1997 August

2nd Houston C Brad Ausmus becomes the first catcher to wear the Fox Sports Catcher-Cam, a small camera on the top of his mask, in the Astros’ 6–0 win over the Mets.

3rd  Phil Niekro, Tommy Lasorda, Nellie Fox, and Willie Wells are inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

4th  The Twins beat the Blue Jays, 9–3, as Brad Radke ties a team record with his 12th straight win. Greg Colbrunn’s pinch-hit grand slam, off Chris Carpenter, is the big blow. Radke is only the 3rd pitcher since 1950 to win 12 consecutive starts. Bob Gibson of St. Louis did it in 1968 and Pat Dobson did it with Baltimore in 1971.

At Anaheim, Jose Valentin, Dave Nilsson, and Jeremy Burnitz homer in the 4th inning, all off Ken Hill, as Milwaukee beats Anaheim, 5–2, for its 10th victory in 12 games. The loss drops Anaheim into a tie for first place in the AL West with the idle Seattle Mariners.

Manny Ramirez homers and drives in four runs, and Jim Thome hits his 30th homer as the Indians beat Detroit, 7–2. Charles Nagy improves to 12-4 lifetime against the Tigers, his most wins against any club. Thome is the first Cleveland lefthanded hitter to hit 30 homers in successive seasons since Hal Trosky in 1936-37. Scott Sanders (3-9), making his fourth start since being traded to Detroit from Seattle, was the loser. He has lost all three of his decisions in a Tigers uniform.

At Shea, the Mets top the Cards, 4–2, in a rain interrupted game. Rick Reed (10–4) wins his 6th straight, beating Manny Aybar, making his ML debut.  Lance Johnson has a pair of RBI triples.  Completing an unusual major league-minor league sweep, the Pittsfield Mets top the New Jersey Cardinals (NY-Penn League) 8–4, in the earlier 9-inning game.

Kevin Tapani finally makes his Cubs debut, limiting Atlanta to five hits over seven+ innings, as the Cubs win, 3–1. Tapani (1-0) signed to a three-year, $11 million deal with the Cubs after winning 13 games for the White Sox last season, had surgery April 4 to remove scar tissue in his right index finger.

5th  The Red Sox pound out 24 hits, including 4 HRs, in defeating the Rangers, 17-1. Nomar Garciaparra is 4-for-7 with a homer and two doubles and Troy O’Leary homers twice into the upper deck.

In New York, Houston’s Darryl Kile cops his ninth straight decision despite allowing two home runs to John Olerud. Houston hangs on to win, 11–8. Kile (16-3) allows 8 runs and 10 hits in seven innings.

7th  At Arlington, the Yankees top the Rangers, 4-2, as David Cone (12-5) beats Bobby Witt. Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams homer. Reliever Scott Bailes, who retired in 1992, makes his first appearance for Texas. The Yanks move to 5 games behind the idle Orioles in the AL East.

8th  The Mariners shut out the White Sox, 5-0, on Randy Johnson’s 5-hitter. Johnson fans 19 batters for the second time this season, becoming the 1st pitcher in history to ever do so.

The Mets trade OF Lance Johnson, P Mark Clark, and IF Manny Alexander to the Cubs for pitchers Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell, and OF Brian McRae. The Cubs also waive Terry Mulholland to the Giants.

The Cards end a homerless drought of 104.2 innings (as noted by Tom Ruane) when Ray Lankford and Mark McGwire hit back-to-back homers in the 3rd inning. For McGwire, it is his 1st of the year as the Cards win 6–1 over the Phillies. The homerless streak is the longest of the 1990s.

9th  The Yankees beat the Twins Brad Radke, ending his win streak at 12 games. Radke allows just 2 runs in 8 innings, but David Wells gives up a run in 7+ frames for the 4-1 victory. Chad Curtis and Charlie Hayes homer in the 9th.

Toledo (American Association) tops visiting Richmond, 11–10, 13 innings. Mudhen LF Bubba Trammell is 4 for 7 with 4 home runs and 5 RBIs. Trammell homers in the 9th inning to tie the game and again in the 13th inning to win it.

10th  In St. Louis, Curt Schilling allows 3 singles in shutting out the Cardinals, 8-0. Scott Rolen has a homer and 3 RBIs for the Phillies.

Angels’ IF-OF Tony Phillips is arrested after allegedly buying a small quantity of freebase cocaine at a motel in Anaheim.

Pitcher Greg Maddux signs a $57.5 million, 5-year contract with the Braves to become baseball’s highest-paid player.

