2nd A month after being taken fifth overall by the Athletics, Ariel Prieto makes his professional baseball debut in the 8th inning, a 7-0 loss to the California Angels. The Cuban-born Prieto pitches two scoreless innings.
3rd Colorado downs Houston by a score of 15-10 at Coors Field. The Rockies’ attack is led by 1B Andres Galarraga, who strokes 3 singles, a double, and 2 HRs, while driving home 5 runs and scoring 4. The victory moves Colorado 1 game ahead of the idle Dodgers for first place in the NL West.
The Cardinals shut out the Expos, 6-0, behind the combined 1-hit pitching of Mike Morgan and Jeff Parrett. Wil Cordero’s single is Montreal’s only hit.
In the Orioles 9-4 win over the Twins, Brady Anderson steals 2B but is caught stealing 3B, snapping his AL-record consecutive steals without being caught at 36. Matt Walbeck throws him out. Last season Anderson stole 31 bases and was caught just once—by Walbeck. Anderson will hold the record for less than three weeks before Tim Raines breaks it.
4th Craig Biggio celebrates the holiday with a pair of homers and scores 5 runs as Houston tops the host Rockies, 16-8. Dante Bichette has a pair for the Rocks, both off starter and winner Mike Hampton.
5th Mariners’ 1B Tino Martinez strokes 5 hits, but Seattle still loses to Detroit by a score of 8-6. Martinez’s hits include a double and a pair of HRs, as he notches 5 ribbies.
6th Atlanta P Greg Maddux shuts out the Dodgers, 1-0. In the process, he extends his streak of innings without issuing a walk to 49.
The Astros defeat the Padres, 5-4 in 12 innings, as Houston pitchers fan 17 SD batters. Padres’ SS Andujar Cedeno fans 5 times, while teammates Melvin Nieves and Roberto Petagine whiff 4 times each. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team over the past 15 years has had 3 players strike out 4 or more times in the same game. SD pitchers fan 15 Houston players themselves.
The Red Sox obtain P Rick Aguilera from the Twins in exchange for rookie pitcher Frankie Rodriguez and a player to be named.
7th For the second consecutive game, Houston defeats San Diego by a score of 5-4. Padres’ SS Andujar Cedeno strikes out 3 times in 3 ABs, giving him 10 K’s in 3 games to tie a major league record.
The Twins trade P Scott Erickson to the Orioles in exchange for P Scott Klingenbeck and a player to be named.
8th After each team scores a run in the first inning, the Astros and Padres play scoreless ball for the next 14 frames. Each team scores its 2nd run in the 16th stanza, and the Astros pull it out with a run in the last half of the 17th inning for a 3-2 win.
9th A worker installing lights for a computer trade show falls 25 feet to his death in the Toronto Sky Dome.
11th In Texas,the NL defeats the AL in the All-Star Game, 3-2, on an 8th inning PH HR by Jeff Conine. Conine becomes the 10th player to homer in his first All-Star at bat, and is named the Game’s MVP. Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, and Mike Piazza also connect for HRs. The host Rangers players all receive complementary tickets to the game but relief pitcher Ed Vosberg is arrested for scalping his tickets.
12th Montreal defeats the Cubs by a score of 3-2. Throughout the game, Expo 1B David Segui shares his mitt with Chicago’s Mark Grace as Grace’s glove did not arrive at the ballpark due to a shipping mix-up. The players leave the mitt in the field between innings, as players did until the mid-50s.
13th Greg Maddux of the Braves defeats the Padres, 4-1. His streak of 51 innings without issuing a walk ends when he gives up a free pass to opposing pitcher Joey Hamilton, a career .041 hitter.
The Blue Jays top the Mariners, 4-1, behind a solid 8 innings from David Cone, who allows a solo HR by Jay Buhner. The score might’ve been higher except for Seattle reliever Jeff Nelson, who drops a no-out bunt in the 9th by Angel Martinez and then turns it into a 1-6-3 game ending triple play. Seattle finishes the game with a 9-3-2 double play.
14th Ramon Martinez of the Dodgers hurls a no-hitter against the Marlins, allowing only one baserunner on an 8th-inning walk in the 7-0 victory. The slender right hander, throwing nothing but fastballs after the 3rd inning, fans 8 batters in bringing the Dodgers to within 4 games of the NL West-leading Rockies.
In an 8-7 victory over the White Sox at Milwaukee, Greg Vaughn clubs a 444-foot homer and drives in 6 runs to pace the Brewers. His feat overshadows the Sox Tim Raines’ 36th consecutive stolen base, which ties him with Brady Anderson for the AL record. Anderson set the mark this month.
