Life imitated art at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
In a scene eerily reminiscent of "The Natural," Greg Vaughn homered off Kansas City's Kevin Appier just as a lightning bolt struck near the stadium on Monday night. It was the key moment in a game delayed for more than 21/2 hours by rain and fog before the Brewers went home with a 9-4 victory."That was unbelievable, wasn't it?" Milwaukee manager Phil Garner said. "That was surreal. We get the thunderclap when it's going up into the lights."
"It was a little spooky," said the Royals' Tim Pugh, who was warming up in the bullpen at the time. "I was surprised they didn't take us off the field right then. I'm just glad nobody got hurt."
As Vaughn rounded the bases, music from "The Natural" played over the sound system, and thunder continued to rumble. The two-run homer in the third inning gave Milwaukee a 5-0 lead.
"I didn't see the lightning, but I heard the thunder," Vaughn said. "I was just running with my head down, just happy as heck that I hit a homer off one of the premier pitchers in the league."
The shaken Appier didn't return to the game after an 87-minute delay in the fourth inning.
"He was in his windup and kind of fell off the mound one time," Brewers catcher Jesse Levis said. "Everybody got a little shaken."
Afterward, Appier said: "I'm not talking to any press people after what I went through tonight."
Angels 9, White Sox 8
Randy Velarde's bad-hop single drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning for California against Chicago.
Orioles 1, Rangers 1
Rain flooded both dugouts at Camden Yards, and the overflow started seeping onto the field, forcing the game to be called off.
All statistics, including Juan Gonzalez's 11th homer and Ivan Rodriguez's single that extended his hitting streak to 17 games, will count. But the game must be replayed in its entirety.
Twins 6, Yankees 3
Left-hander Scott Aldred, a washout on the woeful Detroit pitching staff, held New York in check at Yankee Stadium for his third straight victory for Minnesota.
Aldred, whose earned run average was 9.35 with the Tigers but is 3.91 with the Twins, held the Yankees scoreless until the seventh, when he was relieved after Derek Jeter's two-run double with two outs. Aldred is 3-0 with the Twins after going 0-4 for Detroit.
Athletics 8, Tigers 4
Terry Steinbach's grand slam in the 10th inning boosted Oakland to victory at Detroit.
Steinbach's seventh career grand slam came after Rafael Bournigal and Jason Giambi singled and Torey Lovullo was safe when Mike Myers (0-4) unsuccessfully tried to get Bournigal at third base on a sacrifice attempt.
Braves 9, Padres 3
Greg Maddux didn't change his windup, his delivery, or his tactics. All he needed was a new target.
Maddux, pitching to backup catcher Eddie Perez for the first time this season after working exclusively with Javy Lopez, picked up his first win in a month.
Maddux (6-5) had two losses and three no decisions since his last victory on May 17. But the four-time Cy Young Award winner had little trouble with the slumping Padres, walking none and striking out eight.
Mets 7, Pirates 6, 10 innings
At Pittsburgh, Lance Johnson homered among his three hits, stole two bases and scored the winning run after New York had blown a six-run lead.
Jeff Kent also homered as the Mets opened a 6-0 lead in the second inning before offsetting a Pirates comeback, keyed by Mark Johnson's two-run pinch-hit homer and Charlie Hayes' two-run triple in a five-run seventh.
Giants 1, Marlins 0
At San Francisco, Osvaldo Fernandez gave up two hits in 72/3 innings and Barry Bonds hit his 19th home run.
Expos 5, Rockies 3
At Denver, Shane Andrews homered twice and Ugueth Urbina won his fourth straight decision as Montreal ended Colorado's six-game winning streak.
Andrews went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs for the Expos, who have won five of their last six. He hit his ninth and 10th homers of the season and had his third three-hit game in his last five games.
Astros 5, Reds 4
At Houston, Jeff Bagwell, the NL's RBI leader, hit a two-run double in the seventh inning for Houston.
Bagwell, who has 67 RBIs, doubled to center off Reds reliever Jeff Shaw (2-3) with none out in the seventh to make it 5-4.