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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Molitor's Milestone Only Seven Hits Away

September 12, 1996|From Associated Press

Wearing a T-shirt that read "Baseball is timeless," 40-year-old Paul Molitor tried to explain what it's like to close in on a milestone.

The Twins' designated hitter had two singles and a double in Minnesota's 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night at Minneapolis, giving him 2,993 in his 19-year, major-league career.

With 17 games remaining in 1996, it's likely that Molitor will become the 21st player in history to reach the 3,000-hit milestone.

"Most of the time, this is fun," Molitor said. "At times there's a tendency to let it become too encompassing. It's one of those things that's tough to really escape from, whether from a personal thought-process or the people you're around always talking about it. I try as best I can to look at it as a good thing and a great opportunity."

Coming off a rare hitless game in Tuesday's shutout loss to Oakland, Molitor took a called third strike in the first inning Wednesday before stroking a run-scoring single in the second.

Molitor finished the night three for five, raising his average to .342, and stole third base in the eighth inning to help set up Minnesota's final run.

Baltimore 7, Chicago 6--Eddie Murray wasn't in the starting lineup, but he was there at the end, driving in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th at Baltimore.

Murray entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, then returned to the plate in the 10th after singles by Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla put runners at first and third with one out.

Murray fouled off several 3-2 pitches from Roberto Hernandez (6-3) before lofting a fly ball to medium center.

New York 7, Detroit 3--Ruben Sierra, traded from the Yankees to the Tigers on July 31, misplayed a fly ball that allowed the Yankees to score the go-ahead runs at Detroit.

Jimmy Key (11-10) got his first victory at Tiger Stadium in six years. Key, who was 0-4 with a no-decision at Tiger Stadium since his last win in 1990, gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings.

Kansas City 4, Seattle 2--Bad throws by center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. and shortstop Alex Rodriguez hurt the Mariners, who lost at Seattle and fell five games behind Baltimore in the American League wild-card race.

Griffey threw wide of the plate on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, allowing Tom Goodwin to score. Rodriguez bounced a throw to first in the eighth on a ground ball by Mike McFarlane, allowing Goodwin to score again from third.

Toronto 8, Texas 3--Ranger third baseman Dean Palmer committed two errors on the same play, allowing the Blue Jays to score the go-ahead run in a six-run seventh inning at Toronto.

The victory ended an eight-game losing streak against the Rangers.

Boston 4, Milwaukee 1--Bill Haselman hit a tiebreaking home run and Tim Wakefield gave up four hits in eight innings at Boston as the Red Sox ended a four-game losing streak.

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