1997 May

3rdThe White Sox and Angels split a pair at Comiskey, with Oakland taking the first game, 3-2, and Chicago rebounding with a 4-2 victory. Ray Durham is 3-for-4 with a homer in game 2, driving in 3 runs and scoring 2.  Albert Belle, hitting .206, singles in the opener to start a 27-game hitting streak.

At Seattle, the Brewers score 8 in the 2nd inning and keep their foot to the gas as they beat the Marines, 17-4. Tim Unroe hits his first ML homer in the 9th, a grand slam off Norm Charlton, as the Brewers hit four homers. .

4th Detroit P Willie Blair suffers a broken jaw when he’s struck by a 107-mile-per-hour line drive off the bat of Cleveland’s Julio Franco in the 6th inning of the Tigers’ 2-0 victory. Blair still gets credit for the win.

6th  Following today’s 3-2 win over the Dodgers, Reds’ manager Ray Knight announces to the team that he’s fining himself $250 for not knowing how many outs there were when he called for a bunt.

7th  The Expos score a NL-record 13 runs in the 6th inning of their game against the Giants on the way to a 19-3 win. The Expos send 17 batters to the plate. Mike Lansing homers twice in the inning to drive in 5 runs, becoming the 3rd Expo to perform the feat, and the 1st NL second baseman to do so since Bobby Lowe in 1894. Henry Rodriguez hits a grand slam in the 5-run 5th.

At Fenway, Red Sox C Scott Hattesberg hits a pair of homers—his first 2 in the majors—to pace the Sox to an 11–3 win over the Twins. Teammate Reggie Jefferson also hits a pair of homers.

Tiger star Denny McLain is sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution for stealing from the pension fund of a company he owned. The company, Peet Packing, went bankrupt 18 months after McLain bought it.

8th  Jason Kendall’s 3-run double leads Pittsburgh to an 8-run 4th inning as the Pirates outslug the Rockies, 10–8. Al Martin and Kevin Elster homer for the Bucs, who have scored 24 runs and 31 hits in their two games at Coors Field.

In Baltimore, the O’s stop Randy Johnson’s 16-game win streak with a decisive 13–3 pasting of the Mariners. Baltimore is led by Chris Hoiles, who collects 6 RBIs on two homers and a double. Johnson strikes out 10 in 6 innings, but gives up 5 runs on six hits and two walks as he attempted to become the first AL pitcher since Dave McNally (1968-69) to win 17 straight.

9th  Against the Royals in the 6th inning, the Yankees catch Jay Bell in a rundown when Bell is suddenly called out by umpire Dale Ford, who thinks he passed the preceding baserunner, Jose Offerman. Offerman, however, had been forced out at 3B. Royals’ manager Bob Boone argues until the umps agree and put runners back at 2B and 3B and call for a resumption of play. Chili Davis then lines a 2-run single off Kenny Rogers to tie the score. The Royals win 7–5 in 12 innings, with the victory going to Randy Veres. The Yanks protest that the rundown play should not have been reversed. Gene Budig will dismiss the protest, stating that with the rundown there were several scenarios where Bell could have escaped a tag.

Seattle tops Baltimore, 8-2, with the help of 5 hits, including a double and homer, by second baseman Joey Cora.

Prior to the team’s game with Atlanta, Pirates players stand inside the stadium gates to shake hands and pose for pictures. They then proceed to beat the Braves, 9-0.

10th  A streak of 19 straight steals by Twins baserunners is stopped when Denny Hocking is caught stealing. The Twins fall to the Blue Jays, 6-4.

In San Francisco, the Cubs pull off the first triple play in the majors this year, taking advantage of the infield-fly rule and the wind at San Francisco to turn an odd one against the Giants. With 2 on, Stan Javier lofts a fly into shallow center field and umpire Bob Davidson waits before calling an infield fly rule. Three Cubs lunge for the ball before it bounces off center fielder Brian McRae’s glove and hits the ground for the first out. Kirk Rueter tries for third, but McRae’s throw beats him. Hamilton tries for second, but 3B Jose Hernandez’s throw to Ryne Sandberg nabs him to complete the triple play. The Giants will win the game, however, 4-2.

After missing April due to a hand injury, Juan Gonzalez shows his old clout, hitting a 9th-inning grand slam and knocking in 6 runs in the Rangers 11–5 win over the Red Sox.

11th  The Orioles sink the Mariners, 9–5, behind B.J. Surhoff’s 6 RBIs. Robbie Alomar adds 3 hits and 2 steals to help the O’s split the 4 game series with the M’s.