Tim Wakefield (8-1) tops Texas, 5-2, as Boston wins without Mo Vaughn, the AL leader in homers and RBIs. Vaughn misses his first game of the year after he is injured in a nightclub ruckus following Boston’s 9-8 loss yesterday. Mo says he was defending his girl friend.
San Diego Padre players complain when the team attempts to recall former replacement player Ira Smith from the minors. Management decides instead to recall Arci Cianfrocco.
15th Bob Nightengale, writing in the Los Angeles Times, quotes Randy Smith, GM of the Padres,”We all know there’s steroid use, and it’s definitely become more prevalent. The ballplayers all know the dangers of it. We preach it every year.” Ten years from now, during the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, Bud Selig will tell reporters that he didn’t know about rumors of steroid use in baseball until 1998.
16th Cleveland defeats Oakland, 5-4 in 12 innings, as Indians’ second baseman Carlos Baerga lashes out 5 hits, including a double. The win opens up Cleveland’s lead in the AL Central to 14 1/2 games.
17thAt the Kingdome, the Tigers collect 4 homers, but lose to the Mariners, 10-6, when Tino Martinez hits a walkoff grand slam in the 10th, off Buddy Groom. Tino ends with 6 RBIs in the game.
18th The White Sox blast Yankee P Jack McDowell for 13 hits and 9 runs in 4 2/3 innings in their 11-4 win in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. McDowell makes an obscene gesture to the fans as he is booed walking off the field. Starter Dave Righetti beats his old team, winning his first of the year. In game one, Tim Raines sets an AL record by stealing his 37th straight base without being caught as the Sox stomp the Yankees, 9-4. Chicago collects 18 hits in game 1 and 37 for the day.
The Marlins score a wild 12-10, 14-inning victory over the Giants. Florida is led by 1B Greg Colbrunn, who drives in 7 runs on 2 HRs, offsetting a pair of homers by Barry Bonds. Colbrunn hits a grand slam in the 5-run 14th inning, while Glenallen Hill hits a 3-run homer in the same frame.
Cleveland comes back to beat the Angels, 7-5, when Manny Ramirez connects for a walkoff grand slam off closer Lee Smith. Manny finishes with 5 RBIs. For Smith, it is the second walkoff grand slam he has served up this year, tying the mark set by Satchel Paige (1952) and Lindy McDaniel (1963).
Dave Andrews, public address announcer for the Abilene Prairie Dogs of the Texas-Louisiana League, is ejected from a game after Abilene manager Charlie Kerfeld is given the boot. Andrews proceeds to read a commercial for an eyeglass chain, infuriating the umpire. Andrews claims it was coincidence, but is still fined $50.
19th Tim Wakefield (9-1) allows one run in 7+ innings as the Red Sox win at Comiskey, 5-3. White Sox rookie Mike Sirotka, in his ML debut, takes the loss, pitching credibly in 6+ innings. John Valentin has a 2-run homer in the 9th for Boston. In the first of his 4 hits, Willie McGee hits a leadoff single against Sirotka, and then is picked off. This is the second time this season a pitcher making his debut has picked off the first baserunner.
20th Mets’ OF Brett Butler strokes 4 hits, but its not enough to prevent an 8-6 NY loss to the Cardinals. The hits give Butler 15 for his last 4 games, one shy of the record of 16 set by Brooklyn’s Milt Stock in 1925. He is the second player this year to have three straight four-hit games.
21st Troy O’Leary and John Valentin hit back to back leadoff homers to jump start the Red Sox to a 13-5 win over Minnesota. Mo Vaughn hits his 2nd grand slam of the season in the 6th. Twins Pedro Munoz, playing 1B for the first time in his career, helps with 3 errors good for 2 unearned runs.
Ed Sprague hits his second grand slam of the season for all the scoring in the Blue Jays, 4-3 win over the Mariners. Ed Hurtado, in his first ML start, earns the win.
Archi Cianfrocco, just called up from the minors when the Padres vote not to use a replacement players, hits a grand slam and drives in 6 runs. The Padres beat the Braves, 9-6.
The Reds trade OF Deion Sanders, pitching prospects John Roper, Rickey Pickett and Scott Service, and IF Dave McCarty to the Giants for pitchers Mark Portugal and Dave Burba, and OF Darren Lewis.
22nd White Sox SS Ozzie Guillen shoves Brewers Jeff Cirillo at 3B touching off a bench clearing brawl. The highlight is the two managers, Phil Garner and Terry Bevington, swinging at each other. Chicago goes on to a 4-2 victory.
