New-Look Kansas City Wins Series v. Texas

Brett George 2401.81 NBL

August 22: Kansas City 10, Texas 5

KC entered the series in second place in the Expansion Division, but Seattle has been widening their lead lately. Manager Ned Yost decided it was time to make a couple of changes to try to jolt a little more life into the Royals’ pursuit of the division title, and made the tough decision to replace Frank White at second base with Jose Offerman. “Frank is such a big part of this team, I hate to take him off the field. But we’ve got to find a way to score some more runs, and we think Jose can help us do that,” explained Yost before the game.

White has been a defensive whiz at second as expected, but he’s also been by far the worst every-day hitter in the league. His wOBA sits at .223. The second worst wOBA in the league by a qualified hitter is Sherm Lollar of Chicago’s .261. Offerman should provide more offense than White, but has poor range in the field.

Yost also made a change in the rotation and installed Bud Black in what had been a struggling Mark Gubicza’s spot. Both moves looked brilliant in the series opener. Black allowed just one earned run in 5.2 innings, and Offerman drilled an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the season. Offerman added a double and another single later in the game and handled several chances at second with no problems.

The Royals put on a rare display of power, crushing six doubles and three homers. George Brett had his best day of the season with a single, two doubles, and a dinger.

                   R  H BB
TEX 100 001 021 -  5 10  4
KC  400 120 21x - 10 17  3
HR: M. Hargrove (9), R. Palmeiro (21),
J. Mayberry (20), G. Brett (6), D. Tartabull (22)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Jenkins  4.0  6  6  1  2  1  
B. Black    5.2  2  1  0  4  2 

TEX 57-68, KC 63-62

August 23: Texas 4, Kansas City 3

Runs were harder to come by in the second game for both teams. KC starter Jose Rosado handed a 3-2 lead to the bullpen. The flip-side of the Royals new second baseman reared its head in the top of the eighth when a Josh Hamilton groundball that White would have scooped scooted past Offerman for a single. Darrell Porter compounded the fielding problems with an error two batters later that allowed Julio Franco to reach. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro drove in Hamilton and Franco to take the lead for good.

George Brett tripled in his first plate appearance of the game, giving him the meaningless but rare distinction of hitting for the cycle over five consecutive plate appearances bridging two games.

                  R  H BB
TEX 010 001 020 - 4  6  3
KC  100 200 000 - 3 10  1

HR: A. Oliver (5), J. Hamilton (16)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   7.0  3  3  0  1  1  
J. Rosado  6.0  2  2  2  1  4 

TEX 58-68, KC 63-63

August 24: Kansas City 2, Texas 1

Then the runs really dried up in the finale as Yu Darvish and Kevin Appier dueled. The Royals managed just three hits in the game, but in the bottom of the second, Danny Tartabull led off with a walk, Alex Gordon followed with a double, and Willie Wilson drove them both in with his 128th single.

                  R H BB
TEX 010 000 000 - 1 6  3
KC  020 000 00x - 2 3  2

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   7.0  2  2  0  2  6  
K. Appier    7.0  1  1  0  3  5 

TEX 58-69, KC 64-63
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Anaheim Gets Better of Detroit In Meeting of Last-Place Clubs

August 22: Anaheim 3, Detroit 2

The Angels only managed four hits in the game, but three of them came in a row in the sixth inning and were followed by a bases loaded walk to tie the game at two. And the other hit was a Bobby Grich triple in the seventh that drove in the game winner in the person of Rod Carew, who had reached on a walk.

Kelvim Escobar was impressive holding down the Detroit offense for six innings, Francisco Rodriguez followed with a perfect seventh, and Troy Percival nailed down quick innings in the eighth and ninth. Percival lowered his ERA to 0.94.

                  R H BB
ANA 000 002 100 - 3 4  5
DET 011 000 000 - 2 6  5
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Escobar   6.0  2  2  0  5  6  
B. Donovan   6.2  3  3  0  4  6 

ANA 52-73, DET 59-65

tananaAugust 23: Anaheim 10, Detroit 4

The Tigers couldn’t even make it close the next day as the Angels pounded Justin Verlander and Al Benton for 10 runs. Brian Downing, Toriiiiiiiiiiiii Hunter, and Bob Boone all knocked three hits. Frank Tanana continues to be a revelation in the Anaheim rotation and has a 1.70 ERA over his last 53 innings.

