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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Cone Is as Good as Ever: 16 Strikeouts

June 24, 1997|From Associated Press

Now there's no doubt: David Cone is all the way back.

"This might've been the best I've ever thrown in terms of being ahead and throwing all my pitches for strikes," Cone said after striking out 16 in eight innings Monday night to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Tigers at Detroit.

Cone, who has lost only once in 13 starts since April 16, had his most strikeouts in six years. He set his career high when he struck out 19--one short of the record for a nine-inning game--for the New York Mets at Philadelphia on Oct. 6, 1991.

Cone (8-3) has clearly healed from shoulder surgery May 10, 1996, that repaired an aneurysm. He gave up four hits, including homers by Bob Hamelin and Damion Easley, and walked two.

Tiger Manager Buddy Bell said Cone's split-fingered fastball was his best weapon.

"They just couldn't read it," Bell said. "He threw enough fastballs that they thought they were getting fastballs, but that splitter stays up and then it dips at the last second."

Cone struck out the side in the third and eighth innings.

Travis Fryman, Melvin Nieves and Curtis Pride struck out three times each against Cone. Nieves also ended the game with a strikeout against Mariano Rivera, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 28 chances.

Cecil Fielder backed Cone with a three-run homer against his former team.

Chicago 7, Kansas City 6--Albert Belle homered and robbed Chili Davis of a possible go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning, leading the White Sox at Chicago.

Harold Baines and Mike Cameron also homered, helping Chicago to its fifth victory in seven games.

Jeff King and Jay Bell each hit two-run homers for Kansas City. They each singled in the ninth, and Davis hit a drive to deep left. Belle leaped to the top of the left-field wall and caught it.

Milwaukee 5, Baltimore 0--Jeff D'Amico pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game and the Brewers sent Jimmy Key to his second consecutive loss by winning at Milwaukee.

D'Amico (5-3) struck out six and walked none, needing only 106 pitches--only 21 that were called for balls. It was the 30th start of his major league career.

Key (11-3) gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. After surrendering no more than one earned run in 11 of his first 15 starts, Key gave up four earned runs in the first inning, three with two outs.

Jeromy Burnitz hit his 11th homer with one out for a 1-0 lead, and Gerald Williams hit a run-scoring double with two outs. Jack Voigt followed with a two-run double, his first of three hits against his former team.

Voigt went three for three off Key, including a comebacker that bounced off the pitcher's chest in the fourth.

Boston 7, Toronto 6--Now that he's back in the lineup, Wilfredo Cordero is coming through.

"Hopefully, I can keep going from here and continue to contribute," Cordero said after hitting a two-run homer and driving in three runs to help the Red Sox rally past the Blue Jays at Toronto.

Cordero missed eight games earlier this month after being charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his wife.

Mike Stanley and Tim Naehring hit consecutive homers as Boston scored five runs in the seventh inning to take a 7-3 lead.

Minnesota 7, Cleveland 2--Matt Lawton had four hits, Pat Meares had a two-run homer and three runs batted in and Brad Radke won his fourth consecutive start as the last-place Twins won at Cleveland.

Minnesota got 16 hits against Cleveland, ending a five-game losing streak against the Indians.

"We've got a lot of guys who can swing the bat, one through nine," said Lawton, who had his fourth-career four-hit game. "Pat Meares has some pop, and he's the No. 9 hitter."

Meares turned a one-run game into a 5-2 contest with a two-run homer off Albie Lopez in the eighth. Terry Steinbach had three hits and two RBIs for the Twins.

Aside from Jim Thome's two solo homers, the only bright side for Cleveland was that Sandy Alomar extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a single in the second.

Radke was outstanding, giving up two runs and six hits in eight innings and pitching at least into the eighth for the third time in four starts. Radke, who struck out five and walked one, is 4-0 with a 1.71 earned-run average in his last four starts.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

Player: Cecil Fielder

Team: New York

Performance: 2 for 3, 2 runs, three-run homer

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Jeff King

Team: Kansas City

Performance: 4 for 5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, homer and double

Team's Result: Loss

*

Player: Jim Thome

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 3 for 4, 2 solo homers

Team's Result: Loss

PITCHING

Player: David Cone

Team: New York

Performance: 8 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 16 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Allen Watson

Team: Anaheim

Performance: 6 innings, 6 hits, 0 runs, 4 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Jeff D'Amico

Team: Milwaukee

Performance: 9 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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