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Yankees Work on Their Own Magic

September 13, 1997|From Associated Press

The New York Yankees insist they're only trying to get into the playoffs as a wild-card team. While that may be true, they're beginning to put a scare into the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees handed Scott Erickson his first loss in eight weeks and once again pounded the Orioles, getting four hits and two RBIs from Bernie Williams in a 13-5 victory Friday night at Baltimore.

The Orioles' magic number to clinch the AL East title remained at 12. Baltimore has lost four of five and 11 of 17.

The Yankees trailed the Orioles by 9 1/2 games after Erickson beat them last Saturday, but the margin is now 6 1/2.

There have been bigger deficits erased in a shorter amount of time, but the Yankees insist they're only interested in getting some momentum for the playoffs.

"I don't think it's about sending messages. I think it's more about trying to get our game together," said Tim Raines, who had two hits and scored three runs.

Erickson (16-6) yielded eight runs, nine hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings, his shortest outing in 30 starts this year.

Ramiro Mendoza (6-6), conversely, was 0-4 in seven starts since May 17. He gave up nine hits and no earned runs in seven innings, walking two and striking out six.

Wade Boggs had three hits and drove in three runs and Tino Martinez got two RBIs for the Yankees. Needing a home run for the cycle, Williams singled in the seventh.

Seattle 7, Toronto 3--Edgar Martinez, who earlier needed eight stitches after cutting his chin in a home-plate collision, hit a disputed, three-run homer off Roger Clemens in the eighth inning that gave the Mariners the win at Seattle.

For the fifth consecutive game, Ken Griffey Jr. did not hit his 51st home run for the Mariners. But he made a spectacular catch in center field and contributed a key single in the eighth.

The score was tied, 3-3, in the eighth when Clemens (21-6) walked Roberto Kelly to start the inning and gave up a single to Griffey.

Martinez followed with a drive to right field, and first-base umpire Terry Craft ruled that the ball cleared the fence. Martinez, however, pulled up at second base and Toronto Manager Cito Gaston and Blue Jays players argued Craft's decision.

In the eighth, Griffey made a great catch of Carlos Delgado's drive to the center-field fence. The seven-time Gold Glove center fielder hit the padded wall with such force that he tore a hole in it with his spikes.

Boston 4, Milwaukee 2--Nomar Garciaparra set the tone from the start, hitting two home runs, including a leadoff shot on the third pitch at Milwaukee.

Troy O'Leary and Scott Hatteberg added consecutive home runs in the second inning and Milwaukee never recovered.

Garciaparra went three for four as the Red Sox tagged Jeff D'Amico (8-6) early in the game.

Garciaparra hit his 28th home run to start the eighth.

Jeff Suppan (7-2) gave up four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four.

Relievers John Wasdin, Ron Mahay, Jim Corsi and Tom Gordon preserved Boston's fourth victory in the last five games by holding the Brewers scoreless for the final four innings. Gordon pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

Cleveland 9, Chicago 0--Jaret Wright was unflappable. Late-season pressure never entered the rookie's mind as he pitched the Indians to the win at Cleveland.

Wright (7-3), backed by home runs from Jim Thome, Matt Williams and Manny Ramirez, gave up a third-inning double to Ray Durham and singles in the fifth and seventh innings to Jorge Fabregas. He walked two and struck out five.

One out after Thome connected, Williams did the same for his 31st off Doug Drabek (10-11).

With one out in the fifth, Drabek hit Bip Roberts and walked Omar Vizquel before Ramirez hit a three-run shot, his 25th homer of the season, for a 5-0 lead.

After Ramirez's homer, two more singles finished Drabek.

Detroit 7, Oakland 2--Travis Fryman had four hits, including his 20th home run, leading the Tigers to the victory at Oakland.

The Tigers, 8-2 in their last 10 games, broke Oakland's three-game winning streak.

Greg Keagle (2-4) gave up five hits in seven innings, and the only run he allowed came on Scott Spiezio's 13th home run in the fifth. He struck out a career-high nine and walked none.





Player Team Performance Team's Result N. Garciaparra Boston 2 leadoff homers, Win 3 for 4 Manny Ramirez Cleveland 3-run home run, Win 25th HR of year Bernie Williams New York triple, double, Win 2 singles, 2 RBIs




Player Team Performance Team's Result Jaret Wright Cleveland 7 innings, 3 hits, Win 2 walks, 5 strikeouts R. Mendoza New York 7 innings, 9 hits, Win 2 walks, 6 strikeouts Jeff Suppan Boston 5 innings, 4 hits, Win 2 walks, 4 strikeouts


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