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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

On Second Thought, Belcher Wins

May 14, 1997|From Associated Press

After retiring the first 15 batters, Tim Belcher started thinking about a no-hitter. He didn't get one, but he came close.

Belcher pitched a two-hitter Tuesday night and the Kansas City Royals routed the slumping Boston Red Sox, 9-0, at Kansas City.

"I think guys are lying when they get through four or five innings and nobody's reached base and they say they didn't think about it," said Belcher, who has three complete games in his last four starts. "Of course you think about it."

Belcher (5-3), who stretched his scoreless-inning streak to 19, didn't allow a runner until John Valentin grounded a single into left leading off the sixth. He wound up facing only three batters over the minimum and lowered his earned-run average to a league-best 1.72.

"I'm almost fearful of talking too much about it. I'm in such a good groove, I don't want to jinx it," said the nine-year veteran, who struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.

Boston starter Aaron Sele (4-2) lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits.

Cleveland 7, Texas 3--Matt Williams hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning at Arlington, Texas, and the Indians stopped a three-game losing streak.

Williams' 10th homer of the season allowed the Indians to complete a comeback after trailing, 3-0.

Juan Gonzalez homered for Texas, which had its winning streak halted at four games.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the ninth with one out against Jose Mesa, who struck out Dean Palmer before being replaced by newly acquired Alvin Morman. Morman, who came to Cleveland last weekend in a trade with Houston, struck out Lee Stevens for his first major league save.

Palmer went one for five and stranded 10 runners.

New York 11, Minnesota 2--Tino Martinez became only the third Yankee to hit 15 homers in the first 40 games, hitting a two-run shot in an easy Yankee victory at Minneapolis.

Martinez hit a 415-foot homer off reliever Kevin Jarvis in the sixth inning, when New York scored seven runs. He joined Babe Ruth (four times) and Mickey Mantle (one) as the only Yankee sluggers to start a season so quickly.

The homer also gave Martinez 45 runs batted in, moving him two ahead of Ken Griffey Jr. for the major league lead and within one of Griffey for the most homers.

Detroit 4, Toronto 0--Felipe Lira pitched a four-hitter and Bob Hamelin homered twice at Detroit.

Toronto also lost starter Juan Guzman, who left without retiring a batter in the first inning because of a sore right shoulder.

Lira (2-2) won his second straight game after losing his previous nine decisions. He gave up four singles, walked one and had a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Tiger starters have a 2.69 ERA in their last 27 games, and the team's ERA this month is a major league-best 2.32.

Seattle 2, Milwaukee 1--Jay Buhner's two-run, ninth-inning single off Mike Fetters lifted the Mariners at Milwaukee.

Buhner's hit was only the Mariners' third and made a winner of Randy Johnson (5-1), who gave up six hits in eight innings.

Fetters (1-1) was in his first save situation since coming off the disabled list May 5. He issued walks to Joey Cora and Alex Rodriguez leading off the ninth. A fielder's choice by Ken Griffey Jr. put runners at first and third.

Griffey stole second, forcing Fetters to intentionally walk Edgar Martinez, loading the bases for Buhner.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result B.J. Surhoff Baltimore home run, three hits, four RBIs Win Bob Hamelin Detroit two homers, first since September Win Tino Martinez New York home run. Win

*--*

PITCHING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Felipe Lira Detroit shutout, 10 strikeouts Win Tim Belcher Kansas City two-hit shutout, ERA now 1.72 Win Randy Johnson Seattle eight innings, one run Win

*--*

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