23rd Oakland P Dave Stewart announces his retirement from baseball.
24th Colorado jumps to an 8-0 lead on three homers and defeats host Philadelphia, 11-3. Rockies rookie Bryan Rekar goes nine innings, and will be the only Colorado pitcher to throw a complete game this year. Two of the Phillies’ runs score on a pinch homer by P Omar Olivares in the 5th inning. Olivares is the first pitcher to hit a pinch homer since 1990.
The Red Sox obtain IF Dave Hollins from the Phillies for the well-traveled Mark Whiten.
25th Yankees’ second baseman Randy Velarde strokes 5 hits in New York’s 8-1 win over the Royals. Velarde’s hits include 4 singles and a HR.
27th The Indians obtain P Ken Hill from the Cardinals in exchange for third baseman David Bell, and minor leaguers Rick Heiserman, and Pepe McNeal. After two consecutive injury plagued and mediocre seasons, the Cards will waive him back to Cleveland.
The White Sox trade pitchers Jim Abbott and Tim Fortugno to the Angels in exchange for minor league OF McKay Christensen and pitchers Andrew Lorraine, Bill Simas and John Snyder.
28th The Yankees get P David Cone from the Blue Jays in a trade for minor league pitchers Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis, and Mike Gordon. In protest of the trade, Toronto’s Robbie Alomar sits out the next game.The Yankees also trade OF-DH Danny Tartabull to the Athletics for OF-DH Ruben Sierra and minor league P Jason Beverlin.
With baseball’s new speed up rules in place, the Cubs dispose of the Phillies 4–0 in a brisk 2:29. Cubs’ P Frank Castillo says, “It wasn’t the rule about throwing a pitch in 12 seconds since I usually throw in 5 seconds.”
The Orioles acquire 3B-OF Bobby Bonilla and a player to be named from the Mets in exchange for outfielders Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford.
29th At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals top the Tigers, 5–4, on Jon Nunnally’s HR in the 16th inning, KC’s first extra-base hit in the game following 21 singles, including 5 by OF Vince Coleman. The AL record is 26 set by the Brewers in 1992. Nine players hit in the 9th slot, including winning P Hipolito Pichardo, who bats twice, and pitches 5 hitless innings. He is the first Royals’ pitcher to go to the plate since Mark Littell in 1977, though IF David Howard, who tossed 2 innings in ’94, batted while pitching. Four relievers hold the Tigers hitless over the last 9.2 innings.
Playing without Robbie Alomar, who is sitting in protest of the trade of David Cone, Toronto defeats Oakland in an 18-11 slugfest at the SkyDome. A’s P John Briscoe allows 2 runs in the 6th inning without letting a ball leave the infield. He allows an infield hit, a walk, a hit batsman, another walk, and another hit batsman.
Star P Osvaldo Fernandez of the Cuban national team defects as his team plays Team USA in Millington, Tennessee. Fernandez will post a 19-26 record in four NL years.
30th Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Negro League star Leon Day, former NL president William A. Hulbert, and Vic Willis are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Chili Davis of the Angels is charged with disorderly conduct following California’s 8-3 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee. Davis allegedly slapped a fan who was taunting him. Chili also had a hit in the game.
White Sox DH John Kruk singles in the 1st inning of Chicago’s game against the Orioles. He immediately announces his retirement and is replaced in the 3rd inning. The hit gives Kruk a lifetime BA of exactly .300. The Orioles win, 8–3.
The Astros Jeff Bagwell suffers a broken hand when he is is hit by a pitch in the 4th from Brian Williams in the Astros 7–1 win over the Padres. It is the same bone that he broke last year when he was hit by a pitch from Andy Benes on August 10, 2 days before the strike.
31st Colorado acquires P Bret Saberhagen and a player to be named from the Mets in exchange for minor league pitchers Juan Acevedo and Arnold Gooch.
The Red Sox acquire P Mike Stanton from the Braves in exchange for a two players to be named. In a month the Braves will receive Mike Jacobs and Marc Lewis, while sending the Sox Matt Murray.
The Tigers trade P David Wells to the Reds for pitchers C.J. Nitkowski and Dave Tuttle, and a player to be named.
The Twins trade pitchers Kevin Tapani and Mark Guthrie to the Dodgers for pitchers Jose Parra and Greg Hansell, and IF Ron Coomer.
The Mariners obtain P Andy Benes and a player to be named from the Padres for P Ron Villone and OF Marc Newfield.