Albert Belle is 3-for-3, including his 8th career grand slam, and drives in 5 runs to lead the White Sox to a 8–5 win over the A’s. Wilson Alvarez (2-4) strikes out 12 in 7 innings to give the Sox a sweep of the 4-game series from Oakland. Sox outfielders Dave Martinez and Lyle Mouton are injured when they collide while chasing a fly ball in the fifth inning. Mouton breaks a bone in his face while Martinez suffers a slight concussion.

The Mets ride pinch power to a 6–4 win over the Cardinals. Carl Everett, batting for Alexander, hits a 2-run pinch homer in the 9th and Butch Huskey, hitting for Lidle, follows with another pinch homer. Both come off Dennis Eckersley. The last team to collect back-to-back pinch homers was the Mets, in 1991.

Ruben Sierra, released by the Cincinnati Reds last week, signs a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sierra, 31, hit .244 with 2 homers with the Reds. The Yankees sent Sierra to Detroit last season as part of the Cecil Fielder trade, but Detroit is paying $4,875,000 of his $5.5 million contract. Sierra will play 14 games with Toronto, then get released again.

12th  The Angels tie a franchise record by scoring 13 runs in the 7th inning to beat the White Sox, 16–8. Garret Anderson’s single drives in 2, including the go-ahead run, and Jim Edmonds adds a 2-run homer in the big inning. Jim Leyritz has 3 hits and 4 RBIs.

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley confirms that he wants to sell his team to the conglomerate controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He has asked Major League Baseball to approve the negotiations.

Tony Tarasco hits a 3-run homer to help beat the A’s, 5–1. Jimmie Key allows 6 hits in 7 2/3 inning to run  his record to 7–0.

Phillies P Mark Portugal undergoes surgery on his right elbow

13th  Eddie Murray gets 2 hits in Anaheim’s 8-7 win over the White Sox. The game is the 3,000th of Murray’s career, making him only the 6th player in history to reach that mark. Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, and Stan Musial are the others.

Baseball’s executive council votes unanimously to immediately remove George Steinbrenner from the ruling body. This is the latest salvo between the two parties since the Yankee owner sued ML baseball over disagreements regarding the club’s 10-year $93 million Adidas deal.

Tim Belcher faces 30 hitters in pitching KC to a 9–0 win over the Red Sox. Belcher retires the first 15 batters and finished with a two-hitter as the Kansas City Royals routed the slumping Boston Red Sox. Belcher also stretches his scoreless skein to 19 innings.  Before the game, the Royals release Mitch Williams; The Wild Thing was 0–1 with a 10.80 ERA in his comeback attempt.

Tino Martinez continues his hot hitting with a home run in the Yankees’ 7-run 6th inning, as New York beats the Twins, 11–2. Bernie Williams belts a solo homer in the 5th to snap a 2–2 tie. Martinez homer, his 15th, leaves him one behind Griffey and puts him in select Yankee company: only Mantle and Ruth (4 times) have hit 15 homers in the first 40 games of a season. The defending World Series champions have won 17 of their last 23, while the Twins lost for the 16th time in 20 games.

St. Louis starter Andy Benes blanks the Phillies for 7 innings but his bullpen blows it. Scott Rolen’s two-run triple highlites a three-run eighth inning for Philadelphia as they beat the visiting Cardinals, 3–2. Philadelphia starter Garrett Stephenson allows just two hits—both solo homers—and strikes out 12 in seven innings of his first  start. Stephenson fans the first five batters. Jerry Spradlin pitches the eighth for the win and Ricky Bottalico the 9th.

14th  The Expos edge the Padres, 9–7, in a game in which 4 Expo batters are hit. San Diego starter Tim Worrell is ejected in the 2nd by plate umpire Charlie Reliford for hitting Expos starter Jeff Juden in the back, and Tim Scott gets his papers in the 7th after back-to-back plunks of Mark Grudzielanek and Mike Lansing.

In Minneapolis, New York’s Paul O’Neill ties the score with an RBI double in the ninth, then homers in the 12th inning to lead the Yankees to a 6–5 win over the Twins. O’Neill doubles off Rick Aguilera, and hit his seventh homer of the season off Eddie Guardado. O’Neill also makes an error, his 2nd in 6 days: he had gone 235 straight games without an error. Tino Martinez adds his 16th homer, as Brian Boehringer (2-2) pitches one inning for the win.

