David Wells overcame a sore neck to win his seventh consecutive decision against the Yankees Wednesday night at New York. He gave up four hits in eight innings in the Toronto Blue Jays' 4-1 victory.
Wells (7-4) gave up two hits in the first inning, then retired 17 consecutive batters before Jesse Barfield's double in the seventh.
"I had a stiff neck," said Wells, who lowered his earned-run average to 2.61. "I think I slept on it wrong. Yesterday, I couldn't play catch. I tried to throw to Ed Sprague and had to shut it down."
He did the same to the Yankees after the 36-minute first inning. In the bottom of the first, Roberto Kelly singled and was picked off. Steve Sax doubled, Don Mattingly walked and Barfield was intentionally walked with two out, loading the bases.
But Wells got Hensley Meulens to fly to right.
Wells also had a slow start against the Angels last Friday but finished with a five-hitter for the first complete game of his career. That's why Toronto manager Cito Gaston visited the mound in the first inning this time.
"I told him we have a deep bullpen and don't hold anything back," Gaston said. "I just wanted to tell him to let it go."
Wells finally gave up a run in the eighth when Kelly reached on an error by third baseman Rene Gonzales and scored on Sax's two-out double.
Tom Henke pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in seven opportunities as the Yankees lost for only the fourth time in 13 games.
Kansas City 3, Texas 2--George Brett's tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth, only the fourth hit off Kevin Brown, lifted the Royals over the slumping Rangers at Kansas City.
Kirk Gibson drew a one-out walk from Brown (4-5) and Brett, hitting only .209, lined a pitch over the head of left fielder Kevin Reimer, who first started in on the ball.
Brett went to third on an infield out and scored on Mike Macfarlane's single. That run proved to be the difference when Jeff Montgomery's two-out, bases-loaded wild pitch scored Julio Franco. Montgomery, the Royals' fourth pitcher, then got Mike Stanley on a fly ball to left for his 11th save.
Steve Crawford (1-0) relieved Mark Gubicza at the start of the seventh and got his first victory since Aug. 21.
Brown gave up five hits and three runs in 7 2/3 innings with four walks and four strikeouts. The Rangers lost for the sixth time in seven games after winning a club-record 14 in a row.
Oakland 6, Milwaukee 4--Dave Henderson hit his major league-leading 13th home run, and Dave Stewart continued his mastery over the Brewers with the victory at Oakland.
Henderson's two-out, three-run homer came in the first inning after Chris Bosio (4-6) hit Jose Canseco with a pitch and walked Harold Baines.
Stewart, 11-3 lifetime against the Brewers, allowed only two hits in 5 1/3 innings, but walked five and threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the sixth inning. He left after Greg Vaughn followed with a two-run homer that made it 5-4.
Joe Klink allowed one hit in one-third of an inning before Steve Chitren pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save.
Minnesota 4, Baltimore 3--Rookie Lenny Webster hit a two-run home run, his second in as many major league games, and Kevin Tapani ended his six-game losing streak in the Twins' victory at Minneapolis.
Minnesota's fifth consecutive victory put the Twins (28-25) three games over .500 for the first time since last June 12.
Webster, a catcher playing his second game since being recalled from triple-A Portland on Saturday, hit a two-run home run off loser Jose Mesa (4-6) in the fifth inning to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. Webster also homered Sunday in his major league debut and has two homers in six at-bats for the Twins after hitting one in 144 at bats for Portland this year.
Detroit 7, Seattle 1--Cecil Fielder's three-run home run keyed a five-run third inning as the Tigers ended a seven-game losing streak with a victory at Detroit.
The Tigers broke a 1-1 tie after Rich DeLucia opened the third by walking Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell. Fielder then drove his 11th homer into the seats in left-center to make it 4-1.
DeLucia (5-3) left after issuing his sixth walk, to Mickey Tettleton. Reliever Pat Rice struck out Pete Incaviglia, but an error by third baseman Edgar Martinez allowed Rob Deer to reach safely, and singles by Travis Fryman and Tony Phillips gave Detroit a five-run lead.
DeLucia gave up only two hits but six runs, five earned, in two-plus innings.
Cleveland 2, Chicago 1--Rookie Mark Lewis, hitless in his previous 15 at-bats, led off the eighth inning with a pinch-double and scored the tiebreaking run on Mike Huff's single as the Indians won for the fifth time in six games on their current home stand.
Shawn Hillegas (1-0) got the victory with two hitless innings in relief of Eric King, who gave up one run and six hits in seven innings. Both pitchers were acquired from Chicago for Cory Snyder in an off-season trade.