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Belle Shows Cleveland Why He's No. 1

June 04, 1997|From Associated Press

He hitched and swung and stutter-stepped around the bases, still king of Jacobs Field.

After the last out, Albert Belle turned to the fans who turned on him, flipping an obscene gesture and running off the field.

Vintage Albert.

In a rousing return to Cleveland, Belle silenced the boos with three hits, including a three-run homer, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 9-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Belle overcame a jeering, cowbell-ringing, fake-money-throwing welcome in his first game in Cleveland as a visiting player since signing a $55-million, five-year contract with Chicago.

He added two doubles to go three for five, making him five for 13 with two homers and seven runs batted in against his former team in three games this year. He hit a grand slam against the Indians last week in Chicago.

"Out of anything you can say about the guy, he's a great player," said Jim Thome, who homered twice for Cleveland. "And I think he really loves the pressure. I really do."

Belle, who helped lift the Indians out of decades of malaise with his power hitting, was booed almost incessantly in his return. Fans in the left-field bleachers waved signs and threw fake money, ice, cups and other debris at him.

Chicago shortstop Ozzie Guillen even retrieved a pair of binoculars, which he stashed in his locker after the game.

"Look at how much good this guy brought to this town, and the people forget that because he wants to make his living," Guillen said. "That's ignorant."

Dave Martinez hit two homers and Frank Thomas, Belle's new power partner, had a solo homer, his 14th home run, in the seventh. Chicago handed the Central-leading Indians their fourth loss in five games.

The game was briefly delayed twice because fans were throwing things at Belle--whom they cheered through all of his controversy for six-plus seasons. Belle kicked the debris and motioned to the fans to bring it on. When Belle fouled a pitch behind the plate in the ninth, a fan threw it back toward the field, missing the White Sox slugger by about 30 feet.

Seattle 6, Toronto 3--Jay Buhner homered twice and rookie Jose Cruz Jr. hit his first major league homer as the Mariners rallied at Seattle.

Paul Sorrento also homered for the Mariners, who beat Toronto for the fourth time in five games. Seattle, which hit three homers in the sixth inning, has hit four or more homers in a game four times this year. Buhner has eight homers in his last 15 games.

Jamie Moyer (5-2) and the Mariners trailed, 2-0, in the fourth inning before Buhner tied the score with a two-run homer off Woody Williams (1-6) in the bottom of the inning.

The Mariners went ahead, 3-2, in the fifth on Alex Rodriguez's RBI double.

Cruz, Seattle's top draft pick two years ago, homered in his fourth game since being called up from triple-A Tacoma.

Oakland 9, Detroit 8--Mark McGwire hit his 22nd homer as the Athletics rallied in the seventh inning at Oakland.

With Oakland trailing, 5-3, Scott Brosius led off the seventh against Willie Blair with his second homer of the game.

Blair, pitching less than a month after being hit in the jaw with a line drive off the bat of Cleveland's Julio Franco, was relieved one out later by Michael Myers (0-3), who walked pinch-hitter Dave Magadan and gave up a single to Damon Mashore before Jason Giambi's three-run homer put the A's ahead, 7-5.

Baltimore 7, New York 5--Rafael Palmeiro hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Orioles finally beat the Yankees at Camden Yards.

With one out in the 10th, Jeff Reboulet hit a one-out single off Jim Mecir (0-3). Palmeiro then drove a 2-and-1 pitch over the right-field wall for his team-high 11th home run.

The Orioles went 0-9 against the Yankees at home last year, including 0-3 in the playoffs. Baltimore had not defeated New York at home since Sept. 17, 1995.

Milwaukee 6, Boston 4--Jeff Cirillo hit a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning at Milwaukee.

Cirillo's shot completed a comeback from a 4-1 deficit and gave Milwaukee its fifth victory in six games. The Red Sox have lost five of six.

Jesse Levis led off the ninth with a single off Heathcliff Slocumb (0-3), who retired the next two batters before Cirillo hit an 0-and-2 pitch over the fence in left for his fourth homer.




Player: Dave Martinez

Team: Chicago

Performance: 4 for 5, four runs, three RBIs, two homers

Team's Result: Win


Player: Jim Thome

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 2 for 3, four RBIs, two homers

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Jay Buhner

Team: Seattle

Performance: 2 for 3, two homers, 8 homers in last 15 games

Team's Result: Win


Player: Tom Goodwin

Team: Kansas City

Performance: 4 for 4, three RBIs, two stolen bases

Team's Result: Win


Player: Jose Cruz Jr.

Team: Seattle

Performance: 2 for 4, first American League homer

Team's Result: Win


Player: Tim Belcher

Team: Kansas City

Performance: 8 innings, two runs, six hits

Team's Result: Win

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