Garciaparra homers three times in game

Birthday bashes

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002

BOSTON -- Nomar Garciaparra found a unique way to celebrate his 29th birthday: with three home runs in one game.

Garciaparra connected three times -- giving him a record-tying five home runs in two games -- and had eight RBIs to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 22-4 Tuesday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

The Devil Rays salvaged the day by rallying for five runs in the ninth inning and a 5-4 victory. Jared Sandberg hit a three-run homer off Ugueth Urbina (0-6) to cap the comeback.

Victor Zambrano (4-4) got the victory. Esteban Yan finished for his 13th save, giving up a two-out single to Garciaparra before striking out Manny Ramirez with two on.

Ramirez, who homered twice and had five RBIs in the first game, went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts in Game 2.

Garciaparra, 29, became the first major leaguer to have a three home-run game on his birthday, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Fans serenaded him with a ''Happy Birthday'' chorus.

Garciaparra homered off Tanyon Sturtze (1-10) and Brandon Backe in a 10-run third inning, then hit a grand slam in the fourth off Backe. Garciaparra also homered twice Sunday at New York -- it was 26th time a player has hit five homers in two games.

Down 4-0, Boston came back for its highest-scoring game in the regular season at Fenway Park since a 23-3 win over Detroit on June 18, 1953. The Red Sox beat Cleveland 23-7 at home in the 1999 playoffs.

Indians 9, Yankees 3

CLEVELAND -- Danys Baez lost his shutout bid in the ninth inning, but led the Cleveland Indians over the New York Yankees, who also lost All-Star catcher Jorge Posada to a freak injury.

Baez (8-7) was three outs away from his first career shutout and complete game when the Yankees scored three times.

Posada was cut on the left ear when struck by Milton Bradley's backswing in the fifth inning. Posada, who didn't lose consciousness, was taken to Fairview Hospital for stitches.

In the seventh inning, Bradley, this time batting left-handed, also conked substitute catcher Chris Widger on the helmet with his bat. Widger was uninjured.

White Sox 8, Twins 7

CHICAGO -- Frank Thomas hit the longest homer in new Comiskey Park history -- a shot estimated at 495 feet -- as the Chicago White Sox ended Minnesota's six-game winning streak.

Thomas' two-run drive cleared the left-field bleachers in the fourth inning and was five feet farther than a blast by Oakland's Eric Chavez in April 2001. New Comiskey Park opened in 1991.

Magglio Ordonez and Aaron Rowand also homered for the White Sox.

Mark Buehrle (13-7) was staked to an 8-1 lead and left with the victory after giving up 10 hits and six runs in 5 2-3 innings.

Tigers 10, Royals 1

DETROIT -- Mark Redman pitched eight impressive innings and Wendell Magee drove in four runs as the Detroit Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Kansas City Royals.

The Tigers set season highs for runs and hits (19).

Kansas City lost for only the second time in 12 games. Raul Ibanez singled home the Royals' run in the seventh, giving him 17 RBIs in 10 games.

Mariners 4, Rangers 1

SEATTLE -- John Olerud hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers.

A key error by 10-time Gold Glove catcher Ivan Rodriguez helped the AL West-leading Mariners score three times in the eighth.

With one out, Jeff Cirillo hit a high pop in foul territory in front of the Mariners' dugout. But the ball bounced out of Rodriguez's mitt and, given another chance, Cirillo singled off Jay Powell (2-2).

Cirillo moved up on a groundout by Ichiro Suzuki and then Mike Cameron followed with an infield single. Juan Alvarez relieved to face the left-handed Olerud, who doubled over center fielder Ruben Rivera. Bret Boone singled home Olerud.

Athletics 2, Angels 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Barry Zito became the AL's first 14-game winner, and Miguel Tejada hit a two-run homer and made a diving catch with the bases loaded as the Oakland Athletics beat the Anaheim Angels.

The A's have won 10 of 13, including a 2-0 victory over Anaheim last Thursday night when Zito pitched into the eighth inning. Oakland moved within percentage points of the Angels for second place in the AL West. Both teams trail Seattle by two games.

Zito (14-3), who has won four straight starts and 13 of his last 14 decisions, allowed one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Billy Koch, the fifth Oakland pitcher, worked the ninth for his 25th save in 30 chances.

Tejada hit his 21st homer off Kevin Appier (8-8) following a one-out walk to Scott Hatteberg in the sixth to snap a scoreless tie.

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