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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 46
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 46

Detroit, Michigan
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rwy 9 wm i www www wwww pri'ii''rr 4D DETROIT FREE PRESSWEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 1984 I American League Rookie 's first start brings a title EAST Pet, CB loii 10 Hem Awoy x-Detrolt 97 54 .642 7-3 50-28 47-26 Toronto 84 67 .556 13 4-6 47-29 37-38 New York 81 69 .540 15V4 5-5 48-29 33-41 80 69 .537 16 5-5 41-32 39-37 Baltimore Boston 79 71 .527 17V 5-5 38-36 41-35 Cleveland 69 83 .454 28V4 6-4 35-39 34-44 Milwaukee 62 88 .413 34Vj 4-6 35-40 27-48 WEST Pet. GB Unl 10 Horn Away 7-3 39-35 39-37 Kansas City 78 72 .520 Minnesota 5-5 43-33 33-41 76 74 .507 California 75 74 .503 2Vz 5-5 34-42 41-32 last week in his major league debut, allowing a hit and a walk. That outing intrigued the Tigers. "We'll find out a little about him Tuesday, won't we?" Sparky Anderson said afterward. "I don't want to make too much out of it put too much pressure on him because it's going to be an unnatural situation." O'NEAL'S BEST pitch is the split-finger fastball, or forkball. Of his 1 10 strikeouts this season at Evansville, he estimates that "65 to 70" came on that pitch. "When I was in spring training this year, Roger (Craig) was talking to me and noticed that I had big hands," O'Neal said. "He had me put a ball between my fingers and said I should be a natural at throwing the forkball. After I had used it for just a short time, Lance (Parrish) said he never saw anyone pick up the pitch so fast." O'Neal, who broke in with Lakeland in 1981, pitched at Birmingham in 1982 and was 8-10 with Evansville in 1983. This season he was 9-10 with a 3.58 ERA. Like Mason, O'Neal could force the Tigers to take a long look at him in spring training next year if he continues to impress in September. why I don't care much about the circumstances-surrounding Tuesday's game," O'Neal said. "When you come up from Triple-A, all you really want to do is to pitch well." By GENE GUIDI Free Press Sports Writer His day began much like it always does when he is scheduled to pitch a baseball game that night. Up by mid-morning for a bite to eat, then back to his hotel room to watch a little television. When his nerves start to jangle, he snaps off the TV and heads out for a long walk. The nearest shopping mall is the best place to take a stroll and forget about 3-2 counts. Around 4 p.m., he goes to the stadium. In the solitude of the clubhouse, a few cups of coffee help bridge the hours leading up to the game. By 7:37 p.m., Randy O'Neal takes the mound. The only difference is that this is not some insignificant Triple-A game where major league hopefuls, has-beens and never-weres compete in near-privacy. This is Randy O'Neal's first major-league start. As it turns out, it is also the game that clinches the American League East championship for the Tigers. And it's played before 48,810 howling fans who are there for nothing short of victory and celebration. If you're Randy O'Neal, this is nervous time, right? Not really, he says. And then proves it by pitching seven shutout innings and notching his first major league victory, 3-0, over Milwaukee. "I wasn't the least bit jittery," he says afterward in the champagne- and beer-soaked Tigers clubhouse. "I like big games. And I like pitching in front of big crowds. I've pitched against 48,000 in Denver and 32,000 at Louisville. It gets you pumped up. If you're any kind of pitcher, you want to be in those situations." And O'Neal, 24, thrived on the situation Tuesday night. He retired the last 11 batters he faced before Willie Hernandez took over in the eighth and earned his 30th save. O'NEAL FACED the Brewers in a title-clinching situation just 24 hours after fellow rookie Roger Mason was in a position to do the same. Toronto's ninth-inning rally to beat Boston Monday blocked the Tigers from clinching and prevented Mason from being forever remembered as the the pitcher who won the game that put the Tigers over the top. That left it to O'Neal. But that position didn't make