Jack Morris had history on his side Sunday in the American League West, while Jack McDowell was on the verge of making it.
Morris, 7-5, allowed five hits over eight innings to help the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 9-2 and improve his career mark against the Indians to 28-9, his best against any American League team.Meanwhile, McDowell, 7-3, carried a perfect game through six innings at Kansas City and finished with a four-hitter to lead the Chicago White Sox to an 8-2 victory over the Royals for his league-leading fifth complete game.
"McDowell pitched well," Kansas City Manager Hal McRae said. "He was very aggressive and came right at us all game. He threw strikes and was pretty much in command all the way."
McDowell had little problem with the Royals but almost stopped himself with two out in the sixth. White Sox Manager Jeff Torborg visited the mound to talk with McDowell about a possible injury to his elbow but both agreed it wasn't serious, allowing the Chicago starter to continue with the perfect-game bid still intact.
"I had good command," McDowell said. "I was throwing the ball where I wanted to, mainly my fastball. I got the other stuff over at times when I needed to."
McDowell said he was aware of the no-hitter since "I hadn't been pitching out of the stretch all afternoon. You tend to notice that."
Gary Thurman ended McDowell's bid in the seventh inning, leading off with a solid single to right.
Mike Boddicker, 5-5, took the loss for Kansas City, which was swept by Chicago in a three-game series for the first time since Sept. 2-4, 1974.
At Minneapolis, Morris won his fourth straight and helped the Twins take their eighth in a row. Minnesota has won 11 of its last 12 and is closer to the top of the AL West this late in the year than at any time since its pennant season of 1987.
"There's a snowball effect in baseball," said Morris, a Minnesota native in his first season with Twins. "It's in both directions. When you win, it builds winning. You lose, it builds losing. Right now, we're winning. I think the confidence factor alone is going to help the team for the next series."
Morris, who joined Minnesota as a free agent from Detroit last winter, raised his career record in the Metrodome to 14-3, including a 6-1 mark for the Twins.
Yankees 6, Rangers 4
At New York, Pat Kelly broke a tie in the eighth inning with the game's fifth home run, a two-run blast that completed New York's sweep of the three-game series. Kelly's second homer of the year came off former Yankees reliever Rich Gossage, 4-1, and made a winner of John Habyan, 4-1. Steve Farr notched his sixth save.
Angels 7, Tigers 3
At Anaheim, Calif., Chuck Finley became the league's first 10-game winner and Dick Schofield drove in three runs to lead California. Finley, 10-2, scattered five hits over 62/3 innings to join Atlanta's Tom Glavine as the majors' only 10-game winners. Angels pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts, including Cecil Fielder four times and Rob Deer three times.
Mariners 6, Brewers 1
At Seattle, Brian Holman threw a five-hitter and Harold Reynolds smacked a three-run homer in the Mariners' four-run seventh inning to hand Milwaukee its seventh straight loss. Holman, 7-5, struck out seven and walked two.
Athletics 8, Red Sox 0
At Oakland, Calif., Bob Welch fired a five-hitter and Harold Baines doubled and homered for three RBIs to help the A's avoid a series sweep by Boston. Welch, 6-3, allowed four singles in his first shutout this season.
Blue Jays 3, Orioles 2
At Baltimore, Devon White homered and Todd Stottlemyre fired a three-hitter over seven innings. Joe Carter and Manny Lee also had RBI singles for the Blue Jays. Stottlemyre, 6-2, walked three and struck out four.