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Sweep Keeps Toronto in Wild-Card Race

September 07, 1998|From Associated Press

While Craig Grebeck kept Toronto's hopes alive, he's not focusing on a pennant race.

Grebeck hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated Boston, 8-7, Sunday at Toronto for a four-game sweep that pulled them within five games of the Red Sox in the American League wild-card race.

Boston's lead hasn't been this small since July 26, when the Red Sox were 4 1/2 games ahead of Texas.

"We don't have many games to go, and we're still quite a ways out of it, so we're not even thinking about it," Grebeck said. "It's fun winning, and this team is having fun right now, so we're just going to leave it at that."

Jose Canseco homered for the third consecutive game, reaching 40 homers for the third time in his career and the first time since 1991. It also gave him 1,200 career runs batted in.

Benito Santiago, in his first plate appearance since an automobile accident on Jan. 4, was one for two with a bases-loaded walk. He was taken off the disabled list Friday.

Toronto, which has won 10 in a row for the first time since 1987, led, 7-1, before Boston scored two runs in the seventh and tied it in the eighth on Troy O'Leary's two-run double off Dan Plesac, Mike Stanley's RBI double off Paul Quantrill (3-4) and Darren Bragg's run-scoring single.

"We battled back at the end," Boston's Nomar Garciaparra said. "Obviously, we didn't go into the tank after losing the first three games."

Detroit 3, Cleveland 2--Damion Easley drove in the go-ahead run as the Tigers overcame a career-high 10 strikeouts from Jaret Wright to avoid a four-game sweep at Detroit.

The Tigers, 2-4 since Larry Parrish replaced Buddy Bell as manager on Tuesday, won for only the seventh time in 34 games.

Bryce Florie (7-9) won for the first time in four starts since Aug. 16, giving up both runs and seven hits in six innings. He stranded runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Chicago 6, New York 5--Hideki Irabu lost for the fifth time in seven starts as Robin Ventura homered to lead the White Sox at Chicago.

Ventura hit his 17th home run leading off the third inning to give the White Sox their fifth victory in six games.

The Yankees need to go 17-5 the rest of the way to break the 1906 Chicago Cubs' record for victories in a season.

Irabu (11-8) gave up six runs and eight hits with two walks over 2 1/3 innings. In his last four starts, he has given up 25 earned runs over 14 innings for a 16.10 earned-run average.

Oakland 9, Tampa Bay 2--Jason Giambi and Ed Sprague homered and the Athletics turned three errors into five unearned runs at Oakland.

Tom Candiotti (11-15) won for the third time in four starts, giving up one run and five hits in seven innings. Since his record dropped to 5-13 on July 26, Candiotti is 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA in eight starts.

Baltimore 5, Seattle 2--Mike Mussina gave up four hits in eight innings and Eric Davis, Mike Bordick and Roberto Alomar homered to give the Orioles the victory at Seattle.

Mussina (13-8) broke a two-game losing streak, walking two and striking out 10. Mussina is 10-1 in regular-season decisions against the Mariners.

Arthur Rhodes pitched the ninth for his fourth save and first since June 16.

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