Ty Cobb went 5-for-5 with five singles for the losers. It was his first five hit game of the year, but his 18th multi-hit game in his last 25. He has vaulted into the top 10 lists for wOBA and runs created, and, despite a disappointing first half, even into serious MVP contention considering his improved hitting and that he plays a premium position and plays it well.

                   R  H BB
ANA 000 050 140 - 10 13  6
DET 000 000 103 -  4 10  6
HR: T. Salmon (9)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Tanana     6.1  1  1  0  4  3  
J. Verlander  4.0  5  5  0  4  3 

ANA 53-73, DET 59-66

August 24: Detroit 9, Anaheim 7

The Tiger bats finally roared to life to salvage the finale. They needed to be loud, because Hal Newhouser was not sharp on the mound. Both teams drilled double-digit hits. Bobby Veach had the most with four.

  • Troy Glaus has smashed six homers in his last eight games.
  • Detroit took four of six from Anaheim for the year.
  • Anaheim won their first inter-division series at the beginning of the season, but had lost nine straight since then until this series win in Detroit.
                  R  H BB
ANA 020 202 010 - 7 10  1
DET 440 100 00x - 9 14  3
HR: T. Glaus (24), W. Joyner (6)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Messersmith  7.0  9  7  0  3  4  
H. Newhouser    6.0  6  6  2  1  3 

ANA 53-74, DET 60-66

Boston Gains Small Cushion in First With Sweep of Chicago

August 22: Boston 6, Chicago 3

The league seems to be adjusting to Chicago starter Thornton Lee. He was promoted to a spot in the rotation shortly before the All-Star break and reeled off an impressive run of starts that helped Chicago get in the thick of the race atop the Original Division, but this was his third straight lackluster start. John Valentin did the most damage against Lee with a two-run triple and a run scored in the second.

                  R  H BB
CHI 012 000 000 - 3 10  6
BOS 130 020 00x - 6  8  4

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Lee      4.2  6  5  0  2  5  
S.J. Wood   7.0  3  3  0  6  1 

CHI 68-56, BOS 70-54

ted

August 23: Boston 5, Chicago 4 (11 innings)

Chicago snatched defeat from the jaws of victory multiple times in this game. A Carlton Fisk bomb highlighted Chicago’s charge to a 3-2 lead that they took into the bottom of the ninth. Keith Foulke promptly got his first two men out in that frame. Boston Fisk then singled, and Nomar Garciaparra rolled a grounder to second that looked like game over. Except Eddie Collins couldn’t find the handle on the ball and both runners were safe. Foulke still just needed one more out, and again it looked like he had it when Jim Rice lifted a fly ball to left. But Minnie Minoso saw the ball brush the outside of his glove and roll all the way to the monster while Fisk came around to tie the game on back-to-back Chicago errors.

Fittingly, the two guilty White Sox fielders led off the top of the 10th, and they grabbed the chance to atone for their fielding sins. Collins led off with a walk and stole second base, and Minoso drove him in with a double.

Matt Thornton tried to close out the game in the bottom of the 10th, and got his first two men out quickly. But…Ted Williams took his third walk of the game. Thornton hit Tris Speaker to push Williams to second. And Fred Lynn smacked a double to again tie it up.

Boston put Chicago out of their misery in the bottom of the 11th with three quick hits from Rice, Bobby Doerr, and Kevin Youkilis.

                     R  H BB
CHI 100 020 000 10 - 4  9  5
BOS 001 001 001 11 - 5 13  9
HR: C. Fisk-CHI (6)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rigney    5.1  2  2  0  4  1  
R. Clemens   9.0  3  3  1  3  8 

CHI 68-57, BOS 71-54

August 24: Boston 9, Chicago 3

It looked like an excellent pitching match-up with Chris Sale facing Pedro Martinez, who came into the game with the seventh and fifth best ERAs in the league respectively. But Sale got slammed out of the gate and allowed the first seven Boston batters to reach safely on two walks and five hits that included a Jimmie Foxx jam. Skipper Jimmy Dykes had seen enough, and yanked Sale before he was able to record an out.

Ted Williams had a perfect day at the plate with three walks and two singles.

Three days ago, Chicago, Baltimore, and Minnesota were all tied for second and one game out of first. Amazingly, all three of those teams were swept over the last three days and are suddenly tied for third and five games back. Oakland jumped from fifth to second and is three games back from Boston, which counts as the biggest lead anyone has had in the Original Division lately.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 110 010 - 3  8  6
BOS 610 000 20x - 9 14  6

HR: J. Foxx (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale      0.0  6  6  1  2  0  
P. Martinez  5.0  2  2  0  5  4 

CHI 68-58, BOS 72-54

Houston Shocks Minnesota With Sweep

August 22: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

Houston did not let Walter Johnson intimidate them and they put up six runs against him. Lance Berkman tagged one that was just the Big Train’s second home run given up all season.

