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Cone Takes Advantage of Situation

May 08, 1997|From Associated Press

It was a rematch of the first game of last season's American League division series, won by Texas' John Burkett over New York's David Cone.

Only this time it was the regular season. And in New York. And somewhat chilly at 54 degrees.

Advantage: Cone.

He won his fourth start in a row, giving up two runs--one earned--and striking out eight in a 5-2 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.

All four victories have come in chilly weather.

"Just luck of the draw," Cone (4-2) said. "It's tough to feel the ball or locate your pitches. Most pitchers have touch problems in these conditions."

He struggled with his control, something he hasn't been pleased with.

"I can't blame it all on the cold weather," he said. "Part of me is overthrowing."

Cone is 13-3 at Yankee Stadium, including 12-1 with the Yankees. He has not give up more than two earned runs in any of his nine appearances against the Rangers, who lost for the 13th time in their last 15 regular-season appearances in New York.

"I guaranteed him next time, unless they have a hole in the roof, it will be warm," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said, a reference to next Tuesday's game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Tino Martinez helped Cone with his 14th homer, tying Ken Griffey Jr. for the major league lead. He also leads the majors with 42 RBIs.

"I don't even think about it," Martinez said of his hot start. "I got a fastball down the middle and hit it good. I've had good months before. I've had so many guys on base, I've had a lot of opportunities to drive in runs."

Texas went ahead, 1-0, but the Yankees made it 4-1 in the second inning on Joe Girardi's two-run double, Luis Sojo's RBI groundout and Tim Raines' sacrifice fly.

Cleveland 7, Toronto 1--Jack McDowell showed his return from the bullpen was a good move for the Indians, giving up six hits and a run in eight innings in pitching them to a victory in Cleveland.

Tony Fernandez had three hits, including a first-inning homer. He and Jim Thome had consecutive homers in the first. Marquis Grissom homered in the fifth, and Cleveland increased its major league-leading homer total to 59.

McDowell (3-2), in his second start since returning from the bullpen, struck out eight and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning with only one run scoring. His earned-run average, 12.51 after three starts, is down to 5.45.

He got out of another jam in the eighth. Orlando Merced singled and Joe Carter doubled, but McDowell fanned Ed Sprague and Carlos Delgado and got Charlie O'Brien to pop out.

McDowell then yielded to Jose Mesa, who pitched the ninth inning.

Boston 11, Minnesota 3--Scott Hatteberg hit the first two homers of his career--and Reggie Jefferson also homered twice for the Red Sox, who won in Boston.

Aaron Sele (4-1) gave up one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out four to help snap Boston's four-game losing streak. But the real damage was done by his designated catcher and former Washington State teammate.

Hatteberg, who had four RBIs, has only started seven games at catcher as Bill Haselman's backup, six of them with Sele pitching.

He went three for three and also walked with the bases loaded when Boston chased Brad Radke (2-2) with a four-run fifth inning.

In all, Radke gave up nine runs, seven earned, on 10 hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings for the Twins, who have lost 12 of their last 14.

Detroit 12, Kansas City 3--Tony Clark, Travis Fryman and Bobby Higginson homered for the Tigers, who pulled out of an offensive slump with a victory at Detroit.

The Tigers' Felipe Lira (1-2) gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings for his first victory since July 7, 1996. Jose Bautista started the seventh and Mike Myers the ninth for Detroit.

The Tigers, held to a total of four runs in their three previous games, scored two in the first, four in the second, one in the fourth and five in the fifth.

Down, 2-0, Detroit chased Royals starter Jim Pittsley (0-3) after 1 2/3 innings, in which he gave up six runs, five hits and three walks.

Clark hit his 10th homer with Brian Hunter on board in the first.

Hunter had a two-run single in the second. The Tigers had bases loaded when Randy Veres got Melvin Nieves on a grounder to end the inning.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Scott Hatteberg Boston 3 for 3, walk, first 2 HRs of career, 4 RBI Win Reggie Jefferson Boston 4 for 5, 2 HRs, 4 RBI Win Jim Thome Cleveland 3 for 4, HR Win




Player Team Performance Team's Result Jack McDowell Cleveland 8 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts Win Randy Myers Baltimore 1 inning, 2 strikeouts, 13th save Win Aaron Sele Boston 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run Win


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