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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Orioles' Mussina Perfect for 8 1/3 Innings

May 31, 1997|From Associated Press

As Baltimore's Mike Mussina walked to the mound for the ninth inning to a standing ovation, he still couldn't quite believe he was on the brink of pitching a perfect game.

"The whole game I was really amazed that I was in that situation. I hadn't been in that situation in 12 or 15 years," he said. "It was kind of strange. Every time I went out there, they made three outs in a row."

Not in the ninth inning.

Sandy Alomar's single with one out ruined Mussina's bid for the 13th perfect game in modern major-league history, but the right-hander settled for a one-hitter as the Orioles defeated the Cleveland Indians, 3-0, Friday at Baltimore.

The Indians had not come close to getting a hit off Mussina (7-1) until Alomar lined a 1-1 pitch to left field. Mussina finished off Cleveland by striking out the final two batters.

"I was really surprised that it lasted as long as it did," Mussina said. "So you give up a hit, it's a one-hitter and you have something to work for the next time."

Mussina struck out 10 and walked none in his second career one-hitter. He entered with a 4.26 earned-run average and the Indians had been averaging 10.5 hits, but he continually baffled Cleveland with a mixture of fastballs, sliders and curveballs.

"I hit a fastball," Alomar said. "He had everything going. He was perfect, and he had a perfect night."

Almost.

"I made some good pitches and got them to swing at some balls that were slightly out of the strike zone," Mussina said. "It wasn't like I was striking everyone out like Clemens or Nolan Ryan would do."

No ball hit against him was even close to dropping for a hit until Alomar's blow. Alomar had previously struck out twice.

Boston 10, New York 4--Mo Vaughn hit three home runs as the Red Sox used six homers and an 18-hit attack to defeat the Yankees at Boston.

All of Vaughn's homers were solo shots, against Ramiro Mendoza (3-2) in the third inning, Danny Rios in the fourth and Graeme Lloyd in the eighth. It was the second three-homer game of his career and gave him 14 for the season.

"I was hitting .303 coming into this ballgame. I really don't know how I was doing it," Vaughn said. "I really wasn't feeling as good as it showed in the stats."

Milwaukee 5, Chicago 0--Cal Eldred limited the White Sox to three singles and Jeff Cirillo hit a grand slam to lead the Brewers at Milwaukee.

Albert Belle extended his career-best hitting streak to 25 games for the White Sox.

Eldred (5-5) struck out eight and walked one. It was his third career shutout and first complete game since 1994.

The right-hander missed most of the 1995 season and the first half of 1996 after undergoing elbow surgery.

Detroit 5, Seattle 2--Phil Nevin drove in two runs and Felipe Lira pitched six strong innings as the Tigers overcame Ken Griffey Jr.'s major league-leading 24th home run at Seattle.

Griffey extended his own major league record for most homers hit by the end of May. He has homered in eight of his last 16 games.

Seattle's Joey Cora went hitless to end a club-record 24-game hitting streak.

Lira (4-2) gave up six hits and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings. Relievers Dan Miceli, Mike Myers and Todd Jones held the Mariners hitless over the final 2 2/3 innings, with Jones pitching the ninth for his fourth save.

Oakland 12, Toronto 7--Pat Hentgen, last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, was tagged for six runs in six innings and lost for the first time since April 5.

Jose Canseco and Matt Stairs homered for the host A's.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Mo Vaughn Boston 4 for 4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 3 home runs Win Jeff Cirillo Milwaukee 2 for 4, 4 RBIs, double, grand slam Win

*--*

PITCHING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Mike Mussina Baltimore 9 innings, 1 hits, 0 runs, 10 strikeouts Win Bob Tewksbury Minnesota 7 innings, 12 hits, 3 runs, 4 strikeouts Win Glendon Rusch Kansas City 7 innings, 8 hits, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts Win Cal Eldred Milwaukee 9 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 8 strikeouts Win

*--*

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