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Fielder Hits No. 300, May Hit Road Next

September 22, 1997|From Associated Press

Cecil Fielder celebrated his 34th birthday Sunday with his 300th homer, then sounded like he can't wait to get out of New York.

"It's been difficult . . . to have to put up with all that stuff. But I'm a man. I can handle it," said the much-booed designated hitter, whose tying drive in the eighth inning helped the playoff-bound Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-4, in 10 innings at New York on Tino Martinez's homer.

Fielder became the 76th player to reach 300, connecting off Ken Robinson for his first homer since July 5.

"It's been a long time coming," said Fielder, who fractured his right thumb sliding into home plate against Cleveland on July 15 and was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career the following day.

Fielder, activated Tuesday, has been a target of boos at Yankee Stadium since a turbulent off-season in which he complained about being benched in Game 1 of last year's playoff against Texas and filed an official trade demand in an attempt to get a contract extension. He becomes a free agent after the season.

Kansas City 1, Cleveland 0--Rod Myers' RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Royals a victory over the Indians at Kansas City.

Starters Chad Ogea and Kevin Appier were in a scoreless duel through seven innings. Ogea didn't give up a hit until the fourth and Appier had 10 strikeouts and gave up four hits before Hipolito Pichardo relieved him to start the eighth. He struck out five consecutive batters in the second and third innings, one short of the team record.

Minnesota 2, Milwaukee 1--Brad Radke had to pitch 10 innings at Minneapolis to get his 20th victory, with Paul Molitor's 10th-inning single driving in the winning run.

Radke (20-9) clutched an empty champagne bottle from the postgame locker room celebration, while his right arm was encased from wrist to shoulder in ice.

"I'm sure it won't feel good the next two months, though," he said after throwing 128 pitches, 96 for strikes.

All the Twins, including Manager Tom Kelly, gathered in the Metrodome clubhouse to toast the Twins' first 20-game winner since Scott Erickson in 1991, drinking the bubbly out of paper cups, while Radke got the last swallow from the bottle.

"Steve Carlton of the '90s!" shouted someone, comparing Radke to the Hall of Famer who once won 27 games for a team that finished last. Radke's 20 wins are nearly one-third of the Twins' 1997 victory total of 62.

The 10 innings for Radke were a career-high. He allowed one run and six hits with nine strikeouts in his fourth complete game of the season. He didn't give up a walk and went to three balls on only three hitters.

Detroit 11, Baltimore 3--The Tigers, focusing on where they will finish in the standings rather than when the Orioles might clinch the AL East, won big at Baltimore as Damion Easley homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs.

The Orioles' magic number remained at three.

The Tigers, who had the worst record in the majors last year at 53-109, moved within one game of .500 at 77-78.

Boston 5, Chicago 2--Mo Vaughn, in possibly his last at-bat at Fenway Park, drew a leadoff walk to start a three-run eighth inning for the Red Sox.

Vaughn, who has been critical of and criticized by Boston management during contract negotiations, has said he does not think he will be back with the team next year. His three-year, $18.6-million contract runs through 1998, but the Red Sox may trade him.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Rondell White Montreal 3 for 4, two homers, Win 3 runs, 3 RBIs Mark Grace Chicago 3 for 4, homer, Win 2 runs, 3 RBIs Vinny Castilla Colorado 2 for 4, 3 RBIs, Win two-run double




Player Team Performance Team's Result Wilson Alvarez San Francisco 7 innings, 3 hits, Win 2 runs, 4 strikeouts Rick Reed New York 8 2/3 innings, Win 5 hits, 1 run Curt Schilling Philadelphia Ties NL strikeout mark Loss for right-handers


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