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A's Batter Boskie and His Successors With Eight Homers

June 28, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

So what did you expect, the second coming of Tom Seaver? An invitation to the All-Star Game? A 20-win season and a Cy Young Award?

Angel pitcher Shawn Boskie had been so dominant the last five weeks that almost anything seemed possible, his 4-1 record and 2.82 earned-run average since May 21 giving front-office officials reason to believe they might not have to trade for more pitching to contend this season.

But Thursday night came a sobering reminder that Boskie, despite his lofty status among American League pitching leaders, is not exactly a staff ace, and that starting pitching is still a major Angel concern.

Boskie, in his worst outing since blowing an eight-run lead in Seattle April 15, was bombed for seven runs--six earned--in three innings, as the Oakland Athletics ripped the Angels, 18-2, before 23,503 in Anaheim Stadium.

The starter was hardly the sole transgressor among Angel pitchers, three of whom combined to give up eight home runs, setting an Angel record for most homers allowed in a game and an A's record for most homers in a game.

Oakland, which has 49 home runs this month and now leads the major leagues with 120, came within two of the major league record of 10 homers in a game, set by the Toronto Blue Jays against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14, 1987.

But Boskie (8-3) certainly set the tone for an evening in which the A's scored in every inning but the eighth and hit for a home run cycle of sorts--Scott Brosius had two solo homers, and Jose Herrera and Terry Steinbach each added bases-empty blasts, Mark McGwire hit a two-run homer to tie Jimmie Foxx's team record of 302 career homers, Jason Giambi had a three-run shot and Geronimo Berroa hit a grand slam.

"There's not much to say--we pitched very poorly and took ourselves out of the game very early," Angel Manager Marcel Lachemann said. "It was a poor outing, the worst of the year by far. We made 247 pitches, gave up eight home runs, 17 hits, [a team-record] 12 walks. . . . It's not acceptable, and we are not going to do that any more.

"I didn't care for the energy level tonight--that happens sometimes when you get down by so many runs. But we've gone into a 22-game stretch against teams in our own division with a very poor performance. We'll see what we're made of tomorrow, because they basically kicked our butts."

The eight homers by seven players tied a major league record for most players with one or more homer in a game, set by Baltimore against Boston on May 17, 1967, and the Dodgers against Cincinnati on May 25, 1979.

The game was so lopsided that Oakland Manager Art Howe began emptying his bench in the sixth inning. All three hits Angel reliever Rich Monteleone gave up were home runs, and of the four hits reliever Shad Williams gave up, three were homers.

Not until the top of the eighth, when Angel left-hander Brad Pennington gave up only one hit--Damon Mashore's double--did an inning go by without an Oakland player crossing the plate. But Pennington regressed in the ninth, walking four to force in a run before giving way to Mike James.

The Angels had not given up 18 runs in a game since June 17, 1993, against Texas. The only two A's starters without a homer? Second baseman Tony Batista, who had four hits and three runs, and No. 9 hitter Mike Bordick.

"I don't know what we ate on our off day," Howe said, "but we're going to have it tomorrow."

The Angels, who have lost five of seven to fall 7 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers, had one homer, Tim Salmon's solo shot in the sixth, his 19th of the season an 12th this month.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Eight Is Enough

Oakland's home runs vs. Angels Thursday night

*--*

INNING PLAYER PITCHER 1st Mark McGwire (two-run) Shawn Boskie 2nd Scott Brosius (solo) Shawn Boskie 4th Geronimo Berroa (grand slam) Shad Williams 5th Jason Giambi (three-run) Shad Williams 6th Terry Steinbach (solo) Shad Williams 6th Ernie Young (solo) Rich Monteleone 6th Jose Herrera (solo) Rich Monteleone 7th Scott Brosius (solo) Rich Monteleone

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