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Johnson's Fine, Mariner Bullpen Isn't

September 14, 1997|From Associated Press

Seattle Mariner pitcher Randy Johnson was effective in his first start in 25 days, but the Mariner bullpen wasn't as good.

"It was like I never missed a start," Johnson said after giving up one hit in six innings of his return Saturday night. "I wasn't expecting to throw like that. I was pleased."

But Seattle's bullpen wasted another opportunity as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for a 6-3 win over the Mariners at Seattle.

In addition, the Mariners committed three errors that gave the Blue Jays five unearned runs.

"We gave one away tonight," said Seattle Manager Lou Piniella. "We didn't catch the ball very well."

Johnson, who hadn't pitched since Aug. 20 because of tendinitis in a finger, left with a 3-1 lead after six innings on home runs by Jay Buhner and Mike Blowers.

Returning to the mound before 51,631 fans in the Kingdome, Johnson walked one and struck out eight, increasing his league-leading strikeout total to 272. Johnson, bidding for his 18th victory, probably has two more starts this season.

Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. went hitless in four at-bats with three strikeouts. Griffey hasn't homered in six consecutive games after getting his 50th last Sunday.

Benito Santiago's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning drove in the go-ahead run as Toronto scored three unearned runs in the ninth.

But the Mariners, who have 13 games left, remained 5 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Angels in the AL West.

In the ninth, Bobby Ayala (10-5), Seattle's fourth pitcher, was victimized by the Mariners' third error. Third baseman Andy Sheets' misplay allowed Joe Carter to get on base and Carlos Delgado doubled.

Santiago's sacrifice fly scored Carter and Ayala intentionally walked Shawn Green. Carlos Garcia singled home Delgado and Shannon Stewart's single scored Green.

Baltimore 6, New York 1--Mike Mussina pitched a three-hitter for his first win in five weeks as the Orioles ended their run of lopsided losses to the Yankees at Baltimore.

The Yankees had won three in a row against Baltimore by a combined 37-10 total before Mussina stepped in to turn things around.

"The way we've been getting mauled lately, for him to completely shut them down like he did was outstanding," said Oriole Manager Davey Johnson. "He rose to the occasion and put a little extra into it. I think it also was telling the Yankees, 'We're still here. We're not going away.' "

Rafael Palmeiro, B.J. Surhoff and Jerome Walton homered for the Orioles, whose magic number to clinch the AL East title is 10 and whose magic number to earn a postseason berth is one. Baltimore holds a 7 1/2-game lead over the Yankees, who still own an eight-game edge over the Angels in the wild-card race.

Mussina faced 31 batters, four over the minimum. He took a one-hitter into the ninth and had retired 20 batters in a row before the Yankees got two hits around an error by second baseman Roberto Alomar to avert a shutout.

Chicago 7, Cleveland 6--Albert Belle, held hitless last weekend against his former team, drove in two runs to help the White Sox defeat the Indians at Chicago.

Belle, 0-for-11 in the Indians' three-game sweep at Jacobs Field, hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, a double in the third and an RBI single in the sixth.

Belle, who left Cleveland for a $55 million, five-year deal with the White Sox, is three-for-nine with three RBIs in this series. He helped Chicago to its fourth win in five games.

Sandy Alomar hit a single, double and solo homer for Cleveland, which lost for only the fifth time in 15 games.

Oakland 4, Detroit 2--Dave Telgheder won a start for the first time since May 21, and Ben Grieve hit his first major league homer at Oakland.

Telgheder (3-5), who spent two months on the disabled list with a strained elbow, gave up one run and five hits in five innings.

Boston 2, Milwaukee 1--Tim Wakefield pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and Bill Haselman homered as the Red Sox edged the Brewers at Milwaukee.

The Brewers, who have lost four in a row and six of seven, remained 6 1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Juan Gonzalez Texas 2 home runs, Win triple, 3 RBIs Albert Belle Chicago Double, single, Win sacrifice fly, 2 RBIs Sandy Alomar Cleveland Home run, double, single, Loss double, single,




Player Team Performance Team's Result Mike Mussina Baltimore 9 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, Win 8 strikeouts, 1 walk Tim Wakefield Boston 7 1/3 innings, Win 1 run, 4 hits Randy Johnson Seattle 6 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, Loss 8 strikeouts, 1 walk


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