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Mussina Knuckler Pins Down Tribe

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 1997

The way Mike Mussina’s nasty knuckle-curve was fluttering, the Cleveland Indians didn’t have a chance.

This was something new for Mussina, who usually doesn’t have a chance against the Indians.

Mussina had a season-high nine strikeouts in a rare victory over Cleveland as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Indians 8-3 Saturday.

The Orioles improved to an A.L.-best 31-14 and ended Cleveland’s season-high, six-game winning streak.

Mussina (6-1) had a 14.81 ERA against the Indians last season and was 2-6 in his career against them. He also had a no-decision in Cleveland’s 9-4 win in Game 3 of the A.L. playoffs last season.

This time, Mussina was in charge. He allowed three runs and nine hits, striking out every Indians batter except David Justice and Manny Ramirez while walking only one.

Rafael Palmeiro had three hits, including a three-run homer for the Orioles. Mike Bordick, who was in a 1-for-13 slump and batting .186, was 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 2

New York

When Charlie Hayes is at third base, good things seem to happen to New York.

Hayes, starting at third over the slumping Wade Boggs, hit a two-run home run with one out in the ninth inning as the Yankees halted a five-game losing streak with a win over Boston in New York.

It was Hayes who caught the final out in Game 6 last October to give the Yankees their World Series title.

Angels 3, Blue Jays 1


Allen Watson pitched seven shutout innings and Darin Erstad hit an inside-the-park home run, leading Anaheim to its victory over Toronto.

Watson (2-3) gave up four singles as the Angels won their fourth in a row and 11th in 12 games.

Rangers 8, Tigers 4


Ken Hill won in his first start since April 30 and Texas took advantage of poor Detroit pitching and defense to beat the Tigers.

Billy Ripken homered and Warren Newson hit a three-run double for the Rangers, who have won 10 of their last 15 games.

Detroit, second in the majors in fielding average, made three errors that led to three unearned runs.

Twins 7, Athletics 4


Minnesota took advantage of three misplays caused by the Metrodome to beat Oakland in the second game of Kirby Puckett weekend.

Ron Coomer drove in three runs for the Twins, all with help from the dome.

His two-run double in the fourth was just a high fly that got lost against the off-white roof, and his run-scoring single in the fifth came after catcher George Williams lost a foul pop in the ceiling.

White Sox 8, Brewers 6


Harold Baines singled to break a seventh-inning tie and Albert Belle extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a two-run homer, leading Chicago over Milwaukee.

In a game that was delayed twice for a total of 2 hours, 4 minutes, John Jaha led off the seventh with his 10th homer, a drive off Chuck McElroy that made it 6-6. A 29-minute rain delay followed.

Clearing the bases

Cleveland Indians outfielder Kevin Mitchell, a former MVP relegated to pinch-hitting at age 35, was designated for assignment, four days after getting into a clubhouse scuffle that sent Chad Curtis to the disabled list. The move means the Indians have 10 days to request waivers on Mitchell, assign him outright to the minors or trade him.

Baltimore’s Mike Mussina came in with a 1-1 record and 7.57 ERA in day games (27-1/3 innings, 35 hits, 23 earned runs.) … Anaheim’s Garret Anderson went 0 for 4, ending his career-best 17-game hitting streak. … New York first baseman Tino Martinez, who didn’t start Friday because of an infected little toe, snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a sixth-inning single.

Chuck Knoblauch is the only Minnesota player to start every game, and he has reached base in 45 of those 47 games. … Melvin Nieves, who struck out 50 times in his first 120 at-bats, is hitting .459 (34 for 74) when he puts the ball in play.

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