BASEBALL The Sun I o WEDNESDAY, August 11, 1993 I C3 Bichette really enjoying 6Rockie' kind of season By Jason Foster , Special to The Sun LOS ANGELES The Rockies' Dante Bichette feels a mile- high in Denver, and he isn't referring to the altitude. The 29-year-old ex-Angel is having the best season of his six-year major-league career. He's also beginning to feel at home. " J "I fit in real well with the com- munity," he said. "I'm also doing some things outside of baseball there to help out the city. It's a dream that I've had for the last , three or four years to get into a situation like that." It's also easy to feel good when he's had a personal-best 17 Angels bid adieu to By Mike Terry Sun Sports Writer ARLINGTON, Texas They came, they saw and were conquered. The New Age Boys of Summer got a good and perhaps last look at baseball's grand old man, Nolan Ryan, who plans to retire at the season's end. Despitelosing they came away suitably impressed, especially since they didn't have to - fight him. V" "He still has an above average fastball and a good curve," said Chad Curtis. "I think he could still win games in this league for a couple of more years if he wanted to. I kind of wish he would stay on." r.-.ii "It's different facing him than other pitchers," said Tim Salmon, who doubled and singled off Ryan. "You want to take your .hacks, see what you can do against a legend. You want to i have something to tell your kids. ' ; He does get your adrenaline flow- ' Big." Eduardo Perez, who along with Chili Davis were the only ' Angels to strike out against Ryan on Tuesday, said he was looking ofor more of the famous Ryan fast-balls. "He threw me a lot of 'curves," Perez said. "But it was . the pitch he was getting me out on so you can't blame him." Angels notes Buck Rodgers, upset that Toronto's Ed Sprague had his suspension reduced for his June altercation with ' Chad Curtis, said he was sorry he told Curtis not to take his case to the "league office. "That's the last time I 'Will ever recommend to a player '-'take the suspension,' " Rodgers said. "I thought I was doing Chad a favor. Now I'll tell everybody to ap-' peal.". . . When Eduardo Perez struck out against Nolan Ryan in the "second, he joined a distinguished group. With dad Tony fanning seven times against Ryan when he played, they become the eighth father-son combination to be "K'd" by The Ex-' press in his storied career. . . . Luis ' Polonia did it again, this time gunning down Jose Gonzalez trying to stretch a third inning single into a double. It was Polonia's ninth outfield -assist, and boosted California major league-leading total to 32 outfield as-. "sists. Last year they totaled 40. . . . 'The Angels have won 11 games with three-or-fewer runs, and Mark Lan-'gston has six of them. . . . Jose Mus-sett set an Angels' Double-A record with his 21st save for the Midland team. The old record of 20 was held by Bryan Harvey. . . . Although California expected Ryan to pitch inside, no one believed there would be another incident like the one between Texas and Chicago that brought a - two-game suspension to Robin Ventura. And if a Ryan pitch got away? "If I'm hit I'll just walk to first," Gary DIS-arcina said. "I don't want to get noo-gied." NL Roundup Giants edge Reds as Swift wins No. 17 i Bill Swift won his seventh straight start and joined teammate John Burkett as the National League's only 17-game winners as San Francisco beat Cincinnati 2-1 Tuesday at Candlestick Park. Robby Thompson went 3-for-4 with a homer and a triple, and scored both San Francisco runs. Swift (17-5), who beat Cincin-nati for the third time this season, shut down the Reds on two hits in eight innings. He allowed only one hit before Kevin Mitchell drilled a 436-foot homer, his 17th of the season, in the seventh. Cincinnati's Jose Rijo (10-6), who had won five straight games, allowed six hits and two runs. MARLINS 3, CUBS 2 (15 Innings): Bob Natal tripled home Walt Weiss in the 15th inning as host Express home runs and 70 RBI, led the National League in doubles (34) and batted .311. And it's not hard to have warm fuzzies when he's done this well after California gave up on him in 1991, and Milwaukee traded him away