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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Blue Jays Aren't at a Loss With Clemens

June 07, 1997|From Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays needed a victory and they had the right man on the mound to get it.

Roger Clemens improved his record to 11-0, becoming the top winner in the major leagues and the Blue Jays defeated the Oakland Athletics, 4-1, Friday at Toronto.

Clemens pitching eight scoreless innings, giving up five hits and two walks. He struck out eight while winning his eighth consecutive start.

Mike Timlin replaced Clemens to start the ninth and gave up Mark McGwire's 23rd home run. After Jose Canseco singled, Dan Plesac came in and got one out. Paul Quantrill finished for his second save.

Toronto had lost four in a row. Clemens improved to 5-0 when pitching after a Blue Jay defeat.

"The wins are coming in good situations," Clemens said. "But the key now is for the team to continue moving forward and keep driving."

Clemens leads the American League with a 1.69 earned-run average. He tied the club record for consecutive victories set by reliever Dennis Lamp in 1985.

"I just had a really good fastball tonight," said Clemens. "The adrenaline was high and the whole scenario, after last night's loss, had me pumped. It was a situation where we couldn't afford another mistake."

Carlos Delgado's grand slam in the first inning gave Clemens all the runs he needed.

Cleveland 7, Boston 3--Sandy Alomar tied a major-league record with four doubles and Jim Thome hit his fourth home run in four games at Boston.

Alomar doubled to left field in all four at-bats, drove in a run and scored twice. He is the 38th player with four doubles--the first since Jeff Bagwell last June 14--and the 16th to get them consecutively.

"I don't go to the ballpark thinking of breaking records," Alomar said. "I'm not a Griffey.

"As long as I swing at strikes, I can stay pretty much consistent."

Kirby Puckett had been the last American League player to do it, on May 13, 1989. Vic Wertz had been the last Indian, on Sept. 26, 1956.

Cleveland won for only the third time in eight games. Boston has lost six of its last seven.

Orel Hershiser (6-2) gave up five hits in five scoreless innings before Troy O'Leary doubled in a run in the sixth, making the score 6-1.

Hershiser is 3-0 in his last four starts and has pitched at least six innings in 10 of 11.

"It helps to be aggressive in this ballpark," Hershiser said. "You don't want one swing to all of the sudden turn the game around on you, so it was nice to be able to get a lead and be aggressive."

Jim Thome's fourth home run in four games came in the fifth and gave Cleveland a 6-0 lead.

Seattle 6, Detroit 3--Jose Cruz Jr. hit two two-run homers, helping fellow rookie Derek Lowe earn his first major league victory at Detroit.

The Mariners won their season-high fifth in a row and sent Detroit to its third consecutive loss.

Cruz has a .364 batting average with three home runs and six RBIs in six games since being called up from triple-A Tacoma. He is the son of former Houston outfielder Jose Cruz.

Lowe (1-1), who took Dennis Martinez's spot in the rotation last month, gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Chicago 7, Baltimore 3--At Chicago, Albert Belle went 4 for 4 and Frank Thomas hit his 16th home run before leaving in the seventh with a rib injury and the White Sox stopped the Orioles' winning streak at seven games.

Belle, fined $5,000 earlier in the day by the AL for making an obscene gesture at Cleveland fans on Tuesday, matched a career-high with the four hits. He doubled and had an RBI single during a five-run fifth.

Thomas, who hit his 16th home run in the first, left the game after striking out in the seventh because of a strained left rib cage. He dropped his bat and went straight to the locker room. He is listed as day-to-day.

Doug Drabek (5-4) gave up eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Roberto Hernandez got the last out for his 12th save.

Scott Erickson (8-2) lost for the first time in eight starts. He gave up 10 hits in five innings.

New York 6, Milwaukee 3--Kenny Rogers won for only the second time in eight starts and Cecil Fielder hit a home run for the second game in a row at New York.

Rogers (4-3) went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four.

Mariano Rivera retired the side in the ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.

Luis Sojo drove in two runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, helping the struggling Yankees win for the fourth time in six games.

Brewers starting pitcher Jose Mercedes (2-2) gave up five runs--four earned--and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He had four walks and one strikeout.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Jose Cruz Jr. Seattle 3 for 4, two 2-run home runs, 4 RBIs Won Sandy Alomar Cleveland 4 for 4, four doubles tying major league mark Won Tim Salmon Angels 3 for 3, home run, double, 3 RBIs, 3 runs Loss Paul Molitor Minnesota 4 for 5, home run, 4 RBIs, 3 runs Won

*--*

PITCHING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Roger Clemens Toronto Majors-leading 11th win. 8 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs Won Jose Rosado Kansas City Five-hitter, 1 run, 6 strikeouts Won

*--*

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