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MLB Notes

STRONG RETURN

San Diego starter Sterling Hitchcock pitched seven strong innings in his first start in more than a year, and Bubba Trammell hit his first career grand slam as the Padres beat Colorado 8-3 Wednesday night. Hitchcock, who had surgery on June 6, 2000, allowed three runs, one earned, and five hits. He struck out five and walked none.

SUCH A RUSCH

New York Mets starter Glendon Rusch allowed a run and five hits over seven innings and drove in the deciding run as the Mets beat Chicago 2-1 Wednesday. With the game tied at 1 in the second, Rucsh executed a suicide squeeze to give New York a 2-1 lead. It was Rusch's first win since beating Montreal on May 21.

SO MANY LOSSES

Tampa Bay set an AL record with its 59th loss before the All-Star break, falling 8-1 to Toronto on Wednesday.

SHANE'S SACRIFICE

Detroit's Shane Halter hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, and Jeff Weaver won for the first time in four starts as the Tigers beat Kansas City 6-4 Wednesday.

SIZZLING ROCKET

The Yankees' Roger Clemens (12-1) won his eighth straight start Wednesday, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings as New York beat Baltimore 4-3. Earlier in the day Clemens was selected by Yankees manager Joe Torre to his eighth AL All-Star appearance.

SANDY STRIKES LATE

Chicago's Sandy Alomar doubled home the winning run in the ninth inning Wednesday night as the White Sox rallied past Minnesota 4-3, ending the Twins' five-game winning streak.

SNAPPED

Fernando Vina hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs for St. Louis, which ended a season-high six-game losing streak by beating Milwaukee 7-2 Wednesday night. ... Texas beat Seattle 6-3 Wednesday night to snap the Mariners' five-game winning streak.

SETTING A MARK

Montreal's Vladimir Guerrero reached 20 homers for the fourth straight season Wednesday night, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs to lead the Expos to a 9-6 win over the Florida Marlins. Guerrero tied Gary Carter's team record for consecutive 20-homer seasons. The 25-year-old right fielder hit 38 homers in 1998, 42 in 1999 and 44 last year, setting a team record each time.

SWING

Toronto's Carlos Delgado, who was in a 2-for-27 slump, went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs Wednesday as the Blue Jay's beat Tampa Bay 8-1.

STREAKING SQUAD

Gary Sheffield hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, and Paul Lo Duca hit his third homer in two games as Los Angeles won its ninth straight game with a 4-3 victory over San Francisco on Wednesday night.

SPEAKING

"We've never been concerned with our losses when we come back to the ball park the following day...The guys have played hard. We've taken our lumps, but each day we feel we have a chance to win. On most days it shows that we feel we have a chance. It didn't today, but we've lost games late. After 18 outs, 21 outs, we've kind of faded. But for the first 18 to 21 outs, we've been very competitive." — Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae after the Devil Rays set an AL record with their 59th loss — 8-1 to Toronto on Wednesday — before the All-Star break.

SEASONS

July 5

1904 — The Philadelphia Phillies snapped the New York Giants' 18-game winning streak with a 6-5 10-inning victory.

1935 — Tony Cuccinello of the Dodgers and his brother Al — for the Giants — each hit home runs in the same game to mark the first time in major league history that brothers on opposing teams connected for homers. Brooklyn beat New York 14-4.

1937 — Hal Trosky hit three home runs to pace the Cleveland Indians to a 14-4 victory over the St. Louis Browns in the opener of a doubleheader.

1937 — Frank DeMaree of Chicago went 6-for-7 in the first game of a doubleheader which the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 13-12 in 14 innings. DeMaree had three doubles and three singles. The Cubs won the second game 9-7 and DeMaree had two more singles.

1947 — Larry Doby became the AL's first black player, striking out as a pinch hitter as Cleveland lost 6-5 to the White Sox.

1961 — Bill White hit three home runs and a double to power the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1987 — Mark McGwire became the first rookie to hit 30 homers before the All-Star break and Jose Canseco homered twice, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

1991 — The Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins were given final approval by the baseball owners with a unanimous vote to join the NL in 1993.

1993 — Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics opened both games of a doubleheader with a homer to become the first player to accomplish the feat in 60 years.

1998 — Roger Clemens became the 11th pitcher in baseball history to notch 3,000th strikeouts. Clemens needed five strikeouts to reach the 3,000 mark before Toronto's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He struck out Quinton McCracken and Wade Boggs in the first inning and then got Mike DiFelice, Miguel Cairo and Randy Winn in the third to reach the milestone.

1998 — Juan Gonzalez became the second player to top 100 RBIs before the All-Star break, homering in the first and seventh innings off Seattle's Randy Johnson to improve his major league-leading total to 101. Gonzalez ended with the second-most RBIs before the All-Star break in major league history. Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers had 103 in 1935 en route to 170.

2000 — Luis Gonzalez became the first player in franchise history to hit for the cycle as Arizona beat Houston 12-9.

Today's birthdays: Bo Porter 29; Tim Worrell 34.

July 6

1929 — The St. Louis Cardinals scored 10 runs in the first and fifth innings in beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 28-6, in the second game of a doubleheader. The Cardinals had 28 hits and set an NL record with the 28 runs.

1933 — The first major league All-Star game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The AL, managed by Connie Mack, defeated the NL, managed by John McGraw, 4-2 on Babe Ruth's two-run homer.

1938 — Johnny Vander Meer, Bill Lee and Mace Brown combined to limit the AL to one run and seven hits as the NL won the All-Star game 4-1 at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. Lefty Gomez of the New York Yankees suffered his first defeat in four All-Star starts.

1942 — The AL beat the NL 3-1 in the All-Star game at the Polo Grounds on first-inning home runs by Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians and Rudy York of the Detroit Tigers. York's shot came with a man on base.

1949 — Walker Cooper of Cincinnati went 6-for-7, including three home runs and drove in 10 runs, against Chicago at Crosley Field. Cooper also had three singles and scored five times to lead the Reds to a 23-4 rout of the Cubs.

1966 — Boog Powell of the Baltimore Orioles knocked in 11 runs in a doubleheader against the Kansas City A's to tie an AL record. In the first game, Powell hit two home runs, including a grand slam, two doubles and a sacrifice fly to drive in seven runs as the Orioles won 11-0. Powell had four RBIs in the nightcap.

1983 — On the 50th anniversary of the All-Star game, Fred Lynn's grand slam off Atlee Hammaker, the first in All-Star competition, capped a record seven-run third inning. The AL also set a one-game record for runs scored in a 13-3 victory that ended an 11-game NL winning streak. Chicago's Comiskey Park was the site as was the first All-Star game in 1923.

2000 — Keith McDonald of the St. Louis Cardinals became only the second player in major league history to homer in his first two at-bats, connecting in the second inning of a 12-6 loss to Cincinnati.

Today's birthday: Greg Norton 29.