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Ranger Reserves Doing Their Share

May 15, 1997|From Associated Press

The Texas Rangers are proving that they are more than Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez and Will Clark.

The trio combined for nine hits, but once again a seldom-used player came through with the big blow as the Rangers won for the fifth time this season in their last at-bat.

Bill Ripken, playing second base in place of injured Mark McLemore, hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 10th inning Wednesday night as Texas defeated Cleveland, 4-3, at Arlington, Texas, the Rangers' 12th comeback victory this year.

Ripken followed the earlier-season heroics of bench players such as Lee Stevens and Mike Simms, who were pressed into regular duty after injuries to Gonzalez and Clark.

"You need 25 guys to be successful," Ripken said. "The big boys aren't able to do it every night. That's why we're successful, because of the makeup of this team."

Gonzalez opened the 10th with his third hit, a single off Albie Lopez (0-2), and was replaced by pinch-runner Damon Buford. With Buford running, Clark singled to right and took second when Brian Giles bobbled the ball.

Dean Palmer was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Simms followed with a hard grounder to shortstop Omar Vizquel, who forced Buford at the plate.

With Cleveland's outfield playing in, Ripken hit a fly to left that was caught by left fielder David Justice, who was too deep to make any play on Clark.

Ripken, hitless on the night, said he had no specific plan against Lopez other than to make contact and hit the ball to the outfield.

"If you saw my first four at-bats, you know I didn't have any idea what I was doing," Ripken said. "With the bases loaded, I'm looking for a ball up that I can hit hard and deep enough to score the run."

Kansas City 6, Boston 2--Jose Offerman hit reliever Kerry Lacy's first pitch for a two-run, tie-breaking double in the seventh inning, lifting the Royals at Kansas City, and handing the reeling Red Sox their sixth loss in a row.

Jay Bell then hit Lacy's third pitch through the middle for a two-run single as the Red Sox lost for the 10th time in 11 outings.

Tim Wakefield (1-2) hit Mike Sweeney with a pitch with one out in the seventh and then Tom Goodwin singled and Johnny Damon walked, bringing Lacy from the bullpen.

Randy Veres (3-0) got the victory, pitching 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter Glendon Rusch.

Toronto 7, Detroit 2--Charlie O'Brien hit his first career grand slam and drove in six runs for the Blue Jays at Toronto.

O'Brien's tie-breaking grand slam in the eighth made a winner of Pat Hentgen (4-1) and ended the Blue Jays' two-game losing streak. He also also drove in Toronto's first two runs with a second-inning sacrifice fly and a fourth-inning single.

The score was tied, 2-2, when Orlando Merced and Joe Carter singled to start the eighth. It was Carter's third hit. A walk to Ed Sprague finished Brian Moehler (2-3), and left-hander Mike Myers relieved and struck out Carlos Delgado.

But O'Brien, playing his first game since May 7, lofted Myers' next pitch into the left field upper deck.

New York 6, Minnesota 5--Paul O'Neill tied the score with a run-scoring double in the ninth, then homered in the 12th inning to lead the Yankees over the Twins at Minneapolis.

With the Twins leading, 5-4, in the ninth, Rick Aguilera blew a save for the third time in nine chances. Tim Raines singled leading off, stole second and Wade Boggs walked. After a pair of groundouts, O'Neill doubled to right center.

O'Neill then connected in the 12th off Eddie Guardado (0-1) for his seventh homer of the season. Earlier, Tino Martinez hit his 16th homer, momentarily tying Ken Griffey Jr. for the major league lead.

Seattle 9, Chicago 7--Griffey hit his 17th home run and Brent Gates hit a three-run homer during Seattle's five-run fourth inning as the Mariners defeated the White Sox at Seattle.

Griffey, who set a major league record with 14 homers in April, connected off Carlos Castillo in the sixth to give the Mariners a 7-3 lead.

The White Sox trailed, 9-3, entering the ninth before scoring four runs off Bobby Ayala, who was lifted after giving up a two-run homer to Tony Phillips.




Player: Charlie O'Brien

Team: Toronto

Performance: 2 for 3, 2 runs, 6 RBIs, grand slam

Team's Result: Win


Player: Paul O'Neill

Team: New York

Performance: 2 for 5, run-scoring double in 9th, homer in 12th

Team's Result: Win


Player: Jose Offerman

Team: Kansas City

Performance: 2 for 4, 2 RBIs, double

Team's Result: Win


Player: Juan Gonzalez

Team: Texas

Performance: 3 for 4, 2 RBIs, double, homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Pat Hentgen

Team: Toronto

Performance: 9 innings, 5 hits, 0 earned runs, 8 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Glendon Rusch

Team: Kansas City

Performance: 5 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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