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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Blue Jays Closer With 3-1 Victory

September 26, 1993|From Associated Press

Today is Fan Appreciation Day at the SkyDome, and the Toronto Blue Jays are planning to give away television sets, stereos and lots of other prizes.

The biggest prize, though, might go to the Blue Jays.

Toronto moved to the brink of its third consecutive American League East title, beating the New York Yankees, 3-1, Saturday behind Al Leiter's six innings of one-hit pitching.

The Blue Jays cut their magic number to two.

Toronto has clinched all four of its division titles at home and can do it again today in the last game of the season at the SkyDome. The Blue Jays need to beat the Yankees, and have Baltimore lose once.

"It would be great if we could win it here, in front of our fans and everybody," designated hitter Paul Molitor said. "Whatever happens, it's nice to be knocking on the door.

"This is our best all-around stretch of the year, by far. We knew it was out there, we went after it and now we're on the verge of locking it up."

Toronto won for the 12th time in 13 games and sent New York to its season-high fifth consecutive loss. The Yankees, who have not had a losing month all season, are 8-14 in September.

This series, which once looked like it could be the biggest of the season in the AL East, could instead let Toronto celebrate closing out the Yankees.

"That's not a very pleasant thought," New York Manager Buck Showalter said.

Rickey Henderson, who homered and scored three times in Toronto's 7-3 victory Friday night, again tormented his former team. He doubled, singled, stole a base and scored twice, giving him 19 runs against the Yankees this season in stints with Oakland and Toronto.

Leiter (8-6) walked four and struck out two in six scoreless innings. He made his first start since June 17, when he beat Boston with his first major league shutout. Leiter was a fill-in when Jack Morris was injured earlier this season, and moved from the bullpen back into the rotation when Morris was sidelined again.

Minnesota 9, Boston 7--Pedro Munoz drove in the go-ahead run with a single and Chip Hale's pinch-hit, two-run double capped a four-run 10th inning that lifted the Twins at Boston.

With one out in the 10th, Kent Hrbek and Dave Winfield drew consecutive walks off reliever Greg Harris (6-6). Munoz followed with a run-scoring single to give the Twins a 6-5 lead.

After Ken Ryan replaced Harris, Dave McCarty followed with a run-scoring single and one out later, Hale lofted a drive off the left-field wall.

Rick Aguilera (3-3) earned the victorywith two shaky innings, giving up two home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, tying the score. Andre Dawson had a run-scoring double and John Valetin a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 10th for Boston.

Cleveland 6, Milwaukee 2--Mark Clark won his third consecutive decision since coming off the disabled list and Sam Horn homered as the Indians won at Cleveland.

Clark (7-4), acquired in the March trade that sent Mark Whiten to St. Louis, improved to 3-0 with a 1.15 earned-run average in four starts since returning from a torn back muscle Sept. 9.

Clark gave up seven hits and two runs--both on Greg Vaughn's 29th home run--in his second career complete game, walking one and striking out six.

Oakland 7, Seattle 2--Ruben Sierra, hitless in his previous 15 at-bats, hit a sacrifice fly and a grand slam as the Athletics won at Seattle.

With the sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and the grand slam in the eighth, Sierra matched a career high with five runs batted in.

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