him any more or less nervous about his task, he said. "When I found out last week that I would be getting a start, all that was on my mind was going out and pitching a good game," O'Neal said. O'Neal pitched three innings in relief against Baltimore Oakland 70 82 .461 9 5-5 41-36 29-46 4-6 40-35 29-46 69 81 .460 Chicago Seattle 68 84 .447 11 5-5 38-38 30-46 4-6 32-41 33-44 65 85 .433 13 Texas x-cllnched division title Tiger facts Vs. East Division: 40-27 Vs. West Division: 57-27 Vs. right-handers: 64-32 Vs. left-handers: 33-22 Home attendance: 72 dates: 2,561,405 1968 comparative record: 97-54, 1st place by 10Va games Champions! On to the playoffs TUESDAY'S RESULTS DETROIT 3, Milwaukee 0. Boston 10, TORONTO 3: Dwight Evans drove in four runs with a pair of two-run homers and Rich Gedman and Tony Armas both hit two-run homers. Mike Easier had a solo homer and Wade Boggs went 4-for-5 as the Red Sox shelled five pitchers for 15 hits. Rich Gale worked five innings and allowed two runs on six hits. The Red Sox jumped on started Luis Leal for five runs in the fourth. NEW YORK 10, Baltimore 2: Mike Pagliarulo's grand slam and Don Mattingly's two-run homer highlighted a seven-run Yankee TIGERS, from Page 1D It was the perfect ending with Hernandez pitching in the ninth. And it began symbolically with Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and Lance Parrish three Tigers brought second inning. Oscar Gamble added a solo shot to open the third as New York moved a half-game in front of Baltimore into third place in the AL East. Ray Fontenot pitched eight innings and gave up six hits and an unearned run in his return from a three-game suspension for ft) his role in a brawl Sept. 2 at Anaheim. Chicago 5, MINNESOTA 3. SEATTLE 6, Cleveland 3. Kansas City 10, CALIFORNIA 0. OAKLAND 5, Texas 2. today's games and probable pitchers 1984 overall 1984 fit last 3 start! W-L ERA W-t IPERAW-L IP ERA Milwaukee at Candiottl (r) 2-1 4.67 0-0 2-0 20 2.70 Detroit, 7:30 Morris (r) 17-11 3.78 1-0 6 0.00 0-2 18 6.50 Texaa at Hough (r) 16-12 3.64 0-0 2-0 29 1.86 Oakland. 3:15 Young (I) 8-4 4.02 0-0 2-1 18 5.89 Boeton at Hurst (I) 11-10 3.88 0-1 6 4.50 0-2 13 9.95 Toronto. 7:30 Clancy (r) 12-14 4.86 1-0 5 1.80 2-1 19 5.30 Baltimore at Boddicker (r) 18-10 2.72 1-0 8.2 1.04 2-1 24 1.50 New York, 8:00 Cowley (r) 8-1 2.92 0-0 3-0 23 1.99 Chicago at Bannister (I) 12-10 4.76 0-0 3.2 7.36 0-2 18 7.13 Mlnneaota. 8:30 Smlthson (r) 15-12 3 63 0-0 6.1 7.11 2-1 25 1.42 Kansas City at Jackson (I) 1-6 4.43 0-0 0-1 19 4.19 10:30 Zahn (I) 12-9 3.27 0-0 2-0 23 4.24 Cleveland at Heaton (I) 10-14 5.27 0-0 1-1 13 4.97 Seattle, 10:30 Langston (I) 1S-9 3.19 0-0 2 0.00 2-0 22 3.22 MONDAY'S RESULTS NEW YORK 12, Baltimore 7. OAKLAND 5, Texas 3. SEATTLE 3, Cleve. 2, 11 inn. DETROIT 7, Milwaukee 3. TORONTO 5, Boston 4. KC 10, CALIFORNIA 1. Chicago 7, MINNESOTA 3. up together in the farm system combining for what proved to be the winning run in the first. "Hopefully, we can re-do '68," shouted Trammell, who was drenched with champagne in the madcap clubhouse as a city lost its head outside. "We have to go all the way," said Aurelio Lopez. "We have the best record in baseball. We better do it." In winning, the Tigers capped a year that began with a 35-5 record during a spring when fans all over the country were learning about baseball, Motor City style. And they maintained their lead as snow turned to sunshine over the long, hot season as the entire league put them in its sights. "There were tough periods for us," said center-fielder Chet Lemon. "But we managed to hold on. We were under the gun all year. Every town we went to, we'd pick up the paper and read: 'Are we as real as our "We battled. We showed we were." Dave Bergman, like Kuntz a former part-timer who found new life in Detroit, stood amidst the mob, red-eyed and emotional. "Every time we went out there, they tried to kick our a--," he said. "They couldn't do it." THE TIGERS got the clincher thanks in large part to a fine performance by a rookie right-hander who was making his first major league start. Randy O'Neal was called up from the minors on Sept. 3. He was working despite lobbying by Jack Morris and Dan Petry, who