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Bat Still Doing the Talking for Griffey

May 24, 1997|From Associated Press

Ken Griffey Jr. sure doesn't sound like a slugger.

His voice reduced to a hoarse whisper, the Seattle outfielder hit his major league-leading 21st homer as the Mariners overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the Royals, 8-4, Friday at Kansas City.

Griffey, with reporters straining to hear, said his voice left him "about 6 o'clock yesterday morning. The doctors said just take throat lozenges."

His voice didn't affect his bat. He drove two balls to the warning track in right, then hit a two-run, opposite-field homer to left in the ninth.

The homer gave him a major league-best 57 runs batted in and left him one short of his record for most homers through May, set two years ago.

Randy Johnson (6-1) overcame a slow start and won for the 23rd time in 24 decisions, giving up four runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out 10--his 72nd game with double-digit strikeouts--and walked three.

"I'm very pleased with the win but I'm not pleased with my outing," Johnson said. "I haven't been happy with my last three, four outings. I've been fighting myself mentally, and physically I need to get back dialed in. I know two things: I stunk the first four innings, and there's assurance I will pitch better than this game. It's just a matter of when."

Jay Buhner homered for the fourth time in as many days for Seattle, which won for only the second time in eight games.

Kansas City has lost seven in a row, the Royals' longest losing streak in five years. Tim Belcher (5-5) gave up six runs and 10 hits in six innings.

Cleveland 6, Baltimore 1--Chad Ogea pitched a two-hitter with a career-high nine strikeouts as the Indians ended Jimmy Key's winning streak with a victory at Cleveland.

The Indians won a season-high sixth consecutive game and ended Baltimore's season-high streak at five games.

Key (8-1), who came in with a league-low 1.80 earned run average, gave up 10 hits and six runs, both season highs, in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing this season.

Ogea (5-3) won his third consecutive start and pitched Cleveland's second complete game of the season.

Boston 9, New York 3--Pinch-hitter Mike Stanley lined a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and Wil Cordero hit a three-run shot in the ninth at New York as the Red Sox handed the Yankees their fifth consecutive loss.

The Red Sox rallied for four runs against three pitchers in the eighth. Cordero's run-scoring single tied the score, 3-3, and Stanley hit his second three-run homer in two days against his former team.

Aaron Sele (5-3) gave up two earned runs and five hits in seven innings.

Jeff Nelson (1-4) was the losing pitcher as the Yankees matched their longest losing streak of the season.

Tim Raines had three hits and scored twice for New York. The Yankees benched the slumping Wade Boggs and did not start Tino Martinez, who was hobbled by an infected toe on his right foot.

Milwaukee 4, Chicago 1--Scott Karl gave up three hits in eight innings and Mark Loretta drove in three runs as the Brewers stopped the White Sox's six-game winning streak with a victory at Chicago.

Karl (2-5) gave up a run and two hits in the first and then retired 13 consecutive batters before Darren Lewis singled to start the bottom of the sixth.

Karl, who lost his first five decisions this season after winning 13 games last year, walked one and struck out five.

Loretta hit a two-run home run off Matt Karchner in the ninth. Reliever Doug Jones then finished for his 11th save.

Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when John Jaha doubled, took third on an infield out and scored on Loretta's bloop single off Wilson Alvarez (3-5).

Oakland 8, Minnesota 4--Steve Karsay (1-5) won for the first time in more than three years, giving up three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings to lead the Athletics at Minneapolis.

Minnesota's Paul Molitor tied his career high with five hits, the fifth time he's done so in a game.

Jason Giambi highlighted a four-run fifth inning with a two-run double and also had a sacrifice fly for Oakland.

The A's won for the second time in seven games.

Karsay (1-5) struck out six to get his first win since beating the Twins at the Metrodome on April 9, 1994. He had lost his last six decisions, but improved his record to 3-0 against the Twins. It was the seventh victory of the season for Oakland's starting pitchers.




Player: Tim Salmon

Team: Angels

Performance: 4 for 5, run, 3 RBIs

Team's Result: Win


Player: Wil Cordero

Team: Boston

Performance: 2 for 4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs, home run

Team's Result: Win


Player: David Justice

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 3 for 3, 2 runs, RBI, double

Team's Result: Win


Player: Paul Molitor

Team: Minnesota

Performance: 5 for 5, RBI, double, stolen base

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Chad Ogea

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 9 innings, 2 hits, 1 unearned run, 9 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Brian Moehler

Team: Detroit

Performance: 8 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 9 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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