The Boston Red Sox have a candidate for the American League Cy Young Award -somebody other than Roger Clemens, according to their manager, Joe Morgan.
"The win could project Hurst into the Cy Young picture," said Morgan Sunday after Hurst struck out 11 in Boston's 7-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. "His fastball was as good as I've seen."
Perhaps more importantly for the Red Sox, who moved within a game of first-place Detroit in the American League East, Hurst has turned out to be their stopper. He is 10-1 after a Boston loss and has won seven straight decisions.
Hurst improved to 16-4, while Clemens, who has won the last two AL Cy Young Awards, is 15-9 after losing four straight decisions for the first time in his career. Hurst is second in the league in victories, behind Minnesota's Frank Viola, 19-6. "I felt fairly strong," Hurst said. "(Seattle starter Mike) Moore looked outstanding, but the mark of a great team is taking advantage of the mistakes whenever you can."
Moore 7-14, took a one-hit shutout and a 2-0 lead into the sixth. Jim Rice and Spike Owen walked with none out. Rich Gedman, trying to sacrifice, forced Rice, before gaining second on an RBI single by Wade Boggs. Marty Barrett singled to load the bases.
Moore struck out Dwight Evans, and Mike Greenwell followed with a double into the left-field corner to drive in three runs, gving him a major league-leading 103 RBI.
"There's that old saying, walking guys will come back to haunt you, and they did," Greenwell said. "I enjoy being in pressure situations."
Ellis Burks followed with a run-scoring single for a 5-2 Boston lead.
Moore, who was pitching on three days rest, said, "I wasn't as sharp as I have been. But the three days off wasn't a factor."
The Red Sox made it 7-2 in the eighth on Evans' 13th homer, a two-run shot. Boggs had walked leading off. One out later, Evans hit 3-2 pitch off Bill Wilkinson.
The Mariners had taken a 2-0 lead in the first on Darnell Coles's two-run homer, his fifth homer since being traded from Pittsburgh. Harold Reynolds, who had three hits, was on base with an infield single. Angels 13, Yankees 2
Instead of celebrating a birthday Sunday, New York Yankees Manager Lou Piniella languished through a lost weekend that perhaps ended his team's pennant hopes.
The Yankees blew a six-run lead Friday night and lost 7-6 to the California Angels. New York was embarrassed 12-0 on Saturday and dropped their third straight, 13-2, on Sunday.
California banged out 19 hits Sunday and totaled 32 runs and 54 hits in sweeping the Yankees, who have lost four in a row and trail the Detroit Tigers by 51/2 games in the American League East. New York committed four errors, three by shortstop Rafael Santana.
"This is rock bottom right now," said Piniella, who turned 45 Sunday. "I feel as bad as anybody, and if some of my players don't, then they don't have any pride.
"A loss is a loss but you certainly don't want to get blown out two days in a row like we did."
Bob Boone and Chili Davis each homered and drove in three runs, and Tony Armas collected four hits and two RBI to power the Angels.
"There's no explaining it," California designated hitter Brian Downing said. "The Yankees are loaded with talent, but pitching is the name of the game. When your pitchers are struggling, you're going to struggle."
Brewers 12, Tigers 10
At Milwaukee, Paul Molitor drove in four runs, two with a tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning, to highlight a season-high 18-hit attack. Molitor's 10th homer, off Mike Henneman, 7-4, completed the Brewers' comeback from a 9-4 deficit. Odell Jones, 5-0, pitched 12/3 innings for the victory.
Royals 12, Twins 3
At Kansas City, George Brett, Bo Jackson and Jamie Quirk homered in a seven-run seventh inning to give the Royals a three-game series sweep. Brett and Jackson hit three-run homers, and Quirk added a solo shot. Jeff Montgomery, 7-2, was the winner. Allan Anderson, 12-8, took the loss.
Indians 5, White Sox 4
At Chicago, pinch hitter Ron Kittle homered leading off the 11th inning for Cleveland.
Orioles 2, Athletics 1
At Oakland, Calif., Pete Stanicek singled home Joe Orsulak from third base with two out in the 11th inning to lift Baltimore. Orsulak tripled with two out in the 11th off Gene Nelson, 7-6.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 5
At Arlington, Texas, Manny Lee drew a walk from Craig McMurtry with the bases loaded in the 11th inning and Toronto overcame a five-run, seventh-inning deficit.
Pirates 4, Astros 3
The Pittsburgh Pirates, against one of the best pitching staff's in the National League, Sunday scored more than two runs in a game for the first time since August 16.
Jose Lind and Andy Van Slyke each had a run-scoring single in a three-run eighth inning to lift the Pirates over Houston. Pittsburgh moved within 61/2 games of New York in the NL East. Houston dropped to 51/2 games behind Los Angeles in the West.
Doug Drabek, 13-6, allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings, winning for the eighth time in his last nine decisions.
Jim Gott worked two innings to gain his 25th save, despite yielding Kevin Bass's 12th home run leading off the ninth.
Giants 7, Mets 0
At New York, Roger McDowell hit Joel Youngblood with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to force in the tie-breaking run and help the Giants end the Mets' five-game winning streak.
Dodgers 5, Phillies 0
At Philadelphia, Franklin Stubbs drove in three runs with a first-inning double and John Tudor, 8-6, scattered four hits in seven innings to pace a sweep of the three-game series.
Padres 5, Expos 3
At Montreal, pinch hitter Keith Moreland delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to lift the Padres to their ninth victory in 11 games.
Braves 4, Cubs 2
At Atlanta, Lonnie Smith homered and drove in two runs and John Smoltz, 2-4, allowed four hits over eight innings.
Cardinals 5, Reds 3
At Cincinnati, Tony Pena stroked a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning to spark the Cardinals.