both told pitching coach Roger Craig they were eager to start the big game, Craig says. But the Tigers stuck with O'Neal, 24, who was 9-10 with a 3.58 ERA at Evansville this season. He didn't let them down, and he assured himself a secure spot in Tigers lore O'Neal had pitched only three major league innings, all in a relief appearance in Baltimore last week in which he held the Orioles to one hit in three innings. Tuesday, he held the Brewers to four hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six. O'Neal's only trouble came in the third, when the Brewers loaded the bases with a single, a walk and a fielder's choice. Doug Loman ripped a hard foul down the right- (Home teams In CAPITALS) National League pt NY MnnnrnnriSl I EAST Pet. GB Lot 10 Home Away Chicago 90 60 .600 5-5 49-26 41-34 New York 83 69 .546 8 4-6 42-33 41-36 Philadelphia 80 72 .526 11 6-4 38-38 42-33 St. Louis 78 72 .520 12 5-5 41-35 37-37 Montreal 74 75 .497 15Vi 6-4 35-39 39-36 Pittsburgh 66 85 .437 24V4 4-6 37-38 29-47 WEST Pet. GB tail 10 Home Awoy San Diego 84 66 .560 4-6 45-31 39-35 Houston 76 75 .503 8V4 5-5 41-34 34-41 Atlanta 75 76 .497 6-4 36-40 39-36 Los Angeles 73 78 .483 11Vi 7-3 36-39 37-39 Cincinnati 63 88 .417 21 Vi 4-6 35-40 28-48 San Francisco 62 88 .413 22 4-6 31-43 31-45 Free Press Photo by MARY SCHROEDER Rookie Randy O'Neal's first major league start turned into a 3-0 division-clinching victory. field line, but O'Neal got him on a fly to center. After that, O'Neal retired the next 11 batters before Hernandez came in and got his 30th save in 30 save opportunities. THE TIGERS started early, just as they had Monday night when rookie Roger Ma son earned his first major league victory. Parrish's ground ball scored Whitaker in the first inning, after Whitaker had walked and Trammell had doubled. The game settled down until the sixth, when the Tigers got to starter Bob McClure for another run. Parrish this time singled home Trammell, who had doubled again. Tom Brookens, who played three positions this season, homered in the seventh for the third Tigers run. That iced what would be the most memorable win in many a year. "You wish every person in Detroit could be in your feet just for two Kuntz said. He meant it, too. TUESDAY'S RESULTS PITTSBURGH 6, Chicago 2: Lee Lacy and Johnny Ray cracked consecutive home runs in the fourth inning and Ray later added three more RBIs. John Tudor allowed only three hits and a run through five innings, but left the game when his left elbow tightened before the sixth. Don Robinson got his ninth save by working the last four innings. Dennis Eckersley retired the first 10 Pirates before Lacy cracked his 12th homer, a first-pitch shot to right. films 1 New York 8, PHILADELPHIA 5: Darryl Strawberry hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth. Pinch hitter Rusty Staub opened the ninth with a single, his 16th pinch hit of the season, off Larry Andersen, and Ron Gardenhire ran for him. Gardenhire went to second on Wally Backman's sacrifice and Mookie Wilson was walked intentionally. Al Holland replaced Andersen and retired Keith Hernandez on a grounder for the second out, but Strawberry followed by blasting his 23d homer, off the base of the scoreboard in right-center field. San Diego 2, CINCINNATI 0: Terry Kennedy hit a two-run homer and Dave Dravecky pitched a three-hitter. Dravecky, who had a no-hitter for 5'3 innings until Ron Oester doubled to left in the sixth, struck out three and walked two while winning his first game since July 30. ATLANTA 6, Los Angeles 5: Chris Chambliss' pinch-hit, two-run double in the eighth inning rallied the Braves. They trailed, 5-4, in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Randy Johnson singled with one out off reliever Burt Hooton. When pinch-hitter ClaudeD Washington walked one out later, Hooton was replaced by Ken Howell, who yielded Chambliss' double to left. Montreal 7, ST. LOUIS 4. HOUSTON 5, San Francisco 4. 