in 1992. But what really makes Bichette so happy is that he's finally got the chance to play consistently. "There were numbers I knew I could obtain, if I just had the chance to play," Bichette said. "I always felt I had the ability to be a 3-4-5 hitter for somebody." That somebody turned out to be Colorado manager Don Baylor, who pushed the Rockies to i i I V, Slide for triple Id San Francisco Giant Robby Thompson slides into third for a triple as Cincinnati's Chris Sabo attempts to catch the throw in the sixth inning at Candlestick Park. Mets' Coleman expected to surrender today LOS ANGELES Vince Coleman, the New York Mets outfielder accused of throwing an explosive that injured three fans, will be arraigned today and surrender at that time. Coleman had planned to surrender to law authorities Tuesday, but changed plans because of the glut of reporters waiting for him at a police station in Van Nuys. "He will surrender at arraignment at the criminal courts building tomorrow, that's our understanding," said Phil Wierter, a Fire Department spokesman. t ire Department spokesman. unspecified amount of cash. . Association of America. Ventura appealed the sus- Coleman was going to surren- Thigpen, 30, has been ineffec- pension and will continue to play From Sun News Services Detroit snaps Baltimore's winning streak at eight Baltimore's eight-game win- AL ROUNDUP by Kirk Gibson between walks to can League victory with a two-hit- ning streak was snapped Tuesday Cecil Fielder and Trammell. ter as host Chicago beat Oakland. night as the Detroit Tigers used homers by Chad Kreuter, Dan Gladden, Alan Trammell and Rob Deer to bomb the Orioles 15-1 at Tiger Stadium. The Orioles started the night in sole possession of second place in the AL East, one-half game behind the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tigers, taking advantage of nine walks, scored five runs in the second, four in the fourth and four in the fifth. John Doherty (10-7) allowed 'LwG!r"'""l r' v "i- ' - .u ,.1.., ... . -, .. . ... ...v.'.;.......... : Phillies' shortstop Kevin Stacker dives for a hit by Montreal's Marquis Grissom. Florida defeated Chicago. Weiss walked with two outs in the 15th, his third walk in extra innings. Natal followed with his first triple of the year down the right-field line off Shawn Boskie. PHILLIES 5, EXPOS 2: Curt Schilling pitched a five-hitter and Dave Hollins drove in three runs with two doubles as host Philadelphia defeated Montreal. Braves 3, mets 2: Fred get Bichette last November. But the endorsement from Baylor, who was Milwaukee's hitting coach when Bichette was traded to the Brewers in 1991, came as a surprise. "I didn't realize he had enough confidence in me to draft me and bat me third," said Bichette, who hit only .238 that year. Bichette improved his average to .287 the next year, however, which was enough to get Baylor's attention. And since Opening Day, the critics have been silenced, much to Bichette's liking. "Not so much in a 'I told you so' kind of way," he said, "But Baseball notes der at the Police Department's Valley Division station in Van Nuys on Tuesday, but reporters on hand were told of a change in plans less than an hour before the announced time of surrender. PHILLIES ACQUIRE THIQ-PEN! CHICAGO The Chicago White Sox traded Bobby Thigpen, baseball's single-season save leader, to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday for pitcher Jose DeL-eon. The Phillies also received an five hits over eight innings, in cluding Harold Reynolds' second homer in the fifth. It was his first victory since July 18 when he tossed a three-hit shutout. Baltimore's Ben McDonald (9-10), bidding to go over .500 for the first time this season, was undone by his wildness. McDonald, who is 1-7 on the road, struck out six and walked four in 3 innings. McDonald loaded the bases in the second, sandwiching a single AP WIREPHOTO McGriff scored the winning run on Jeff McKnight's two-out error in the eighth inning as visiting Atlanta rallied to defeat New York. CARDINALS 4, PIRATES 2: Brian Jordan and Mark Whiten homered on consecutive pitches immediately after a 31-minute rain delay in the ninth inning as St. Louis beat host Pittsburgh