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McGwire, A's Knock Seattle Down a Notch

September 23, 1996|From Associated Press

Mark McGwire and the Oakland Athletics took a lead even the Seattle Mariners couldn't overcome.

McGwire led off the fifth with his 51st home run and capped the inning with a grand slam Sunday that gave Oakland a 10-run lead, and the Athletics held on for a 13-11 victory, ending Seattle's 10-game winning streak.

The A's scored eight runs in the fifth, but had to stave off a comeback by the Mariners, who were playing their final home game this season.

The loss dropped Seattle two games behind first-place Texas in the West and 1 1/2 games back of Baltimore in the wild-card race.

McGwire led off the fifth with a 473-foot homer off the Kingdome's second-deck facade in left field. Later in the inning he hit his major league-leading 52nd homer, a 481-foot shot to left.

New York 4, Boston 3--Paul O'Neill hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, and the Yankees overcame more rain and the Red Sox, rallying for the victory at New York to cut their magic number to four.

The Yankees and Red Sox were supposed to play a day-night doubleheader, but a forecast of heavy rain caused the second game to be postponed before the first game even started.

Derek Jeter led off the seventh with a single off starter Aaron Sele (6-11). Tim Raines followed with a bunt single, and Wade Boggs bunted for his first sacrifice since June 15, 1994. O'Neill hit a shallow fly ball that right fielder Troy O'Leary grabbed with a sliding catch, and Jeter scored without a play.

Detroit 7, Milwaukee 5--The Tigers rallied for four runs in the ninth inning against Milwaukee closer Mike Fetters for the victory at Milwaukee.

Fetters, seeking his 31st save, entered the game with a 5-3 lead to start the ninth. After a leadoff walk, he gave up four consecutive singles, including run-scoring hits by pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra, Travis Fryman and Bobby Higginson.

Chicago 5, Minnesota 1--Robin Ventura hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth inning and Alex Fernandez pitched a five-hitter as the White Sox defeated the Twins at Chicago.

Chicago remains three games behind Baltimore in the wild-card race. The White Sox have only five games left.

Fernandez (15-10) walked none and struck out seven for his sixth complete game this season. The only run he gave up was Chuck Knoblauch's wind-aided, two-out homer in the top of the sixth.

Baltimore 5, Toronto 4--Roberto Alomar singled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning as the Orioles maintained their lead in the wild-card race by defeating the Blue Jays at Baltimore.

Scott Erickson (13-11) won his fifth consecutive decision, giving up four runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Cleveland 6, Kansas City 5--Kenny Lofton had three hits and scored two runs, and the Indians scored three times in an error-filled seventh inning to defeat the Royals at Kansas City.

Jack McDowell (13-9) won his third straight start, but he was not sharp. He gave up five runs and seven hits in seven innings.

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