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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Walking Belle Not Always Best Move

May 16, 1997|From Associated Press

Just because Chris Snopek responded well to the pressure heaped upon him by the Seattle Mariners doesn't mean he enjoyed it.

Snopek hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning after an intentional walk to Albert Belle, rallying the Chicago White Sox over the Mariners, 4-3, on Thursday at Seattle.

"It's a lot of pressure following a hitter like Albert," Snopek said. "I just tried to stay focused and not let the pressure get to me."

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his major league-leading 18th home run, helping Seattle take a 3-2 lead.

But Norm Charlton (2-2) relieved starter Jeff Fassero to begin the ninth inning, and Chicago came back.

Ray Durham led off with a single and Mike Cameron walked. After Frank Thomas struck out, the White Sox tried a double steal with Belle batting, and Durham was thrown out at third.

With first base open, the Mariners intentionally walked Belle. But Snopek spoiled the strategy with a drive high off the wall in right field.

"I thought it was going foul at first, but it straightened out and stayed fair," Snopek said. "We'll take it."

Bill Simas (1-0) got two outs and was the winner. Roberto Hernandez pitched the ninth inning for his seventh save.

"We've been coming back a lot," Chicago Manager Terry Bevington said. "Tonight we were close enough so that a comeback meant a win."

Griffey, who set a major league record with 13 home runs in April, has homered three times in his past four games.

Fassero gave up eight hits and two runs, one of them unearned. He struck out five and walked three.

"It was a tough loss," Seattle Manager Lou Piniella said. "Fassero pitched very well."

Doug Drabek gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, giving up the go-ahead run in the sixth on a single by Jay Buhner.

Griffey hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

"He makes you pay for your mistakes," Drabek said.

New York 8, Texas 2--Cecil Fielder hit a three-run homer and Kenny Rogers settled down after a shaky first inning as the Yankees defeated the Rangers at Arlington, Texas, for their season-high fifth consecutive victory.

Rogers (3-1), who had been involved in three consecutive no-decisions, survived a two-run first inning. He lasted 6 1/3 innings and gave up nine hits.

Reliever Jeff Nelson bailed out Rogers in the seventh. Bill Ripken and Damon Buford singled with one out, but Nelson struck out Ivan Rodriguez and got Rusty Greer to ground out.

Rookie Jose Alberro (0-1), starting because Ken Hill is on the disabled list, lasted only two-thirds of an inning.

After retiring the first two batters, he walked Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez and served up a first-pitch homer to Fielder. Complaining of back spasms, Alberro was replaced by Matt Whiteside.

The Yankees got to Whiteside for four runs in the sixth inning. He gave up singles to Derek Jeter, Mariano Duncan and Joe Girardi and a two-run double by Tim Raines.

Wade Boggs greeted reliever Eric Gunderson with a run-scoring single.

New York added an unearned run in the eighth. Duncan walked and Girardi's grounder rolled through second baseman Bill Ripken's legs. Duncan scored when Raines hit into a double play.

Kansas City 10, Detroit 9--Pinch-hitter Johnny Damon homered to lead off the ninth inning, and Mike Sweeney added a two-run homer that lifted the Royals over the Tigers at Kansas City.

Doug Brocail (0-4) relieved to start the ninth with a 9-7 lead, but the Royals needed only three batters to rally for their third consecutive victory.

Damon began the comeback with a home run, and pinch-hitter Scott Cooper then singled. Sweeney won it with his second homer of the season.

Tony Clark and Melvin Nieves, who had three hits, had three-run homers for Detroit. Bip Roberts had three hits for the Royals.

Clark was two for three and scored twice. His 14th home run came off Allen McDill, who was making his major league debut.

The homer put the Tigers ahead, 9-6, in the seventh inning. McDill was promoted from triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.

Both starting pitchers went five innings and were ineffective. Kevin Appier of the Royals walked four and gave up four hits, and Omar Olivares walked five and gave up six hits.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

Player: Chris Snopek

Team: Chicago

Performance: 2 for 5, 2-run double in ninth is game winner

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Cecil Fielder

Team: New York

Performance: 2 for 5, 3 RBIs, homer

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Tony Clark

Team: Detroit

Performance: 2 for 3, 3 RBIs, 3 runs, 3-run homer

Team's Result: Loss

*

Player: Ken Griffey Jr.

Team: Seattle

Performance: homered for third time in last four games

Team's Result: Win

PITCHING

Player: Jeff Fassero

Team: Seattle

Performance: 8 innings, 1 earned run, 5 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Kenny Rogers

Team: New York

Performance: 6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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