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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Belle, Indians Uncork Against the Rangers

July 20, 1994|From Associated Press

Maybe there's more to Albert Belle than cork after all.

Facing a 10-day suspension for using a corked bat, Belle hit one of the Indians' five home runs and also tripled Tuesday night as Cleveland defeated the Texas Rangers, 12-3, at home.

Paul Sorrento homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs, and Jim Thome and Wayne Kirby also homered for Cleveland, which is 25-5 over its last 30 games at Jacobs Field.

The extra-base hits ended Belle's three-for-18 slump, which began Friday night when his bat was seized during a game against the Chicago White Sox. The bat was later determined to be illegal.

"It's nice to see Albert hit the ball hard," Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove said. "Albert's pretty strong mentally. When he gets to the ballpark, he focuses on what he has to do. He is really able to have tunnel vision and not have outside things bother him.

"I think it bothered him in Chicago, but I think he's been able to get through that."

The Indians received a couple of scares in the game. Second baseman Carlos Baerga twisted his right ankle on a pickoff attempt in the third inning, and starter Charles Nagy fell to the ground in pain after Rusty Greer lined a ball off his left knee in the eighth.

Belle's fifth-inning home run, his 27th, was his first since the illegal-bat incident. The confiscated bat was removed from the umpires' locked dressing room at Comiskey Park during Friday's game but later turned over by the Indians to the American League, which determined it had been corked.

Oakland 6, New York 2--Mark McGwire's three-run homer in the fifth inning led the Athletics at Oakland, ending the Yankees' five-game winning streak.

The A's, who had dropped four of their previous five games, scored four runs in the fifth against Jim Abbott.

Scott Hemond hit a leadoff single to left, but second baseman Pat Kelly threw the relay wildly back to first base for a two-base error, sending Hemond to third. With two outs, Geronimo Berroa hit a run-scoring single for a 4-0 lead, and Ruben Sierra walked.

Yankee pitching coach Billy Connors visited the mound to talk to Abbott as McGwire stepped to the plate. The A's slugger hit the first pitch deep into the left field bleachers for his eighth homer.

McGwire had only one hit--a game-winning homer on July 10--in his previous 21 at-bats.

Abbott has only one victory in his past 10 starts. He will take a 7-7 record and 4.32 ERA into his next game and will have to rally to bring helpful numbers to the bargaining table when he is a free agent next winter. In his past six outings, he is 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA.

Chicago 10, Detroit 5--Julio Franco went four for five and drove in three runs, and Alex Fernandez struck out 11 in seven innings to lead the White Sox at Chicago.

The White Sox, who won for the 21st time in 26 games, pounded out 17 hits.

Fernandez (9-7) walked four and scattered five hits for his fourth consecutive victory. The 11 strikeouts were one shy of his career high.

Milwaukee 4, Kansas City 3--Jeff Cirillo hit his second major league home run in the 12th inning and scored the winning run on Kevin Seitzer's bases-loaded single in the 14th inning to lift the Brewers at Milwaukee.

Cirillo was hit by a pitch from Hipolito Pichardo leading off the 14th inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice.

After consecutive walks to Jose Valentin and Bill Spiers, Seitzer bounced a single up the middle off second baseman Jose Lind's glove and into center.

Toronto 4, Minnesota 2--Paul Molitor tripled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning at Toronto as the Blue Jays handed the Twins their ninth road loss in a row.

Roberto Alomar reached on a one-out walk and Molitor knocked out Kevin Tapani with a line drive to right-center that scored Alomar and helped the Blue Jays to their third consecutive victory.

Joe Carter, who drove in four runs Monday, followed with a run-scoring single to right against Carl Willis for his second run batted in of the game and a 4-2 lead.

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