Meanwhile, Nolan Ryan handled the Minnesotan offense. He pitched around seven walks by striking out eight and running into some good fortune when Harmon Killebrew lined into a triple play in the seventh.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 5  7
HOU 020 010 03x - 6 9  3

HR: J. Cronin (4), L. Berkman (25)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson   7.0  6  4  1  3  6  
N. Ryan      8.0  2  2  1  7  8 

MN 68-56, HOU 54-69

August 23: Houston 9, Minnesota 0

Houston won even more handily the next day as the Houston bombers assaulted Bert Blyleven. Jeff Bagwell took him deep in the first, then the bottom of the third started with four straight hits for the ‘Stros and out came Blyleven. Moises Alou, Berkman, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, Morgan Ensberg, and Johnny Edwards all had multi-hit games. Edwards was perfect with a walk and three hits in his four plate appearances.

Roy Oswalt painted the black and did not walk a soul in his seven innings.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 000 000 - 0  8  0
HOU 114 111 00x - 9 18  3
HR: J. Bagwell (24), M. Alou (25), L. Berkman (26)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  2.0  6  6  1  1  1  
R. Oswalt    7.0  0  0  0  0  4 

MN 68-57, HOU 55-69

scottAugust 24: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

It was more of the same in the finale. Craig Biggio had a three-hit day at the top of Houston’s lineup. Mike Scott walked zippo and went the distance on the hill in one of his finest performances of the year.

Houston took four of six from Minny this year.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 7  0
HOU 003 102 00x - 6 8  5
HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Shaw    6.0  6  6  0  5  3  
M. Scott   9.0  2  2  0  0  4 

MN 68-58, HOU 56-69

Oakland On A Roll, Sweeps Baltimore

mcgwire

August 22: Oakland 8, Baltimore 4

The series got off to a good start for Baltimore as they grabbed a 4-0 lead after three innings, but things fell apart from there. Baltimore starter Mike Cuellar and reliever Darren O’Day got drilled as Oakland stormed back with eight unanswered runs. Rickey Henderson, Eddie Collins, and Mickey Cochrane all reached safely thrice for the A’s. Bobby Grich went 0-for-0 with four walks for Baltimore.

                  R  H BB
OAK 000 112 400 - 8 15  6
BAL 202 000 000 - 4  8  6

HR: M. McGwire (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Hudson   7.0  4  3  0  6  6  
M. Cuellar  5.2  4  4  1  4  1 

OAK 67-57, BAL 68-56

August 23: Oakland 5, Baltimore 3

O’Day had another rough outing the next day. After being handed a 3-2 lead to start the eighth inning, Cochrane jacked a three-run dinger against him.

                  R H BB
OAK 000 011 030 - 5 8  4
BAL 000 200 100 - 3 5  1

HR: M. Cochrane (6)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Bender     9.0  3  3  0  1  3  
J. Niggeling  5.0  2  2  0  3  0 

OAK 68-57, BAL 68-57

August 24: Oakland 4, Baltimore 3

Homers from Jimmie Foxx and Mark McGwire helped Oakland to a 4-0 lead that they carried into the bottom of the eighth. Starter Barry Zito seemed to tire in that frame, and Baltimore loaded the bases against him while recording one out. Dennis Eckersley came in and did allow all three inherited runners to score, but closed down the Baltimore offense from there to finish off a significant sweep for Oakland. The A’s have won 13 of their last 15 games, putting them right back in the mix of the crowded top of the Original Division.

                  R H BB
OAK 021 100 000 - 4 6  2
BAL 000 000 030 - 3 9  5
HR: J. Foxx (21), M. McGwire (6)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Zito    7.1  3  3  0  4  5  
E. Bedard  4.1  4  4  2  2  3 

OAK 69-57, BAL 68-58

Detroit & Cleveland Play Ugly Series & End Up Tied For Last

romanoAugust 19: Cleveland 7, Detroit 2

Corey Kluber nearly threw a second consecutive shutout. Through eight innings, he’d allowed no runs and just three hits and two walks. The ninth inning got a little rough though, starting with two singles, a Jim Thome error at first, and a hit batter. Out came Kluber, and in came Bob Feller to finish off the win for Cleveland.

Catcher John Romano paced the Cleveland offense from the nine hole, singling and homering, driving in two, and scoring thrice.

