1997 September

1st The Reds lose to the Royals, 7-4, as Pete Rose Jr., son of the all-time hit leader, makes his major league debut. After striking out in his first time up, Rose singles in his next at bat and finishes with 1 hit in 3 trips to the plate. The debut prompts walkup sales of 15,000.

In an interleague game at Seattle, Steve Finley of the Padres cracks a 9th-inning grand slam, off Bobby Ayala, to give the Padres a 9-6 victory.  Ken Griffey has 4 hits, including his 45th and 46th homers, drives in 4 runs and scores 4. He leads Tino Martinez by 5 homers and one RBI in the AL.

Before 50,869 at the Vet, the Phillies defeat the Yankees, 5-1, behind Chuck Schilling, who fans 16 batters in 8 innings of action, and does not walk a man. For the second time in his career, Derek Jeter strikes out 4 times; he won’t do that for the next 12 years. The Phils will win the next to sweep the series with the defending World champs.

At Wrigley, the Twins edge the Cubs, 7-6, as Pat Meares drives in 4 runs. Meares hits a 3-run homer in the 1stoff Steve Trachsel, who struggles through 5 innings throwing 121 pitches, his season high. Trachsel is erroneously credited with a modern ML record for most pitches thrown in one inning, supposedly reaching 61 in 1997. But it did not happen, according to Cubs historian Ed Hartig.

2nd  Trailing 12-7, the Rangers score 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to pull out a 13-12 victory over the Dodgers. Juan Gonzalez and Lee Stevens each poke 4 hits for Texas.

In Montreal, the Expos edge the Red Sox, 6-5, on two homers by Henry Rodriguez and a pinch homerun by rookie Brad Fulmer. The 2-run shot by Fulmer, off Bret Saberhagen, comes in his first ML at bat.

3rd  Second baseman Mike Lansing’s 3rd-inning HR is Montreal’s only hit, but it’s enough to give the Expos a 1-0 win over the Red Sox. Aaron Sele and Tom Gordon baffle the Expos the rest of the way, but Carlos Perez allows only 2 hits himself in blanking Boston.

A’s blue chip rookie Ben Grieve debuts with a club-record-tying 3 doubles for 5 RBIs in a 12–3 win over the Giants. Grieve had 136 ribbies in 127 minor league games. Brad Rigby wins his first ML game, while the loss leaves the Giants 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.

4th  Rookie C Bobby Estalella cracks 3 HRs and drives home 4 as he leads the Phillies to a 6-4 win over Montreal.

5th  OF Deion Sanders leaves the Reds to join the Dallas Cowboys for the remainder of the season. Sanders is leading the NL is stolen bases with 56, but will be overtaken by Pittsburgh’s Tony Womack.

6th  The Rockies split a day-night doubleheader with the Cardinals, losing the 1st game, 10-7, before winning the nightcap, 7-6. In the first contest, OF Larry Walker’s HR makes his the most prolific Canadian home run hitter of all time with 195 career dingers. In the second game, Colorado’s streak of sellouts ends at 203, as an announced crowd of 44,288 views the contest.

7thAtlanta’s Denny Neagle wins his 20th game, shutting out the Padres, 4–0. He’s the first to win 20 in the NL.

9th  Boston loses to the Yankees, 8-6, despite 2 RBIs for Nomar Garciaparra. The ribbies give Garciaparra 87 on the year, for a new major league record for leadoff men. Harvey Kuenn held the old mark with 85 in 1956 for Detroit.

Detroit P Scott Sanders hurls a 1-hit, 4-0 shutout over the Rangers. second baseman Domingo Cedeno’s single is the only Texas safety.

10th  Behind Tom Glavine’s 4-hit shutout, the Braves down the Dodgers, 7–0. Ryan Klesko has a HR and 3 RBI.

The American Association’s plays its final game Wednesday night in Des Moines, Iowa with the Buffalo Bisons defeating the Iowa Cubs for the final American Association title. The Association’s existing teams will merge with the International League and the perhaps “to-be-newly named” Pacific Coast League in 1998.

11th  John Olerud cycles, going 4-for-5 with 5 ribbies, to lead the Mets to a 9-5 win over the Expos. Olerud hits a bases loaded stand-up triple in the 8th, his first triple in 3 years, to complete the cycle. The drive bounces off the wall, striking center fielder Vladimir Guerrero.

12th  Florida C Charles Johnson sets a major league record by playing his 160th straight game without committing an error. The previous mark was set by Rick Cerone. The Marlins lose the game, however, 1-0 to the Giants.

