner in the American League as the Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-1, Saturday at Oakland.
"It felt good playing behind Stewart," Henderson said. "He's the kind of pitcher who throws strikes and lets the defense make the plays."
Stewart says pitching complete games has ceased to be at the top of his priority list.
"I'm more concerned about pitching a complete game when we need it," he said. "I don't see any importance in throwing 14 or 15 complete games any longer. To me, when you look at your record and it says 12-3, that says I'm doing some positive things."
Toronto starter Dave Stieb (7-4) was the losing pitcher.
"I think it's typical for me this month," Stieb said. "I win four games in a row with weak stuff. Today I had good stuff, and we went out and lost."
The A's scored twice in the third inning when Mike Gallego knocked in one run with a single and later scored on Dave Parker's single. Henderson's homer in the fifth made it 3-0.
"It's a nice way to celebrate, but I think my job is to get on base," Henderson said. "I'm not looking to be the home run king here."
The Blue Jays, who had their five-game winning streak ended, scored an unearned run in the sixth on Junior Felix's infield single.
McGwire walked with one out in the sixth and scored when Terry Steinbach blooped a two-out single and left fielder George Bell's throw to third base skipped into the dugout for an error. Steinbach scored on Tony Phillips' infield single to make it 5-1.
The A's added two runs in the eighth on Steinbach's RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Henderson.
Toronto shortstop Tony Fernandez's 16-game hitting streak ended as he went 0 for 4.
Boston 6-11, Minnesota 2-2--The Red Sox unleashed a double dose of power, using 10 doubles to end a slump and sweep a day-night doubleheader from the Twins at Boston.
The Red Sox, who had scored just four runs in their previous three games, all losses, totaled 21 hits in the two games.
"You get a couple of guys hot and they start swinging the bat well, and that relieves pressure on the other guys," Boston's Nick Esasky said. "That's good baseball. That's fun. Everybody gets to be a part of it."
Esasky, Dwight Evans and Mike Greenwell drove in four runs each for Boston in the doubleheader.
Evans had two doubles in the opener and one in the second game, and Greenwell and Esasky each had a double in each game. Esasky also homered in the night game, ending Boston's seven-game homer-less streak, its longest since 1974.
Wes Gardner, Smithson and Lee Smith combined on a four-hitter in the second game. Gardner allowed just one hit but tired and left with a 2-1 lead after walking the first two batters in the fifth inning. Fred Toliver (1-3) was the loser.
In the opener, John Dopson (7-5) pitched seven-plus innings and gave up seven hits. Rob Murphy finished, giving up one hit. Rookie Francisco Oliveras (3-4), winless in his last four starts, took the loss.
New York 12, Kansas City 5--Mel Hall hit a grand slam before one batter had been retired in the first inning and scored three runs on a night when every Yankee in the lineup had at least one hit.
Hall's second career grand slam came on the first pitch from Kevin Appier (1-3). Every Yankee in the lineup but Roberto Kelly scored as the Royals lost for only the ninth time in 35 home games.
Yankee starter Dave LaPoint was replaced during the Royals' four-run fifth and did not get the victory despite holding an 11-1 lead at one time. Reliever Lance McCullers (3-2) was given the win.
Chicago 5, Milwaukee 3--At Milwaukee, Bill Long, making his first start since being recalled from the minors two days ago, won his first game in nearly two months as the White Sox beat the Brewers for the sixth time in seven games this season.
Long, sent to the minors May 29, scattered seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve his record to 3-5.
Singles by Dave Gallagher and Fred Manrique, a wild pitch, an RBI ground-out by Carlton Fisk and Ivan Calderon's sacrifice fly gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the first off Bill Krueger (3-2). Calderon's 10th home run in the third inning made it 3-0.
Bobby Thigpen worked the ninth for his 14th save.
Seattle 3, Detroit 1--At Seattle, Scott Bankhead won his third consecutive game as the Mariners ended a four-game losing streak.
Bankhead gave up six hits in 7 2/3 innings before getting relief help from Mike Schooler, who earned his 15th save.
Bankhead (5-4) gave up one run, struck out five and walked just one.
Detroit starter Frank Tanana (7-7) gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out one.