                  R H BB
DET 000 000 002 - 2 5  3
CLE 030 301 00x - 7 8  7

HR: J. Romano (11)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Newhouser  3.1  6  6  0  5  1  
C. Kluber     8.0  2  0  0  3 10 

DET 58-63, CLE 58-63

August 20: Detroit 16, Cleveland 8

It was not a good day to be a pitcher, and Detroit’s George Uhle and Mike Henneman and Cleveland’s Vean Gregg, Doug Jones, and Cody Allen all got smacked around and roughed up. The game entered the top of the ninth tied at eight, but the Tigers went wild against Jones and Allen and racked up eight runs on nine hits. Hank Greenberg doubled twice and scored twice in the inning. Sam Crawford had a beast of a day for Detroit with a walk, four singles, four stolen bases, and four runs scored.

Detroit’s Doug Brocail was the only pitcher to get out of the game unscathed and finished the game with 1.2 scoreless innings.

                   R  H BB
DET 042 010 018 - 16 18  5
CLE 211 020 200 -  8 13  3
HR: N. Lajoie (3)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Uhle    7.0  6  6  1  0  2  
V. Gregg   7.0  7  6  0  5  2 

DET 59-63, CLE 58-64

August 21: Cleveland 10, Detroit 7

There was more sloppy pitching and run hemorrhaging the next day. Seemingly every batter on both teams had a good day, but Lou Boudreau led in the hit column with four.

Addie Joss’s struggles for Cleveland have been hard to understand. He has what should be a great card, but he’s sporting a hefty 5.14 ERA.

It’s too late to matter for Detroit’s pennant chances, but Ty Cobb is finally playing like himself. He’s reached safely in 22 straight games and has 42 hits in that stretch. He’s risen to 11th in the league in wOBA and runs created.

                   R  H BB
DET 301 201 000 -  7 16  1
CLE 310 420 00x - 10 13  5
HR: C. Gehringer (6)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Bridges  4.2  8  4  0  4  3  
A. Joss     6.0  7  7  1  0  1 

DET 59-64, CLE 59-64

Kansas City Falls To .500 After Dropping Series In Toronto

delgadoAugust 19: Toronto 9, Kansas City 3

John Mayberry launched a first-inning homer and the Royals had a 2-0 lead before the Blue Jays offense exploded in the third, fourth, and fifth innings against Kevin Appier and Dan Quisenberry. In just those three innings, Toronto collected four walks, five singles, three doubles, and a Carlos Delgado dinger.

                  R  H BB
KC  101 000 001 - 3  7  4
TOR 002 340 00x - 9 12  8
HR: J. Mayberry (19), C. Delgado (24)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier  3.2  5  5  1  6  4  
D. Stieb   8.0  3  2  1  4  6 

KC 61-61, TOR 51-69

August 20: Toronto 6, Kansas City 4

A Mike Sweeney two-run blast helped KC to a 4-1 lead after six innings. Starter Bret Saberhagen got in trouble in the bottom of the seventh when the first three Blue Jays got hits and they scored one run. Greg Holland came in and saved Sabes’s bacon by not allowing either of the two inherited runners to score.

Wade Davis took over in the eighth inning to protect KC’s 4-2 lead, but Delgado homered and Shawn Green and Tony Fernandez both doubled to tie it up against Davis in the frame.

Jeff Montgomery took over the bottom of the ninth and it went bad quickly. Jose Bautista led off with a double, and the next two Blue Jays walked to load the bases with no outs. After a Delgado strikeout, Green smacked a walk-off single, his third hit of the day.

                  R  H BB
KC  000 220 000 - 4  9  3
TOR 000 100 122 - 6 10  5
HR: M. Sweeney (10), C. Delgado (25)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  6.0  2  2  0  3  6  
J. Guzman      7.0  4  4  1  2  4 

KC 61-62, TOR 52-69

August 21: Kansas City 1, Toronto 0

Danny Jackson gave the Royals the start they needed to salvage the finale. He was lights-out and recorded his second shut-out of the year. He needed to be almost perfect since the KC offense could only scrape together one run, plated on singles by George Brett, Hal McRae, and Danny Tartabull in the seventh.

The Royals are still in second place, but have fallen to .500 and are five games back from Seattle.

                  R H BB
KC  000 000 100 - 1 6  0
TOR 000 000 000 - 0 5  2
HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson    9.0  0  0  0  2  5  
R. Halladay   7.0  1  1  0  0  5 

KC 62-62, TOR 52-70