The Mets tie the game in the 8th and use 23 players before losing to the Expos, 3–2 in 15 innings.  The loss goes to Joe Crawford, the second time this season he has lost by allowing a run in the 15th.

13th  The Mets, down 6–0 with one strike to go in the bottom of the 9th rally to tie the Expos. Carl Everett ties the game with a grand slam. Two innings later, Bernard Gilkey hits a three-run homer to end it, 9–6. Facing Dustin Hermanson, the Mets manage just one hit through the first 8 innings, and that is a blooper by Carlos Mendoza, his first ML hit. Two singles and two relievers later the Mets tie it. John Franco is the winner over Steve Kline.

The Dodgers drop a 5-1 decision to the Astros as Tom Candiotti’s knuckleball does all sorts of tricks in the 1st inning. Candiotti hit 3 Houston batters in the frame, and another to lead off the 2nd, to tie a major league mark. C Mike Piazza also records 2 passed balls in the inning as the Astros score 4 of their 5 runs.

In St. Louis, Tony Gwynn reaches 200 hits for the fifth time in his career in the Padres 8–3 win over the Cardinals. Greg Vaughn has a three-run double to lead the attack.

14th  Sandy Alomar hits a bases-loaded single to key a bizarre seven-run 8th, and Cleveland defeats Chicago, 8–3. Jim Thome nails his 40th homer for the Indians. Chicago ties a major league record by using nine pitchers in the nine-inning game, including 5 in the 8th. The 4th in that inning, Keith Foulke, is called in without a warmup by manager Terry Bevington to intentionally walk a batter. The Tribe increases its AL Central lead to 7 1/2 games over Chicago and Milwaukee. Before the game the Sox retire Carlton Fisk’s #72. Bitter over his 1993 release and not being allowed into locker room during the playoffs that year, Fisk requests that Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Ron Schueler not be there for the ceremony.

Mark McGwire notches his 51st homer, and St. Louis Cardinals score seven runs in the eighth to win, 10–4. McGwire, the first player with consecutive 50-homer seasons since Babe Ruth in 1927-28, connects off Joey Hamilton (11-6) in the sixth. He has 17 homers in 37 games since St. Louis acquired him from Oakland on July 31 and has 14 games remaining to chase Roger Maris’ season record of 61.

15th Baltimore OF Eric Davis returns to action in the Orioles’ 6-5 win over Cleveland only two months after having a cancerous tumor removed from his colon. Davis goes hitless in the contest, but rips a long fly out to deep right-center in his first at bat.

Ken Griffey, Jr. powers homers #51 and #52 in Seattle’s 7–3 win over the Blue Jays. Junior has now hit 100 homers in a 2-year span, just the 6th major leaguer to do so.

The Mets, 1–0 winners yesterday on a HR by diminutive Luis Lopez, use the long ball today to tie the Phils.  New York collects 4 HRs in the 7th and 8th to tie at 6 apiece, the stitch 6 straight singles in the 10th to score 5 and win, 10–5. In the nightcap, the Mets lose, 2–1 to Darrin Winston, a 31-year-old rookie released by the Mets in the spring.

The Braves beat the Giants, 5–4 on Fred McGriff’s 2-out, 2-run homer off Rod Beck in the 9th inning.  The homer caps a 4-run rally for the 1st place Braves.

At least it’s not the Duck Pond. Anaheim Stadium, the Big A, gets a new name—Edison International Field of Anaheim. Edison, a utility giant, will pay $50 million over 20 years for a package that includes the name of the stadium, home to the Angels.

16th  In Philadelphia, Curt Schilling retires the first 22 Mets batters to lead the Phils to a 3–2 win. He also passes the 300-strikeout mark when he strikes out Edgardo Alfonzo in the 4th inning, just the 13th pitcher to reach it and the first in the NL since Mike Scott in 1986. Pinch-hitter Luis Lopez breaks up Schilling’s bid for a no hitter with a one-out, single to center in the eighth.

At Wrigley Field, Kevin Tapani pitches a 1-hitter for his first NL shutout and Sammy Sosa breaks a scoreless tie with a two-run, 6th-inning homer as Chicago beats Cincinnati, 5–0. Bret Boone’s leadoff single in the sixth is the only Reds hit.

Mark McGwire hits his 52nd home run hours after signing a three-year contract with the Cards for $28.5 million. But Cardinals’ closer Dennis Eckersley collapses in the 9th and the Dodgers come back to win, 7–6. McGwire’s 517-foot first-inning blast, the longest ever measured at Busch Stadium, ties him for the ML lead with Ken Griffey Jr.

