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Perfection Goes Only So Far for Wells

May 17, 1997|From Associated Press

The New York Yankees were so concerned about their starting pitcher getting a perfect game that they forgot to get any hits of their own.

After breaking up David Wells' bid for a perfect game, the Texas Rangers hit three home runs and used a combined four-hitter from rookie Julio Santana and reliever Danny Patterson to defeat the Yankees, 6-0, Friday in Arlington, Texas.

Wells (4-2) retired the first 16 Texas batters before Bill Ripken doubled with one out in the sixth. With two outs, Damon Buford homered for a 2-0 lead.

"He threw about 90 great pitches, and left four of them over the plate," Buford said.

Texas first baseman Will Clark led off the seventh with a home run. Juan Gonzalez followed with a double and Yankee reliever Jim Mecir walked Dean Palmer. Rusty Greer, hitting for Mike Simms, homered for a 6-0 lead.

Santana (2-0), in his second major league start, gave up four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Santana, 24, took the roster spot of injured starter Roger Pavlik.

"I felt I could get their guys out," Santana said. "I also knew I could not afford to get behind because Wells was pitching that good."

"The kid was beating us," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said. "He went after us and he bested us. I have to credit him instead of blaming us."

Wells looked untouchable through 5 1/3 innings, breezing through the Rangers without so much as a close call. But Texas got to him in the sixth, beginning with Ripken's double about a foot inside the left-field foul line.

Wells said he couldn't help but think about the perfect game.

"It's always in your head," Wells said. "It's hard not to think about it."

Toronto 5, Cleveland 2--Blue Jay pitcher Roger Clemens improved his record to 7-0, outdueling Orel Hershiser at Toronto.

Clemens gave up one run and six hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked three as the Blue Jays won for the 10th time in 13 games.

The Indians led, 1-0, in the sixth when Clemens issued a leadoff walk to Matt Williams and David Justice singled. But right fielder Orlando Merced made a diving catch on a liner by Manny Ramirez, and Julio Franco grounded into a double play.

Mike Timlin got three outs for his fifth save.

Hershiser (3-2) had been 4-0 in four career starts at the SkyDome. He gave up eight hits in seven innings, and the Indians lost for the fifth time in six games.

Minnesota 11, Boston 5--Darrin Jackson, promoted from the minors before the game, hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs in a matchup of the American League's worst teams at Minneapolis.

Jackson played the last two seasons in Japan after nine years in the majors. He came up twice with the bases loaded and delivered both times. He hit a two-run double in the third and his third career grand slam in the fourth helped Minnesota open an 8-0 lead.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me," Jackson said. "That's a night that's usually reserved for the superstars of the business.

"Now there's nowhere to go but down."

Scott Aldred (2-5) gave up seven hits and four runs in seven innings and ended a five-game losing streak.

Chris Hammond (1-2) lasted 3 1/3 innings for the Red Sox, giving up six runs and eight hits.

"Usually five runs is enough to compete, or even win," Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams lamented. "But we can't seem to stop other teams from scoring."

Darren Bragg and Nomar Garciaparra hit two-run home runs for the Red Sox.

Detroit 10, Kansas City 2--Melvin Nieves hit a three-run home run and the Tigers scored eight runs in the ninth inning at Kansas City.

Justin Thompson (3-2) gave up four hits in eight innings as the Tigers ended the Royals' season-high three-game winning streak.

Damion Easley drove in three runs for the Tigers, who recorded season highs with seven hits and eight runs in the ninth.

Chicago 6, Oakland 2--Frank Thomas homered at Oakland and the White Sox remained unbeaten in five games against the A's this season.

Wilson Alvarez (3-4) scattered seven hits in 6 2/3 innings in his second victory in five days over the A's and Willie Adams (2-5).

Alvarez also beat Adams last Sunday, when he struck out 12 in an 8-5 victory in Chicago.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Darrin Jackson Minnesota 3 for 5, grand slam double, 6 RBIs, 3 Runs Won Darren Bragg Boston 3 for 4, 1 HR, double 2 RBIs, 2 Runs Loss Mel Nieves Detroit 2 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs Won





Player Team Performance Team's Result Chuck Finley Angels 9 innings, 5 hits 1 run, 7 strikeouts Won Scott Erickson Baltimore 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 4 strikeouts Won Roger Clemens Toronto 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts Won


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