It may be too early to start talking about pennant races, but several Toronto players admit that games against the top teams are more exciting and that it's hard not to take a glance at the scoreboard once in awhile.
"It feels real good to pitch well and beat a hot team," said David Wells, who scattered seven hits over eight innings in the Blue Jays 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night."You get pumped up a little more for games against the top teams and it gives you more confidence when you beat them."
Losing is something the Twins haven't done much lately, dropping just their third game in 24 during June. The loss also broke an 11-game winning streak in the Metrodome.
Wells was cruising along with a 5-0 lead in the eighth, within four outs of his first major league shutout, when Chili Davis hit a two-out, two-run homer for Minnesota, his 18th of the year.
"The sucker owns me," said Wells of Davis. "I remember he hit two home runs against me back in 1988. It's not an easy game."
Wells (9-5) finished the eighth and then gave way in the ninth to reliever Tom Henke, who notched his 13th save in 13 tries.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1
At Boston, Scott Sanderson allowed six hits in six innings and Steve Howe pitched three scoreless innings as the Yankees won their second straight game at Fenway Park.
Indians 10, Orioles 4
At Cleveland, Albert Belle recorded two hits and three RBI in the first inning of his first game back from the minors to lead the Indians. Greg Swindell, 4-6, gave up four runs and 10 hits over six-plus innings for the win. Jeff Shaw pitched the last three innings for his first save. The loss went to Jeff Ballard, 4-8.
Tigers 8, Brewers 7 (13 innings)
At Detroit, Travis Fryman singled home Alan Trammell with two out in the 13th inning to lift the Tigers. Trammell led off with a single against Julio Machado, 0-2, and was sacrificed to second by Milt Cuyler. Fryman later drilled a 2-2 pitch up the middle to end the four-hour marathon and give the win to John Cerutti, 1-2.
Mariners 5, White Sox 4
At Chicago, Edgar Martinez doubled and hit a solo homer to help the Mariners snap Chicago's five-game winning streak. Randy Johnson, 6-6, pitched a three-hitter over 6 2-3 innings to win his third straight start. Mike Jackson recorded the final out for his 12th save. Ramon Garcia took the loss.
Angels 10, Royals 5
At Kansas City, Mo., Wally Joyner ripped three hits for the Angels, including a single in California's six-run first inning. Mark Langston, 11-2, survived a four-run third inning in which Kansas City's Danny Tartabull and Mike Macfarlane hit home runs. Mark Gubicza, 3-4, was the loser.
Rangers 8, Athletics 1
At Oakland, Calif., Steve Buechele tripled home three runs to spark a six-run seventh inning and lead the Rangers. Kevin Brown, 6-5, overcame a shaky start to earn the win, scattering four hits over seven innings. Gene Nelson, 1-2, faced just seven batters in relief for Oakland and was pinned with the loss.
Cardinals 14, Phillies 1
The Philladelphia Phillies pitching staff is making the light-hitting St. Louis Cardinals look more like Murderer's Row.
After scoring just 10 runs in a four-game series with the San Diego Padres, the no-name Cardinals have hit more like the 1927 New York Yankees, exploding for 16 hits Wednesday night in a 14-1 victory over Philadelpha.
In the first two games against the Phillies, St. Louis has collected 24 runs and 28 hits. Prior to the Cardinals, 10-9, victory over the Phillies Tuesday, St. Louis had scored three runs or less in their previous 22 games.
The beneficiary of the St. Louis outburst was Bryn Smith, 6-4, who allowed one run and six hits over 6 1-3 innings and must have thought he was taking batting practice as he added two hits and two RBI. Before Smith threw his first pitch he was staked to a 5-0 lead.
Reds 6, Padres 2
At Cincinnati, Scott Scudder scattered four hits over 6 1-3 innings and hit the first home run of his major-league career to the Reds. Scudder, 3-3, struck out five and walked three. Randy Myers picked up his sixth save. San Diego starter Dennis Rasmussen, 3-2, gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings. Mariano Duncan hit his second homer of the season for the Reds. Fred McGriff hit his 15th for the Padres.
Pirates 7, Cubs 6
At Pittsburgh, Jay Bell went 5 for 5 with an RBI, Barry Bonds homered and drove in three runs and Jose Lind smashed a three-run shot to power Pittsburgh. Ryne Sandberg had a two-run homer and rookie Rich Wilkins hit his second for Chicago. Bob Walk, 6-0, gave up six hits and five runs to get the win. Maddux, 6-6, gave up seven hits and six runs, walked three and struck out five over four innings as the Cubs suffered their 10th loss in 11 games.
Mets 7, Expos 4
At New York, Daryl Boston had three hits, including an RBI double that snapped a tie. Boston's double made a winner of Frank Viola, 8-5, who pitched seven innings allowing 10 hits. John Franco earned his 14th save. Mark Gardner, 3-4, suffered the loss going five innings and giving up five runs.
Braves 3, Astros 2
At Houston, Jeff Treadway's eighth-inning single scored Terry Pendleton, who led off with a double, to break a 2-2 tie. Jim Clancy fell to 0-2. Mike Stanton, 3-1, picked up the victory, surrendering one hit over 1 1-3 innings, striking out two.
Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (11 innings)
At Los Angeles, Kevin Mitchell hit a solo home run with two outs in the 11th inning to lift the San Francisco Giants to their season-best sixth straight victory. Tim Cruise, 2-1, took the loss. Jeff Brantley, 2-1, earned the win with two innings of two-hit relief.