10 Innings. today's games and probable pitchers Tigers were so solid it was over in April MIKE DOWNEY, from Page 1D required to keep fast-improving players like Parrish, Trammell and Whitaker on the premises. i The title also belonged to old standbys like Milt Wilcox, the pitcher who came through with the season of his life, and Johnny Grubb "Johnny Off the Bench" who had come off the pines so many times to pitch in, and Tommy Brookens, who watched the Tigers do everything but reactivate Eddie Mathews to solve their problems at third base. When Brookens homered home Tuesday's final run, it felt good to him. "It was the least I could do," this total team player said. There was shouting and singing. The opera was over and the fat lady had finished. Actually it was Fat Bob Taylor, the Singing Plumber, who did the national anthem on the night Detroit won the division, but he'll do nicely, thank you. Call Yogi, somebody. Tell him to start thinking about 1385. how they scored FIRST INNING Detroit: McClure pitching. Whitaker walked. Trammell doubled to left, sending Whitaker to third. Gibson fouled out to the catcher Parrish grounded out to short, scoring Whitaker and moving Trammell to second. Herndon popped out to short. 1-0 Tlgeri. SIXTH INNING Detroit: Trammell doubled to left. Gibson walked. Parrish singled to left, scoring Trammell. Tellmann relieved McClure. Herndon fouled out lo the catcher. Gibson advanced to third and Parrish to second on a wild pitch. Grubb, hitting for Garbey, was walked intentionally. Lemon struck out. Caldwell relieved Tellmann. Evans grounded out to the pitcher. 2-0 Tlgert. SEVENTH INNING Detroit: Brookens homered to left. Whitaker grounded out to second. The Tigers: First, foremost, always GEORGE PUSCAS, from Page 1D Morris got his. Everybody got theirs. Even Anderson, who tried to avoid it. The manager sat quietly in his office, talking about what he called the "No. 1 team in my life." "I'm not much for a party never have been," he said. "But right now, I'm very satisfied. I've never been more satisfied in my life." IN HIS HEART, he knew months ago that his team was something special. But he dared not say that it had the race locked, though in fact it had. "It's like going up the steps of heaven one step at a time," he said. "You can get there, but you can go to hell in a hurry, too. "It's been our night all year. We've played basically well all year. To have a four-game losing streak only three times, that's like stealing. You always look for that seven-, eight-game losing streak to come along, but it didn't happen. IT WAS for him a season to top all seasons. "If we win 10 championships in a row, this one always will mean the most," he said. "This is my 31st year, and there'll never be another year like it. "We had an eight-game lead after 35-5 and everybody said wait till you come to the East. So we came to the East (in June), and nothing happened to us. "And then they said we were in trouble when Alan Trammell got hurt (in July). But Tom Brookens came in and did a heckuva job." "Our regulars are down except for Gibson and Trammell, but everybody won four, five games apiece. Everybody contributed. Good people make good things happen." OutsHie the stadium, the horns are blaring, the people are shouting. The race had ended. They were just beginning. 1984 overall 19B4stelte last 3 starts W-L ERA W-L IPERAW-L IP ERA Pittsburgh at McWIIIiams (I) 10-10 2.70 0-1 9.1 9.64 2-1 19 4.66 Chicago, 2:20 Sutclitte (r) 19-6 3.66 0-0 2-0 26 1.38 Now York at Darling (r) 12-7 3 53 1-1 11 8.74 1-2 19 2 37 7:30 Carlton (I) 12-7 3.62 0-0 9 1.00 1-1 19 7.23 Cincinnati at Tibba (r) 4-2 3.19 0-0 2-0 21 4 29 Atlanta. 7:40 McMurtry (r) 9-15 4.65 1-0 61 1.08 1-1 21 2.18 Loo AnffotM at Reuse (I) 3-7 4 50 0-0 5 7 20 1-1 22 3 27 Houston, 8:30 Knepper (I) 14-9 3.30 1-0 0 00 1-0 16 6 06 Montreal at Rogers (r) 6-14 4 68 1-1 9 8.00 1-2 18 4 50 8L Low, 8:30 Cox (r) 8-10 4 39 04) 2-0 20 1 83 San Fran, at Robinson (r) 7-14 4 23 0-2 5.2 12.7 0-1 17 1.06 Saw Draco, 10-OOShow (r) 14-9 3 50 1-0 7 0 00 0-2 17 6 35 MONDAY'S RESULTS PHII Ann PHIA 2 Npw York 1 I 3, CINCINNATI 2, 1 1 inn. HOUSTON 5, San Francisco 3. "iy uui. uiusuii grounoeo out to first. Los AngeteM ATLANTA 0. 1 Free Prsi Photo by MARY SCHROEDER" Jack Morris is mobbed by exuberant Tigers fans. Final cor: Tlgert 3, Brewers 0. I (Home teams In CAPITALS)

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