despite hitting into a triple play. From Sun News Services people never put me in a position where I could do well until this year." Playing every day more than makes up for being on a team with a terrible record, he added. "It's been a lot of fun. The fans in Denver make it worthwhile, even though we're going through some growing pains," he said. Although Bichette has racked up good numbers, the kind that would make him a candidate for media stardom in most markets, his success has come in the shadow of Andres Galarraga. His teammate's flirtation with .400 has attracted most of Colorado's media attention. tive and lost his closer job since he set the major league record for saves with 57 in 1990. He is the White Sox' career leader with 201 saves and 424 relief appearances. This season, Thigpen is 0-0 with one save and a 5.71 ERA. VENTURA APPEALS SUSPENSION: NEW YORK Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox was suspended for two games by American League president Dr. Bobby Brown on Tuesday for charging the mound and fighting Texas pitcher Nolan Ryan in a game on Aug. 4. BLUE JAYS 6, TWINS 3: Joe Carter, mired in a 5-for-46 slump, hit a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning to help Dave Stewart and host Toronto to a victory over Minnesota. RED SOX 5, YANKEES 0: Mo Vaughn and John Valentin homered in a three-run sixth inning and host Boston shut down baseball's best hitting team with a victory over New York. WHITE SOX 4, ATHLETICS 0: Tim Belcher earned his first Ameri Stockton rallies past Mavericks, 13-10 By JIM LONG 9pecialtoTheSun ADELANTO What the High Desert Mavericks might go through in September is what they went through Tuesday when they lost 13-10 to the Stockton Port3. The teams pounded each other in a heavyweight battle of the California League's division leaders and likely championship finalists if all goes according to form. A crowd of 2,041 saw it at Maverick Stadium. The Mavericks (27-20 second half, 71-44 overall) squandered leads of 4-1, 6-3 and 8-5. Home runs were the weapon of choice for both teams. They combined for six. Tim Clark hit two for the Mavericks a three-run shot in the first to put High Desert ahead 4-1 and a solo HR to lead off the third for a 7-5 lead. Stockton's Derek Wachter also smacked two homers. His first led off the third inning. No. 2 Since Galarraga went on the disabled list July 25, Bichette moved into the cleanup spot. But he said he's not going to take Galarraga's place there. "I probably did feel a little pressure to pick it up a little bit at first, but you can't take his place," he said. "Replacing a .400 hitter is tough." It's also been a challenge to deal with the extra attention he's received since Galarraga went on theDL. "It was more comfortable (with Galarrage playing)," Bichette said. "No one really bothered me. Everyone was all over Galarraga." Bichette acknowledges it's too early for him to get entrenched in APWIREPHOTO until Brown conducts a hearing on the matter. Ventura went after Ryan after being hit by a pitch. He was ejected from the game. SABERHAQEN OWNS UP: NEW YORK Bret Saberhagen was identified by the New York Mets on Tuesday as the player who sprayed bleach on two reporters in the clubhouse July 27. The team said the pitcher will contribute one day s pay, $15,384.62, to a charity or charities designated by the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers ROYALS 4. MARINERS 1: Mike Macfarlane's second homer in two games backed Tom Gordon's five-hit pitching and carried Kansas City to a victory over visiting Seattle, which got a club-record 33rd homer from Ken Griffey Jr. BREWERS 5, INDIANS 4: Pinch-hitter Dickie Thon greeted reliever Jerry DiPoto with a bases-loaded single with one out in the 10th inning to rally host Milwaukee to a victory over Cleveland. From Sun News Services was a two-run shot with one out in the fourth inning that cut High Desert's lead to 8-7. Wachter's second homer also chased Mavericks starter Joel Adamson from the game. Leon Glenn put the Ports ahead 1-0 with a solo homer in the first. Andy Fairman drilled a solo homer off George Kerfut in the eighth to put Stockton up 13-9. Mike Stefanski scored the go-ahead