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A Rim Shot of Olympic Proportions

June 16, 1997|From Associated Press

Henry Rodriguez made Olympic Stadium history and didn't get a chance to see it.

Rodriguez became only the second player to hit a home run off the rim of Olympic Stadium and the Montreal Expos defeated the Detroit Tigers, 10-2, Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and extend their winning streak to nine.

"They called it a home run and I looked up to see where it hit," Rodriguez said. "I didn't know. I lost it. When I hit that ball, it felt like a feather. I didn't believe it got out."

Jeff Juden (7-2) pitched a six-hitter for the second complete game of his career, helping the Expos to their longest winning streak since a nine-game run from Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 1993.

With the score tied, 1-1, Rodriguez homered off Brian Moehler (4-6) leading off the fourth inning. The ball rebounded off the 160-foot-high rim and landed on the field. No estimate of the distance was immediately available.

"If that stadium was open, he probably would have hit it out," Expo Manager Felipe Alou said. "That was an incredible shot. I'm glad I saw it. It's something you don't get a chance to see every day."

Darryl Strawberry hit the rim in right field against Randy St. Claire on April 4, 1988. That homer went an estimated 525 feet, the second-longest at Olympic Stadium. The longest home run at Olympic Stadium was hit by Willie Stargell, a 535-footer off Wayne Twitchell on May 20, 1978.

Oakland 5, Colorado 2--Ariel Prieto struck out 11 in 6 1/3 innings and Matt Stairs drove in five runs as the Athletics split their two games with Colorado at Oakland.

Prieto (5-4), who gave up seven hits, had two strikeouts in each of the first four innings and then struck out the side in the fifth. He is unbeaten in four decisions this season at Oakland.

Larry Walker, who played for the second consecutive game after sitting out against Seattle's Randy Johnson, went three for four to raise his major league-leading batting average to .419. He also hit his 20th homer.

Toronto 11, Philadelphia 1--Alex Gonzalez homered, went three for five and drove in four runs, and Pat Hentgen pitched his fifth complete game of the season at Philadelphia.

The Blue Jays, who won the 1993 World Series in six games over Philadelphia, lost their first interleague game Friday but came back to win the next two.

Hentgen (7-3), last year's AL Cy Young award winner, held the Phillies to six hits. He struck out six and walked two.

Chicago Cubs 4, Milwaukee 3-- Frank Castillo (4-8) gave up five hits in 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven as the Cubs won the series, two games games to one, at Chicago.

Turk Wendell got the final out for his third save, striking out Todd Dunn with runners on second and third.

Cal Eldred (6-7) gave up four runs--two earned--and four hits in five innings. He walked seven.

Cleveland 9, St. Louis 2--Omar Vizquel's three-run triple in the eighth inning off Todd Stottlemyre broke up a pitching duel and the Indians pulled away for an easy win at St. Louis.

Vizquel, the Indian leadoff hitter, had been one for 10 in the series before his triple, and he came home two pitches later on a wild pitch.

Vizquel and Matt Williams added run-scoring singles in a five-run ninth for the Indians.

Charles Nagy (8-3) threw only 65 pitches in seven innings and gave up two hits with a strikeout and an intentional walk. He recorded 18 outs on grounders.

Chicago White Sox 14, Cincinnati 6--Harold Baines hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run and Ray Durham followed with a solo shot that led the White Sox to victory at Cincinnati.

Chicago hit four home runs in all. Albert Belle added a solo shot and Jorge Fabregas hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Fabregas had four hits and four RBIs.

Texas 7, San Diego 4--Rusty Greer continued his one-man show against National League pitchers, driving in the go-ahead run and scoring another as the Rangers won at home.

Bobby Witt (8-3) ended a three-game losing streak to win for the first time since May 20, and John Wetteland pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

Texas wrapped up the first weekend of interleague play with a 3-1 record against National League teams, and Greer was the main reason.

He went nine for 12 against San Diego and San Francisco with two doubles, two home runs and four walks. On Sunday, he was one for three and was hit by a pitch, stole a base and made a nice catch against the wall in left field.

Houston 3, Minnesota 2--Terry Steinbach allowed the winning run to score when he failed to catch Pat Listach's popped-up squeeze bunt attempt in the ninth inning at Houston.

With the score tied, 2-2, and one out in the ninth, Eddie Guardado (0-2) walked Derek Bell. Mike Trombley entered the game and walked pinch-hitter Sean Berry and Brad Ausmus to load the bases.

With Bell running on the pitch, Listach bunted the ball about four feet in front of home plate. Steinbach almost caught the ball, but bobbled it for an error.

Billy Wagner (3-2) got the final out of the ninth for the victory.

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