Gonzalez rejects Yankees, helps Tigers rip Cleveland

Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

CLEVELAND -- Juan Gonzalez decided that New York was just a nice place to visit.

Gonzalez rejected a one-year contract extension, collapsing a proposed 3-for-1 trade to the Yankees on Monday and then led the Detroit Tigers to a 13-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The two-time MVP went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple, scored twice and walked as the Tigers went 7-6 against the Indians this year, winning the season series for the first time since 1993.

Instead of playing for the Yankees, Gonzalez will now face them Tuesday night at home.

Gonzalez, who gave conflicting statements about his future before clamming up during the weekend, didn't have much to say following the game.

''I'm happy. We win. That's it,'' Gonzalez said.

Brian Moehler (5-4) pitched 6 2-3 innings for his fourth win in six decisions. The right-hander gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out three.

Tony Clark, the AL player of the week, went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs and Juan Encarnacion had four hits, including a two-run double in Detroit's four-run sixth.

Dave Burba (8-3) might have pitched himself off the All-Star team with another shaky outing. He gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, raising his ERA to 8.49 in his last four starts.

After giving up three runs in the first, Burba tipped his cap as the crowd booed while he was walking off the mound. However, much of the booing seemed to be directed at Detroit's Damion Easley who slammed his bat to the ground after striking out.

''That was my little message to them to let them know I don't appreciate being booed,'' Burba said. ''They bought their ticket and have the right to do that. But I don't have to like it.''

In dropping three of five to the last-place Tigers, the Indians fell 8 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central. Cleveland is 13-17 in a division it has dominated since 1995.

''The way we pitched and played we were lucky to win two games,'' said Indians manager Charlie Manuel.

After nearly a week of rumors, guessing games and dead ends, the Gonzalez-to-the-Yankees soap opera is finally finished.

''I think it wore on him personally,'' Tigers manager Phil Garner said.

Garner said he spoke briefly with Gonzalez before the game.

''I told him I was glad the Yankee thing didn't work out and that I'm happy,'' said Garner. ''He just smiled.''

Brad Ausmus gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the first with his fifth homer of the season, a wind-blown shot over the wall in right off Burba.

After Bobby Higginson walked, Gonzalez, who sat out Sunday's game with a sore left ankle, looked fine as he legged out a run-scoring triple. Clark followed with a grounder to short that scored Gonzalez.

''I think everything being over helped him feel better,'' Garner said. ''I think he was up for the game.''

Ausmus said the Tigers didn't buy into all the trade talk.

''I thought all along that he was going to remain here,'' Ausmus said.

Twins 10, Angels 6

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Matt Lawton, Ron Coomer and Jay Canizaro each homered and had two RBIs as Minnesota defeated Anaheim.

Brad Radke (5-9), who won for only the second time in seven starts, allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.

Jarrod Washburn (3-2), who gave up only three earned runs in 22 1-3 innings in three previous outings, allowed eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings -- his shortest outing in 30 major league starts.

One of the runs off the left-hander was unearned because of a throwing error by Scott Spiezio, who started his third straight game at third base because of Troy Glaus' back spasms.

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