In Detroit, Blue Jay catcher Charlie O’Brien doubles in two runs, then breaks a 2–2 tie with his first career grand slam. O’Brien drives in six runs to back Pat Hentgen’s (4-1) win.

At Three Rivers Stadium, Kevin Young’s two-run pinch double puts Pittsburgh ahead and Al Martin finished a nine-run eighth inning with a grand slam as the surprising first-place Pirates beat Colorado, 15–10. Rockies pitching gives up 13 walks and blows leads of 6-3, 7-5 and 9-6. Tomorrow, the Pirates spot the Rocks 3 runs and beat them again.

Barry Bonds’ solo homer in the 10th inning leads San Francisco to a 4–2 win over Cincinnati.  The Giants’ 4th consecutive victory improves their record to 23-13, their best start in 24 years. The Giants opened the 1973 season at 25-11. On the other end, Cincinnati is off to its worst start in 47 years. The Reds (11-26) have lost 4 in a row for their worst opening mark since 1950, when they had an identical record.

15th  The Chicago Cubs hit four triples—three in the same inning—to beat the visiting Padres, 8-2. The Cubs score four runs in the 7th off Tim Scott as Brian McRae, Doug Glanville and Sammy Sosa all triple.

16th  In Chicago, the Cubs erupt for 21 hits in clubbing the Padres 16–7. Sammy Sosa goes 4-for-4 with a career-high six RBIs. Brian McRae also has four hits for the Cubs.

Montreal spots the Giants an early 9-run lead, then stages its biggest rally in franchise history to win, 14–13. Barry Bonds and Glenallen Hill homer as the Giants take an 11-2 lead after three innings. Montreal responds with 4 runs in the fourth, 3 in the fifth and 3 more in the sixth for a 12-11 lead.

Michael Tucker’s 2-out double in the 9th breaks up Alan Benes’ no-hitter. Benes, unfortunately, is matched against Greg Maddux, who holds the Cards scoreless for 8 innings.  The Braves finally push across a run in the 13th on Andruw Jones’ infield dribbler to beat Cardinals reliever John Frascatore, 1–0. The teams combine for 33 strikeouts, three shy of matching the NL record for an extra-inning game set by the Giants and Mets in 23-innings in 1964.

The Phils Mark Leiter is touch for two homers—by Brad Ausmus and Craig Biggio—and 7 runs and exits in the 1st inning against Houston. Leiter’s relief is not much better as Mike Mimbs walks 7 and allows 4 runs in 1.2 innings in what, not so coincidentally, is his last ML appearance. Biggio adds another homer as the Astros win, 12-7.

17th  Led by Kenny Lofton, the Braves pound out 19 hits to beat the Cardinals, 11–6. Lofton has his 3rd five-hit game of the season and winning pitcher John Smoltz (5–3) adds 2 hits to lift his average to .435 (10-for-23).

At the Metrodome, Darrin Jackson, hits a grand slam and drives in a six runs to lead Minnesota to an 11–5 win over the Red Sox. Jackson, who played the last two seasons in Japan, was brought up from Triple-A earlier in the day. The Red Sox have lost seven straight and 11 of 12.

18th  At Oakland, hot-hitting Frank Thomas goes 4-for-4 to lead the White Sox to a 10–4 win over the A’s. Thomas has two RBIs, a walk and three runs; he has now reached base in 12 straight plate appearances. In the 6th inning, Albert Belle scores and throws an elbow at the face of A’s catcher George Williams as he goes by. Belle is hit on the leg by a pitch from Aaron Small in his next at bat.

The Mets use 5 straight walks by Colorado pitchers—three with the bases loaded—to score 8 runs in the 8th inning and beat the Rockies, 10–4. New York trails 4-2 entering the eighth before Colorado’s bullpen totally unravels, throwing 20 balls in 23 pitches to five batters. Rockies pitchers walk 12 in the game.

The Expos defeat the Dodgers, 7-4, with the help of 5 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer, by second baseman Mike Lansing.

In the Tigers’ 6-5 victory over the Royals, KC left fielder Bip Roberts has a 14-minute at bat against P Felipe Lira. The 1st-inning at bat features 18 pitches, as well as 9 pickoff throws to first and 6 aborted attempts to steal by Tom Goodwin, who was on 1st base.

The Angels trade P Chuck McElroy and C Jorge Fabregas to the White Sox in exchange for C Chad Kreuter and OF Tony Phillips.

19th  At Cincinnati, OF Steve Finley belts 3 of San Diego’s 5 homers and the Padres pull off their first triple play in 8 years to win, 13–6.