Jimmy Key, 0–7 in his last 9 starts at Camden Yards, beats the Cleveland Indians, 7-2, to give the Orioles a split in a day-night doubleheader.  Roberto Alomar has three hits and three RBIs and Brady Anderson and Rafael Palmeiro homer in the win. In the opener, Charles Nagy pitches five-hit ball into the seventh inning and Matt Williams drives home two runs to lead the Indians to a 4-2 victory.

In Miami, Florida’s Bobby Bonilla fouls off six two-strike pitches before blasting a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Marlins a dramatic 9–6 win. For Bonilla, it is his 8th career slam. Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, and Vinny Castilla homer for Colorado, which sets an NL record with 223 homers this year.

For the 2nd straight day, the Giants lose on a home run, as the Braves win, 6–4.  Eddie Perez’s grand slam in the 6th gives the Braves a ML record-tying 11 slams for the year.

The Yankees sweep the Red Sox, winning 2–0 and 4–3. Andy Pettitte pitches 8 innings in the opener, striking out career-high 12. Willie Banks is the winner in the nightcap with 6 2/3 innings. Cecil Fielder, in his first appearance in two months after sitting out with a thumb injury, is 3-for-8 for New York.

17th  Mo Vaughn responds to the boos of the crowd with a two-run home run in the eighth inning to lead Boston past Toronto, 4–3. Vaughn, who makes it 4-2 with the homer off Dan Plesac, is booed during introductions and during his first three at-bats in response to his comments Monday that he does not want to return to the Red Sox next season.

The Giants beat the Dodgers, 2–1, to move a game behind LA in the NL West.

Ryan Klesko has 4 hits including a grand slam off Bobby Jones, to pace the Braves to a 10–2 win over the Mets. Jones faces 8 batters, walking 4 and retiring 0. Maddux easily wins his 19th. Klesko’s slam gives the Braves 12 for the year, a new ML record. The Braves set another record as they become the first team to clinch 6 straight post-season appearances.

Mark McGwire blasts his 53rd homer, the most since 1961, to pace the Cards to a 12–9 win over the Cubs. RHP Rod Myers serves up the gopher.

18th  At San Francisco, Brian Johnson homers in the 12th inning to give the Giants a 6–5 win over the Dodgers and a tie for the lead in the NL West. Rod Beck gives up 3 singles in the 10th, but K’s Todd Zeile and gets Eddie Murray on a DP.

19th  Marlins’ C Charles Johnson ties Buddy Rosar’s mark for consecutive games without an error (117), but does make his only passed ball of the year, as the Marlins defeat the Mets, 5-2, Johnson will finish the year with 124 games without an E.

Matt Williams must have an honest face, because he pulls the hidden ball trick for the third time, nabbing rookie Jed Hansen, in the Indians’ 6-2 win over the Royals in game 2, Williams uses the same ploy in all three instances. He asks the runner if he would step away from the bag so that he can brush off the dirt. The runners comply, and Williams slaps the tag on. The Royals win the opener, 10–3.

The White Sox tie Boston, 4–4 at Fenway on Albert Belle’s 9th inning grand slam, off Tom Gordon, then win in the 10th on Frank Thomas’ single. The Red Sox had tied the game in the bottom of the 9th on pinch homers by Curtis Pride and Scott Hatteberg, both off Keith Foulke. Boston wastes Butch Henry’s 7 2/3 shutout innings, while Mike Sirotka’s one run in 8 innings goes unrewarded. Nomar Garciaparra has a pair of doubles to break Ted Williams’ Red Sox rookie record for total bases. His total is 348 on his way to 365. Oliva set the AL rookie record in 1964 with 374.

21st  The Cubs beat the Phils, 11–3, but Curt Schilling racks up 8 K’s to match J.R. Richard for the most strikeouts by a NL righty (313). He’ll finish with 319 strikeouts. Ryne Sandberg, in his final game at Wrigley, is 2-for-3 before leaving for a pinch runner in the 5th. He makes a curtain call in the 7th when Harry Carey sings.  Kevin Tapani wins his 6th straight start.

Brad Radke goes 10 innings to win his 20th as the Twins beat the Brewers, 2-1.

The Expos put a dent in Denny Neagle’s possible Cy Young Award as they twice unload back-to-back homers to beat the Braves, 7–1. Neagle retires the first 12 batters before giving up a single, then homers to Rondell White and Hemsley Muelens. In the 6th David Segui and White hit consecutive homers.

The 1st-place Giants top the Padres, 8–5 when Stan Javier snaps a 9th inning tie with a 2-run triple. In the 4th, Bobby Bonds legs out an inside-the-park homer when his fly ball in the sun bounces off Greg Vaughn’s knee.

