Jim Deshaies discovered that a little change can mean a lot.
Deshaies, troubled all season by an inability to keep his pitches down in the strike zone, used a small change in his delivery to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals Friday night.Using a shortened windup and a different release point, Deshaies (4-7) limited the Royals to a run on four hits in eight innings for his just his second victory since April. Rick Aguilera pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
"I got a little more sinking action," said the 34-year-old left-hander. "I was getting it up a little and getting in trouble. Now I just have to work hard to stay consistent."
Jeff Reboulet had three hits, including a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored, and Kent Hrbek singled in two runs for the Twins, who roughed up Bob Milacki (0-2) for 12 hits in seven innings.
Deshaies, who leads the major leagues in home runs allowed, gave up his 22nd of the season to Vince Coleman in the third inning. But after Felix Jose's leadoff double in the fourth, Deshaies quieted the Royals, retiring the next 15 of the final 16 batters he faced.
Orioles 5, Blue Jays 1
At Toronto, Chris Sabo homered in the first inning and broke a 1-1 tie in the ninth with a two-run double as the Baltimore Orioles beat Toronto 5-1, sending the Blue Jays to their sixth straight loss.
Sabo's one-out double off Dave Righetti (0-1) bounced off third baseman Ed Sprague's glove and down the left field line for a 3-1 lead. Rafael Palmeiro followed with a two-run single, making the score 5-1.
Red Sox 4, Brewers 3
At Milwaukee, Damon Berryhill hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Loser Mike Fetters (1-4) gave up two runs in one-third of an inning.
Greg Harris (2-4) gained the victory with a scoreless eighth inning. Ken Ryan pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Rangers 2, Angels 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Kenny Rogers pitched his fourth complete game with a six-hitter and Jeff Frye drove in the go-ahead run in his first game off the disabled list as the Texas Rangers beat the California Angels 2-1 Friday night.
The victory was only the second in 10 games for the Rangers, who entered the night with a pitching staff that has allowed the most runs in the majors, have their 3-4-5-6 hitters fighting slumps and held a precarious 11/2-game lead over Seattle.
Athletics 4, Tigers 3
At Oakland, Steve Ontiveros pitched five strong innings and Brent Gates hit a two-run double to key a four-run Oakland fourth inning as the Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 Friday night.
Ontiveros (4-2) made his third straight strong start, allowing no runs, two hits and one walk before leaving with a tight groin. In his last three games, he has given up no runs and just six hits and allowed only five baserunners as far as second base.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 1
At Chicago, Mark Whiten drove in two runs and Allen Watson won his third straight decision, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Whiten's two-out, third-inning single up the middle drove in Ray Lankford and Gerald Perry, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead. It came after Chicago starter Anthony Young (3-6) had walked the bases loaded.
Expos 9, Marlins 0
At Montreal, Darrin Fletcher homered twice and drove in five runs and Butch Henry and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout for the Expos.
Fletcher hit a solo homer in the seventh and a three-run shot in the eighth, when Montreal scored six runs to break the game open. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the third and now has 31 RBIs in his last 28 games.
Astros 16, Dodgers 4
At Houston, Jeff Bagwell tied a major-league record by hitting two home runs in one inning, and later added his third homer to lead the Astros.
Bagwell, who hit two homers in the sixth, became the 28th player to homer twice in the same inning and the second Astro, joining Lee May who hit two in an April 29, 1974 game. Bagwell added his third homer in the eighth.
Braves 9, Phillies 4
At Philadelphia, Mark Lemke's three-run homer capped a five-run fourth inning to power the Braves.
Lemke went 3-for-4 to help Tom Glavine (8-7) snap a two-game losing streak. Glavine allowed six hits and four runs, struck out two and walked three in six innings. Mike Stanton pitched two hitless innings for his second save.
Pirates 9, Mets 4
At New York, Dave Clark homered twice off Dwight Gooden and drove in four runs to give the Pirates their fourth straight win.
Denny Neagle (7-8) scattered five hits in seven innings as Pittsburgh won for the sixth time in seven games.
Reds 3, Padres 2, 10 innings
At Cincinnati, Reggie Sanders tied it with a bases-loaded single in the eighth and scored the game-winner on Bret Boone's single in the 10th for the streaking Reds.
Scott Sanders shut the Reds out on four singles over seven innings, but the bullpen threw away a 2-0 lead in the eighth and allowed the Reds to come from behind for their sixth straight win.
Giants 10, Rockies 3
At Denver, Matt Williams hit his National League-leading 27th home run, and the San Francisco Giants broke a five-game losing streak with a win against the Colorado Rockies.
William VanLandingham (3-0) pitched six innings to pick up the victory.