run in the seventh. He broke an 8-8 tie when he came home from third base on a grounder hit by Todd Samples to Clark, the Mavericks' first baseman. Clark threw accurately to catcher Mark Skeels, but Stefanski slid under keels' tag. Mavericks reliever Jim Patterson (5-5), who was on the mound at the time, gave up a two-run double to Kevin Riggs later in the seventh. Patterson suffered the loss. Neither starting pitcher made it past the fourth inning. Byron Browny, Stockton's starter, was shelled for seven Dante Bichette Feeling at home Denver, since he hasn't even completed his first season there. But he's planning on staying on top of the world for awhile. Perez lifts the Spirit to 7-1 win By James Curran Sun Sports Writer SAN BERNARDINO Carlos Perez was looking to shake a tough-loser image. Tuesday, Perez was more than tough. Perez overwhelmed the Central Valley Rockies, taking a no-hitter into the seventh as the Spirit coasted to a 7-1 California League victory in front of 857 fans at Fiscalini Field. Perez (5-7), 0-2 against the Rockies and with only one win in his last five starts, allowed just two hits and an unearned run in eight innings with six strikeouts and three walks. Perez has been doing ironman work pitching 10 consecutive games of seven innings at least with little yield. The streak included a 2-0 loss to Palm Springs on Aug. 5, in which Perez allowed just one unearned run in eight innings. Perez said his transformation from hard-throwing reliever to dependable starter is complete. "I never had to work as hard as this, but I like being a starter now," Perez said. "This time on the mound, every location is fine. "I knew this team had beaten me, so I came in and I thought about how hard I have to work to beat them. And it worked." Perez and the Spirit got most of the offense it needed from Michael Figga, who blasted his 20th home run of the year, a two-run shot for most of his three RBI. "That one felt special right there," Figga said. "I hope I can keep up the pace. It's kinda weird. I expected home runs, but not 20." Steve Anderson hit a solo HR and Steve Phillips punched a two-run double for the Spirit. The Spirit is 20-26 in the Southern Division. The Rockies slipped to 27-20, two games behind Northern Division-leading Stockton. t Perez retired the first 13 batters he faced before walking Mike Case. Craig Counsell picked up Perez's second walk in the seventh. Ryan Turner followed by ripping a single through Ryan Freeburg's legs to spoil the no-hitter. Counsell scored on a fielder's choice by Case. Lloyd Peever (2-2) struck out nine Spirit batters, but allowed five runs and seven hits with a walk in six innings. Anderson tagged Peever first with his HR in the second inning. Figga and Anderson picked up RBI in the fourth to solidify Perez's advantage. Spirit notes Spirit catcher Michael Figga was named the Batter of the Week in the California League. For the week of Aug. 1-7, Figga went 11-for-21 (.524) with five home runs, five doubles and 11 RBI ... Steve Shoemaker (7-4, 4.84) will take the mound for the Spirit tonight while Central Valley will counter with Juan Acevedo (7-7, 4.56). Game time Is 7:05 p.m. earned runs (eight overall) in 2Vi innings. He walked six. Adamson, who'd only allowed four homers in the Cal League this year, was racked for three homers Tuesday and charged with six earned runs. Don Blair (1-0) got the win in his Cal League debut. He pitched three-hit, shutout ball over 314 innings, striking out two. He arrived in California on Sunday from Beloit (Wis.) or the Midwest League. Mavericks notes Mavericks left fielder Scott Samuels had not committed an error this season in 31 games playing the outfield, going Into Tuesday's game Mavs reliever Mike Whltten hadn't allowed a home run yet, a 45Vi-inning streak. . . . The Mavericks won't see 1991 Milwaukee Brewers first-round draft pick Tyrone Hill (1-2) this week. The Yucaipa High graduate starts Friday at San Bernardino's Fiscalini Field vs. the Spirit. He'9 only allowed two runs in his last 21 innings. . . . Correction: San Bernardino has 15 homers at Maverick Stadium. In 1993, not 22 as reported Tuesday.
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