20th  Cy Young-winner Pat Hentgen outpitches Andy Pettitte, to lead Toronto past New York, 2–0. Hentgen (5-1), who extends his streak of not allowing an earned run to 39 innings. strikes out 8 and allows 5 hits.

After losing to the Mets, 8-2, in the opener of their doubleheader, the Cubs win the 2nd game, 4-3, to snap their record-setting, 14-game, season-opening, losing streak.

In a 10–1 win over Boston, Chicago’s Frank Thomas reaches base his first three times up before flying out against Rich Garces. Thomas reached base 15 straight times, one short of ML record, (Hr, 3 2B, 6 1B, 5 BB). Jaimie Navarro (4-2) is the victor, winning his 10th straight game against the Red Sox going back to September 28, 1991. He’ll lose his next decision to the Bosox.

Cleveland’s Jack McDowell undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his elbow that will sideline him for two months.

21st  Roger Clemens fires Toronto past the Yankees, 4–1, for his 8th win of the year against no losses. The Rocket wins his 200th, the 94th pitcher to reach 200 wins.

The Indians are victorious over the Royals, 1–0, scoring the lone run on a steal of home. This is the 17th time a 1-0 game is decided on a swipe of home. and the first since 1972.  The unlikely Jim Thome does it in the 4th inning on the front end of a double steal with Julio Franco. It is Thome’s only steal of 1997. Orel Hershiser is the winning pitcher.

After retiring the first two Astro hitters in the 14th inning, Reds Scott Sullivan hands out an intentional walk to Jeff Bagwell, who promptly steals 2B and scores the winning run on Luis Gonzalez’s single. Houston beats Cincinnati, 4-3.

The Angels score 7 runs in the first 2 innings off Dennis Martinez and sink the Mariners, 18-3 on 21 hits.  Gary Disarcina has 4 hits, including a pair of doubles.

22nd  The visiting Red Sox collect 19 hits, but strand 16, in beating the Yankees, 8–2. Former Yankee Mike Stanley hits a three-run homer, and Wil Cordero adds 5 hits, Tim Naehring has 4 hits and Mo Vaughn belts his 10th homer of the season in the 8th.

San Diego P Joey Hamilton homers and Tony Gwynn has three hits off Hideo Nomo as the San Diego Padres top the Dodgers, 4-1. It is the Pads’ seventh straight win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gwynn, whose wife, Alicia, is being sued by Nomo, goes 3-for-4 to raise his average to .387. Nomo sued Alicia Gwynn last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming the unauthorized use of his name and picture in a jigsaw puzzle.

23rd  The Twins fall to Oakland, 8-4, despite getting 5 hits from Paul Molitor, including a double.

The Rockies sell Darnell Coles to the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese League. Coles, who hit 29 homers and .302 for Chunichi last year, will replace Mike Greenwell, who suffered a broken leg after just 7 games with Hanshin.

25th  The Twins retire Kirby Puckett’s #34 in a 90-minute pregame ceremony. The Twins then hold on to trip the A’s, 7–6, in 11 innings.

26th   In the Cubs’ 2–1 win in Pittsburgh, Chicago’s Sammy Sosa and Pittsburgh’s Tony Womack both hit inside-the-park homers in the sixth inning. It is the first time two inside-the-park homers are hit in the same NL game since Lou Brock and Hector Cruz of St. Louis did it against San Diego on June 18, 1976. Greg Gagne of the Twins had two for Minnesota on October 4, 1986. It won’t happen again until 2015.

At the Metrodome, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner both homer twice, and Joey Cora extends his hitting streak to 21 games as Seattle wins, 13–8. Martinez collects a pair of three-run homers, while Buhner’s are two solo shots as the Mariners won for just the third time in 11 games. Cora leads off the game with a homer, and Russ Davis finishes with a solo homer in the ninth for Seattle. Scott Sanders is shaky but wins his first of the year for the M’s.

In Toronto, Roger Clemens allows one run and four hits in seven innings and strikes out seven to beat the Rangers, 8–1. The Rocket is now 9–0, his best start since beginning 1986 at 14-0.

Andres Galarraga hits a 469-foot two-run homer and Vinny Castilla chips in with a solo shot as the Colorado Rockies overcome a 6-run deficit to beat the Cardinals, 9–7. Galarraga has 4 RBIs and his moon shot, off Mark Petkovsek, is the third-longest homer in the three-season history of Coors Field.

