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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Ryan Adds Punch to His Pitching and Rangers Win

August 05, 1993|From Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox and Robin Ventura found out Wednesday that Nolan Ryan can punch as hard as he can pitch.

The 26-year-old Ventura charged the mound in the third inning, firing up the 46-year-old Ryan, baseball's oldest player. Ryan threw a series of punches at Ventura, then led the Texas Rangers to a 5-2 victory at Arlington, Tex.

Ryan put a headlock on Ventura and delivered six consecutive punches to the younger player's face and head before teammates could intervene. Ventura and Chicago Manager Gene Lamont were ejected.

"It was just self-preservation," Ryan said. "I didn't expect that to happen. I was just trying to pitch him inside. You don't have time to think. You just react.

"I'm not a big believer in fights, but we'll do what it takes to win games."

The incident was first time a player has charged Ryan since San Diego's Dave Winfield did it in 1980 in the Astrodome. Ryan pitched for the Houston Astros at the time.

"Dave threw a punch, and then we wrestled to the ground," Ryan recalled. "I decided then I wasn't going to take it the next time it happened."

After tangling with Ventura, Ryan retired 12 of the next 13 batters without giving up a hit to earn his 322nd major league victory. He got relief help the last two innings from Craig Lefferts and Tom Henke.

Ryan (3-3) gave up only three hits, struck out five and walked two.

Ventura claimed Ryan was throwing at him.

"It's no secret that he was throwing at me," he said. "I have to do what I have to do to protect myself and I don't care who it is. I'm all right. He gave me a couple of noogies, but that was about it."

Rafael Palmeiro, whose two-run homer ignited a five-run Ranger sixth inning against loser Alex Fernandez (12-6), said Ventura's move was a foolish mistake.

"It was a wakeup call for our team," he said. "We were basically dead until then.

"I never thought I'd ever see anyone charge the mound against Nolan Ryan. I bet we won't see it again."

Boston 5, Minnesota 4--Aaron Sele improved to 6-0 and Scott Cooper drove in two runs with a triple and double as the Red Sox won at Minneapolis.

Scott Erickson (6-13) set a career high for losses despite pitching Minnesota's first complete game of the season. The Twins had used their bullpen in 105 consecutive games, a major league record.

New York 6, Toronto 2--Scott Kamieniecki slowed down the streaking Blue Jays before leaving because of stomach problems at New York.

Kamieniecki (7-3) shut out the Blue Jays on seven singles before leaving in the eighth because of a stomach virus and slight dehydration.

Oakland 5, Seattle 4--Mariner reliever Jeff Nelson hit Mike Bordick with a pitch in the ninth inning to force home the winning run and give the Athletics a come-from-behind victory at Oakland.

Detroit 8, Cleveland 3--Travis Fryman homered twice and Mike Moore won his third consecutive start as the Tigers got back to the .500 mark at Cleveland.

The Tigers, who dropped below .500 on Tuesday for the first time since April, ended a three-game losing streak.

Baltimore 8, Milwaukee 6--Mark McLemore hit a rare homer and Arthur Rhodes gave up two hits over five innings in his first game since May 9, leading the Orioles at Baltimore.

Mike Devereaux also homered for the Orioles, who have outscored the Brewers, 28-19, in winning the first three games of a four-game series.

McLemore's two-run home run was his eighth career homer in 1,507 at-bats.

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