It was baseball's last game for a while, so the Seattle Mariners showed off their best.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s grand slam and Randy Johnson's 15 strikeouts on the eve of today's strike gave the Mariners their sixth straight win, 8-1 over the Athletics."It's a shame there's going to be a strike," Johnson said. `We've pulled together as a team, and no one has complained about the strike. Everybody's doing their job. The young pitchers are pitching well, and the work stoppage is going to kill a lot of streaks."
Even though the home team lost, the crowd went wild when Griffey hit a high fly ball into the right-field seats to highlight a six-run second inning. They cheered again when his leaping catch at the wall robbed Stan Javier of extra bases.
Griffey, whose 40th homer of the season highlighted a six-run inning, said afterward he wasn't ready to hang it up.
"It's just going to be weird not coming to the ballpark," he said. "Today was a normal day. Tomorrow will be strange."
Johnson, who grew up in nearby Walnut Creek, wanted to pitch well in front of his family and in memory of his late father.
"I still could feel my dad's presence here," he said. "It always meant that I have a better than average game here."
On this night he was way above average, allowing only four hits. He finished with a major league-high 204 strikeouts.
Advance ticket sales for the final game were only about 17,000, but 26,808 showed up to see the two teams usher in the strike.
Seattle finished its long road show with a flourish, going 11-9 since structural problems at the Kingdome caused their home games to be scrapped. The Mariners moved within two games of first-place Texas in the AL West.
The Athletics missed a chance to pull even with the Rangers, instead falling one game behind the AL West leaders and 12 games under .500.
Blue Jays 8, Yankees 7, 13 innings
If this was their last game, Toronto and New York made it last a little longer at Yankee Stadium.
Joe Carter, who ended last year with a World Series-winning home run, connected for his 27th in the 12th inning for the Blue Jays. But the Yankees tied it in their half on a double-play grounder by Paul O'Neill.
Ed Sprague led off the Toronto 13th with a home run, and the Blue Jays made the lead stand up as the AL East-leading Yankees lost for the fifth time in six games.
In between innings, the songs "We Can Work It Out," "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" and "Vacation" were played over the public-address system.
Brewers 10, Tigers 5
No one wanted a rainout right before the walkout, so Milwaukee and Detroit waited nearly three hours while rain delayed the start at Tiger Stadium.
Once the game began, Jody Reed singled on the first pitch. Both teams kept hitting throughout the afternoon, with Reed's two-run double highlighting a six-run rally in the eighth inning.