Baltimore's Cal Ripken became the first shortstop in baseball history to hit 20 or more home runs in eight consecutive seasons and then doubled home the tiebreaking run in a two-run seventh as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Cleveland Indians, 3-1, Tuesday night at Baltimore.
Ripken's homer was a line drive to left-center that center fielder Brad Komminsk caught above the wall before tumbling over the fence at the 387-foot sign. Komminsk had the ball as he fell over the seven-foot-high fence, but the ball came loose when he landed on a metal tarpaulin holder.
"From my vantage point I was out," Ripken said. "I was happy to get a hit. I had no idea it would carry that far. I thought he caught it cleanly, but then I saw an umpire signaling home run."
Ripken and Ernie Banks had been the only shortstops to hit 20 or more home runs in seven consecutive seasons. Banks hit 20 or more from 1955-61 for the Chicago Cubs before being shifted to first base.
Ripken also became the first player to hit 20 or more home runs in each of the last eight seasons. Boston's Dwight Evans, Detroit's Fred Lynn, Atlanta's Dale Murphy and Tom Brunansky of St. Louis hit 20 or more in each of the last seven seasons.
Winner Bob Milacki (10-12) scattered seven hits in 7 1/3 innings, including Cory Snyder's fourth-inning homer. In 20 games at Memorial Stadium, Snyder has 29 hits in 73 at-bats for a .397 average with nine homers and 15 RBIs.
By reaching the seventh inning for the 21st time in 30 starts, Milacki became the first rookie to pitch 200 innings this season, reaching 204. Gregg Olson picked up his rookie-record 24th save with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Oakland 13, Boston 1-- Curt Young allowed one unearned run in five innings, and the Athletics routed Roger Clemens and the Red Sox at Oakland.
The A's wrapped it up with eight runs against four Boston pitchers in the eighth inning. The inning included three consecutive walks with the bases loaded, pinch-hitter Felix Jose's two-run single and an RBI single by Mark McGwire and Dave Henderson.
Young (5-9) is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA over his last five starts and has given up only one home run in his last 63 innings after yielding nine in his first 38 innings. Todd Burns pitched three innings and Dennis Eckersley worked the ninth.
Oakland's 3 1/2-game lead over Kansas City in the West is the A's biggest of the season. The third-place Red Sox fell six games behind Toronto in the East.
Clemens (14-10) is 1-6 lifetime against the A's, the only team against which he is under .500, and has never won in Oakland.
Detroit 10, Kansas City 2--The Tigers won their fifth consecutive game for the first time since June 1988, beating the Royals as rookie Kevin Ritz pitched seven strong innings.
The Tigers chased rookie Tom Gordon (16-6) with six runs in the first inning. Ritz (4-3) yielded one run and seven hits in seven innings.
The Tigers, last in the East with the worst record in baseball, continued their home-field domination over the Royals, winning their 12th straight, including five this season. The Royals' previous mark for consecutive road losses in one park was 11 in Baltimore.
Minnesota 8, Texas 4--Carmen Castillo hit two home runs as the Twins defeated the Rangers at Arlington, Tex.
Kevin Tapani scattered six hits over seven innings in his first major league start. Tapani, a 25-year-old right-hander who made three brief relief appearances for the New York Mets before they traded him in the Frank Viola deal, walked one and struck out three before giving way to Tim Drummond, who also came over in the Viola trade. Jeff Reardon pitched the ninth and yielded a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Thad Bosley.
Toronto 6, Chicago 1--Dave Stieb pitched a three-hitter over seven scoreless innings and beat the White Sox at Chicago for the 18th time in 22 decisions at Toronto as the Blue Jays remained one game ahead of the Orioles.
Manny Lee, hitless in his previous 10 at-bats, drove in two runs with a double and a single off Steve Rosenberg (4-11). Mookie Wilson had a pair of singles and scored twice.
Stieb (15-8) is 10-1 at Comiskey Park, where he has won eight in a row since his only loss on May 4, 1982.
New York 12, Seattle 2--Deion Sanders, who was supposed to be gearing up for the start of the National Football League season this weekend, drove in four runs with a pair of doubles and a home run at Seattle.
Sanders, a two-time All-American defensive back at Florida State and the Atlanta Falcons' No. 1 draft choice who was recalled last week from Columbus of the Class AAA International League, hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and a two-run double in the sixth as the Yankees won their sixth consecutive game.
The Yankees had 17 hits, including home runs by Roberto Kelly and Steve Sax and a single, two doubles and three RBIs by Steve Balboni. Meanwhile, Eric Plunk (6-4) held Seattle to four hits in seven innings, including Jay Buhner's 434-foot two-run homer in the fourth.