12th  Scott Erickson pitches a three-hitter and Rafael Palmeiro has three hits, including a three-run homer, as the first-place Baltimore Orioles defeat Oakland, 8-0. The game is played without a public address announcer. The Orioles shut off the microphone to pay tribute to Rex Barney, who had served as the Orioles’ PA announcer since 1974. Barney, 72, was found dead in his home earlier in the day.

The Texas Rangers showed off for former president George Bush by routing the Boston Red Sox for the second consecutive game, 12-2, scoring 10 runs in the first four innings. Bush—whose son, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, owns the Rangers—sits next to the team’s dugout with acting Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci and a group of Secret Service agents.

Dean Palmer homers and drives in four runs as the Kansas City Royals end the New York Yankees’ three-game winning streak with a 6-4 victory. Palmer, who is 10-for-21 with runners in scoring position and has 16 RBIs in 18 games since coming over in a trade with Texas, singles home a run in the fourth, opens the 6th with his 17th homer, and hits a go-ahead, two-run double in the 7th. Mike Perez (2-0), the second of 5 Royals’ pitchers, is the winner. Jeff Montgomery pitches the 9th for his eighth save, the 250th of his career. He retires 32 consecutive batters, one shy of the club record, before Bernie Williams singles with two outs in the ninth.

Rickey Henderson leads off the 7th with his 250th career homer and Greg Vaughn adds a two-run double in the inning as the San Diego Padres rally to beat the Montreal Expos, 6-4.

Matt Beech ends his string of 22 straight starts without a victory, pitching the Philadelphia Phillies past the Colorado Rockies, 5-0. Beech (1-7) had not won since beating Atlanta in his first major league start on Aug. 8, 1996. He was winless in his first 15 starts this season.

Blue Jays trade OF Otis Nixon to the Dodgers in exchange for C Bobby Cripps.

13th  The Reds defeat the Padres, 2-0, on a combined 1-hitter by Mike Morgan (7 innings), Stan Belinda (1 inning), and Jeff Shaw (1 inning). OF Mark Sweeney’s single is San Diego’s only hit.

In the last trade between the two teams for two decades, the Red Sox trade C Mike Stanley and IF Randy Brown to the Yankees in exchange for minor league pitcher Tony Armas and a player to be named (Jim Mecir). New York, in need of right-handed power for the stretch drive, re-acquires Stanley to fill the injured Fielder’s role.  Stanley will decline to sign at the end of the year. Armas, formerly labeled “untouchable”, will go to Montreal in the Pedro Martinez deal in December.

The Angels trade pitchers Ryan Hancock and Steven Agosto and a player to be named to the Padres for OF Rickey Henderson. To make room for the future Hall of Famer, the Angels release another future HOFer, Eddie Murray. Murray will sign with the Dodgers.

14th  The Indians best the Tigers, 12-1, in the 15,000th game in franchise history. The Tigers are the only other American League team to have played as many contests.

The Twins trade 1B Greg Colbrunn to the Braves in exchange for a player to be named.

15th  LA’s Mike Remlinger pitches 6 strong innings and belts a 3-run double to beat the Reds, 5–3. Before the game, the Dodgers retire Tom Lasorda’s #2, the 9th uniform retired by the franchise.

Mark McGwire cracks a 2-run homer in the 9th to tie the game for St. Louis and Delino DeShields hits a leadoff homer in the 12th as the Cards edge the Braves, 3–2. For McGwire, who also walks 4 times, it is his 4th homer in 4 games.

The Orioles and Mariners split a day-night twinbill, the O’s taking the opener, 4–3 and the M’s the nightcap, 8–3. Randy Johnson drops the first game, despite striking out 13 batters; he has now struck out 32 in two games to tie Luis Tiant (1968), Nolan Ryan (1974) and Dwight Gooden (1984).

17thBoston’s Nomar Garciaparra hits in his 20th straight game, tying Fred Lynn’s Boston rookie record. Boston wins, 10–5, sweeping four from the Twins. Minnesota has lost 9 straight,

18th  The Rangers defeat the Brewers, 2-0, behind a combined 1-hitter by Rick Helling (8 innings) and John Wetteland (1 inning). Francisco Vina’s single is Milwaukee’s only hit.

The Phillies get grand slams from Mike Lieberthal and Billy McMillon, his first HR in the NL, and roll to an 11-3 victory over visiting San Francisco.

The Dodgers trade P Pedro Astacio to the Rockies in exchange for second baseman Eric Young.

20thIt’s an easy day at the office for the Reds as they record no assists in a 5–3 loss to the Rockies (14 flies, 12 Ks, 1 unass, grounder). This has happened just once before in the National League, by the Mets against the Phillies on June 25, 1989.

The Twins trade OF Roberto Kelly to the Mariners for a player to be named.

