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Thome's Home Run Is Wasted

July 04, 2002|From Associated Press

Jim Thome just wishes he could enjoy his historic home run tear.

Thome homered in his seventh consecutive game, leaving him one shy of the major league record, but the New York Yankees defeated Cleveland, 11-8, Wednesday night. It was the Indians' fourth consecutive loss and 11th in 15 games.

"It's nice, but it's not fun when you don't win," Thome said. "It's been a great deal, don't get me wrong. You hope it doesn't end, but you know someday it will. I haven't really given it much thought because of the way we've been playing."

Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who improved to 11-0 against AL Central teams. Rondell White and Jorge Posada had two-run singles, Ron Coomer had a two-run double and Enrique Wilson tripled twice on a 93-degree night in the Bronx.

The Yankees (52-31) have won five of six to move a season-high 21 games over .500.

Thome hit a 3-2 pitch from David Wells (9-5) over the fence in left-center with two outs in the seventh inning. The solo shot gave Thome an AL-leading 26 homers and cut Cleveland's deficit to 6-5. He finished one for five.

"He's pretty hot right now," teammate Ellis Burks said. "I just wish we could support him as well as he's been supporting us, because he's definitely been carrying us."

The major league record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Ken Griffey Jr. when he was with Seattle (1993), Don Mattingly of the Yankees (1987) and Dale Long of Pittsburgh (1956).

"I'd like to see Thome hit a home run every night, believe me I pull for it," Cleveland Manager Charlie Manuel said. "But I think we've still got about a half a season to go--if he does that, I want to be his agent."

Seattle 3, Kansas City 0--Joel Pineiro started July with the same dominance he showed in June, giving up two hits in eight innings at Seattle for his fifth consecutive victory.

Pineiro (9-3) did not give up a hit after the second inning and retired 12 in a row during one stretch. Kazuhiro Sasaki, who gave up four runs in his previous two outings, combined with Pineiro for the two-hitter with his 19th save in 23 opportunities.

Minnesota 2, Oakland 1--Johan Santana gave up only one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Twins ended Mark Mulder's seven-start winning streak with a victory at Oakland.

Boston 5, Toronto 2--Tony Clark's tiebreaking single off Cliff Politte (1-2) keyed a three-run eighth inning at Boston as the Red Sox took advantage of four Toronto errors to win their ninth game in a row over the Blue Jays.

Detroit 5, Chicago 4--Brian Moehler came off the disabled list to win for the first time in nearly 22 months, pitching the Tigers past the White Sox at Chicago.

Texas 6, Tampa Bay 5--Ivan Rodriguez hit a game-winning, leadoff homer in the ninth inning and had a two-run shot in a four-run first as the Rangers won at Arlington, Texas.

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Daily Basis

Most consecutive games hitting a home run:

*--* 8 Dale Long, Pirates, May 19-28, 1956 8 Don Mattingly, Yankees, July 8-18, 1987 8 Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners, July 20-28, 1993 7 Jim Thome, Indians, June 25-July 3, 2002 6 by 12 players (most recent: Barry Bonds, Giants, May 17-22, 2001)

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