Barry Bonds has 3 hits, including a game-winning leadoff HR in the 9th, to give the Giants a 4–3 win over the Astros. Craig Biggio is 4-for-5 for Houston.

Playing against Huntsville, Mobile OF Justin Mashore triples twice in the same inning. The last player to pull off that feat was Nick “Coocoo” Demaggio while playing for the Beaumont Exporters (Texas League) in 1922. In Mobile’s 8-run 6th inning, 1B Dusty Allen also hits 2 homers.

27th  Barry Larkin’s streak of consecutively reaching base at 13—one shy of the N.L. record—is stopped by Curt Schilling, who goes all the way to beat Cincinnati, 2–1. Larkin singles in the first inning, but flies out in the 3rd to end his streak one shy of Pedro Guerrero’s N.L. record set in 1985.

Kansas City takes a 2-0 lead into the ninth before the visiting A’s—held to one hit for eight-plus innings by Jose Rosado–get a two-run homer from Mark McGwire and a solo shot from Scott Spiezio to take the lead. Pinch-hitter Scott Cooper’s homer in the bottom of the ninth then ties it. The A’s bat around in the 10th, scoring 5 runs, and the Royals three-run answer falls short as the A’s win, 8–6.

Mariners’ reliever Norm Charlton walks Chuck Knoblauch with the bases loaded, as Minnesota caps a six-run ninth-inning rally to win, 11–10. Seattle’s collapse mars a game in which Ken Griffey Jr. and Joey Cora each set records. Griffey hits his 23rd homer, breaking his own major league mark for homers through May; Cora is 4-for-6 to extend his hitting streak to a team-record 22 games, and also ties the A.L. mark for switch-hitters.

28th  In Seattle, Randy Johnson is dominating as he strikes out 15 in eight innings and allows four hits as Seattle shuts out Texas, 5–0. Johnson walks one. Seattle’s Joey Cora singles in the third, extending his hitting streak to 23 games, an AL record for a switch-hitter.

29th  The Yankees finally agree to terms with Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu, signing the fireballer to a 4-year contract worth $12.8 million. The deal includes a signing bonus of $8.5 million.

In Florida, Rockies’ OF Ellis Burks hits a 2-run double to cap a three-run rally in the ninth inning and help Colorado beat Florida, 6-5. Colorado trails 4-0 in the 6th, before Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, and Dante Bichette hit consecutive homers off Alex Fernandez.

In Toronto, Tino Martinez hits his 20th homer—his third in three games—and David Cone strikes out 12 to lead New York over Toronto, 4–0.  Jeff Nelson strikes out 3 Jays in relief. Martinez raised his RBI total to 56 with a single in the first off Woody Williams (1-5) and a solo shot in the third.

30th  The Orioles’ Mike Mussina retires the first 25 Indian batters before Sandy Alomar ruins his no-hit bid with a one-out single in the 9th. Mussina then strikes out the final two batters for a 3–0 victory.

Give it to me one Mo time. Mo Vaughn goes 4-for-4 and slugs 3 HRs in Boston’s 10-4 win over the Yankees.

31st  Cal Ripken snaps a 7th-inning tie with a record-breaking HR as the Baltimore Orioles rally from a 4-run deficit to beat Cleveland, 8–5. Ripken’s homer gives him 4,274 total bases with Baltimore, breaking the franchise mark for total bases in a career. The O’s also place Eric Davis on the DL. Davis is suffering from colon cancer and will be operated on in early June.

In Miami, Andres Galarraga golfs a 529-foot grand slam, the longest home run ever at Pro Player Stadium, then gets ejected 4 innings later. His homer gives the Colorado Rockies a 7-0 lead over the Marlins, and they eventually win, 8–4.  Galarraga has three HRs in the past three games against Florida that traveled 1,435 feet, an average of 478 feet. He hit a 455-foot homer Thursday and a 451-foot homer Friday.  The longest previous homer at the stadium was 482 feet by Pete Incaviglia of the Phillies off Al Leiter on May 1, 1996.

Unbeaten Roger Clemens is the first 10-game winner in the majors, as the Toronto Blue Jays romp, 13-3, over the Oakland Athletics. Clemens gives up eight hits, K’s four. Dave Telgheder (1-3) is the losing pitcher.

Pitcher Ila Borders of the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League faces 3 Sioux Falls Canaries batters, and surrenders 3 earned runs, in her professional baseball debut. The Canaries, who led 4-0 when she entered the game, to on to defeat St. Paul, 11-1.