The Red Sox sweep two from the A’s, winning 7–5 and 5–4 in 13 innings. In the nightcap the A’s collect one hit in the last 10 innings against 5 Sox pitchers. Garciaparra has hits in both games to set a ML rookie record of 22 straight games.

22nd  The Tigers pound the Brewers, 16-1, with the aid of 23 hits and an 11-run 7th inning. Bobby Higginson gets 5 hits for Detroit, while Travis Fryman and Tony Clark drive in 4 runs apiece.

At Arlington, Texas bangs out 22 hits in beating the Chicago White Sox, 17-8. Rusty Greer has a 2-run homer and a grand slam, both off Jaime Navarro, and 6 RBIs before he is pinch hit for, while Albert Belle matches him for Chicago, hitting both off Darren Oliver. It is the second time in two years that opponents have each collected 6 RBIs. Pudge Rodriguez adds 4 hits and 3 RBIs for Texas.

23rd  For the 2nd day in a row, Rangers’ LF Rusty Greer hits a pair of HRs and posts 6 ribbies, doing so in today’s 13-8 win over Chicago.

24th  In Albany, Georgia, the Silver Bullets womens professional baseball team is victorious, 5-3, over a local team. Managed by Phil Niekro, the Bullets finish their season at 23-22, their first winning season in their three-year existence. Coors Brewery, which has spent $8M sponsoring the team, will withdraw their financing, pulling the plug on the Bullets.

26th  The Yankees pound out 22 hits in an 18-2 win over Oakland. Joe Girardi and Rey Sanchez lead the way with 4 hits apiece.

Pedro Martinez strikes out 13 batters, including 7 in succession, in 6 2/3 innings as he gets no decision. His Expos fall to the Cardinals, 6-3.

27th  Indian teammates honor Jim Thome by wearing their socks high, a fashion statement they’ll continue into the WS. But today they might’ve shaved their heads instead as Matt Williams drives in a ML record tying 6 runs in a 10-run 4th as the Indians beat California, 10–4. Williams has a 3-run double and a 3-run HR. In between his hits, Marquis Grissom clouts a grand slam. The last batter to knock in 6 in a frame was Matt Stairs, on July 5, 1996.

Oakland defeats the Yankees, 8-7, as DH Dave Magadan leads the way with 5 hits, including a home run.

The Dodgers best the Pirates, 9-5, with the help of 5 hits by OF Otis Nixon and 6 RBIs from C Mike Piazza. LA now leads the NL West by 1 1/2 games over the Giants.

The White Sox trade OF Darren Lewis to the Dodgers in exchange for a player to be named (Chad Fonville).

30th  Yankee P David Wells strikes a familiar note as he threatens to punch out owner George Steinbrenner during a clubhouse argument. Reportedly, the argument began after the team’s 7-2 loss to the Expos, when a play occurred that was similar to last year’s ALCS. This time it was against the Yankees; Darrin Fletcher’s gets a home run when a fan in right field reaches over and snagged the ball before Paul O’Neill could catch it. Wells opined to Steinbrenner that extra security should be added in RF to prevent this sort of thing, George answered that Wells ought to stick to his pitching. When Wells said that Steinbrenner could trade him, the owner answered that no one wanted the lefty. It was then that Wells joined the ranks of earlier Yankees who have wanted to flatten the feisty owner.

Behind Alex Fernandez, the Marlins solidify their hold on the NL wild card position (79–55) with a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays. OF Shawn Green has all 3 of Toronto’s hits.

Boston SS Nomar Garciaparra goes hitless as the Red Sox fall to the Braves, 15-2. The collar brings his 30-game hitting streak (July 26-August 29: .383: 54/141) to an end, the longest streak ever for an AL rookie. Guy Curtwright, a 30-year-old rookie, set the mark with 26 games in 1943, his only season.  Chipper Jones has 5 runs scored and Fred McGriff has 4 hits, including a pair of homers to route Tim Wakefield.

The Brewers acquire OF Darrin Jackson from the Twins in exchange for a player to be named.

31st  The Indians acquire IF-OF Bip Roberts from the Royals in exchange for P Roland de la Maza.

The Brewers obtain P Pete Harnisch from the Mets in exchange for OF Donnie Moore.

The Cubs trade vet SS Shawon Dunston to the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named. Dunston will debut with the Bucs on September 2 and hit 2 homers. He’ll hit .394 for Pittsburgh, having just one game out of 18 where he goes hitless. His OBA for the Bucs will be .389, 5 points below his BA.  Dunston will finish the year with a  .312 OBP, the lowest this century for a .300 hitter, and become a free agent on October 28.