22ndKen Griffey Jr. hits his 54th and 55th homers, overtaking Mark McGwire for the major league lead, as Seattle clinches a tie for the AL West title, defeating Oakland 4-2. Griffey now has the seventh-highest homer total in ML history, trailing only Maris (61 in 1961), Ruth (60 in 1927), Ruth (59 in 1921), Foxx (58 in 1932), Greenberg (58 in 1938) and Wilson (56 in 1930). Griffey’s 55 homers are the most in the majors since Maris set the record in 1961. He has 5 games left, all at the Kingdome, to match Maris’ mark. With 3 HRs, Seattle has 257 this season, tying the major league mark set by Baltimore last year.

23rd  In a warm-up for the playoffs, the Indians rally from a 9–2 deficit to shock the Yankees, 10–9. Tony Fernandez and Tino Martinez match 2-run homers, while Justice and Alomar also homer for the Tribe.

The Orioles score 3 runs in the first 2 innings of Roger Clemens (21-7), then hold on to beat the Blue Jays, 3–2.

Angels Lefty OF Jim Edmonds hits a pair of HRs off Randy Johnson, but Seattle wins, 4–3, to clinch the AL West. Johnson won’t give up another HR to a lefty until John Olerud takes him deep in game 1 of the 1999 NLCS playoffs. Jay Buhner hits his 40th homer and then K’s for the 173rd time, a new M’s record.

24th  Doug Million, the Colorado Rockies No. 1 draft pick in the 1994 amateur draft, dies of an asthma attack at age 21.

With the Blue Jays in last place, Toronto fires manager Cito Gaston before today’s game with the Orioles. Gaston took the team to the World Series in 1992 and 1993. Coach Mel Queen was named as interim manager for the last 5 games.  The O’s then beat the Jays, 9–3, to clinch the AL East title.  Baltimore was never out of first place, just the 6th ML team to hold first place every day of the season.

25th  The Astros cinch the NL Central flag with a 9–1 win over the Cubs. Mike Hampton is the winner.

26th  Four Yankees pitchers combine to 1-hit the Tigers, winning by a score of 8-2. Andy Pettitte starts and allows a 2-run single to Travis Fryman in the 3rd inning, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. Pettitte leaves after 4 frames and is succeeded by Brian Boehringer (3 innings), Mariano Rivera (1 inning), and Jeff Nelson (1 inning). Rivera receives credit for the win when NY explodes for 6 runs in the 9th inning.

In the 7th at Shea, Atlanta SS Rafael Belliard hits his first homer in a decade, off Brian Bohannon, to tie the Mets at 6 apiece. His last came on May 5, 1987, off Eric Show of Padres. Atlanta wins, 7–6, in 11 innings.

At Coors Field, the Dodgers bang 6 homers, 2 by Eric Karros, to pummel the Rockies, 10-4.  The Rockies answer is a homer by Larry Walker, his 49th. Walker will lead the NL in homers, the third different Rockie to do so in the past three years. This matches the mark of the 1961-63 Giants who had three straight leaders in Cepeda, Mays and McCovey. The Orioles of 2014-16 will join the club.

27th  The Mariners hand Randy Johnson his 20th win when the Big Unit pitches the 5th and 6th innings in relief of Omar Olivares and Seattle beats Oakland, 9–3. Johnson is the first 20-game winner in M’s history, The Mariners stake Olivares to a 7–2 lead, but Piniella lifts the starter after 4 innings. Johnson was sidelined from August 20th to September 13th with a finger injury.

28th  Colorado hands Los Angeles a 13-9 defeat, as Neifi Perez leads the way with 5 hits and 3 runs batted in.

29th  The Pirates trip the playoff-bound Astros, 5–4 in 11 innings. Jose Guillen is the star, hitting a HR, driving in 3 and scoring the winning run. Craig Biggio, playing in his NL-best 381st straight game, is lifted for a pinch runner in the 4th. He ends the season of 162 games without grounding into a DP, tying Dick McAuliffe’s ML record set in 1968.

30th  Cleveland scores 5 runs in the 1st inning, but the Yankees come back to win with 5 of their own in the 6th to defeat the Indians in Game 1 of their playoff series, 8-6. Tim Raines, Derek Jeter, and Paul O’Neill hit consecutive HRs in the decisive inning, giving Mario Mendoza the victory.

Atlanta scores single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings and Greg Maddux makes them stand up as the Braves hold off the Astros, 2-1, to take the lead in their playoff series.

SS Edgar Renteria’s 2-out single in the bottom of the 9th scores Charles Johnson with the winning run as the Marlins defeat the Giants, 2-1, in the opener of their playoff series.