Two outs from a possible victory, Nolan Ryan blew out his shoulder. One strike from a sure victory, Jeff Reardon blew it for Roger Clemens.
Ryan left Monday night's start against Detroit in the fifth inning, walking off the mound with a strained muscle in the back of his right shoulder.The Texas Rangers won easily without Ryan, beating Detroit 8-1. But the injury may have blown a chance at a marquee matchup Sunday night in Texas: Ryan vs. Clemens.
"My attitude now is I'll know within the next 48 hours what we're dealing with," Ryan said. "I only hope to miss one start at the best."
Either way, Clemens will go into the game undefeated. But he's still 6-0, rather 7-0, because of Reardon. Clemens endured an early 59-minute power delay at Boston and left after eight innings with a 3-2 lead. With two outs and two strikes in the ninth, pinch hitter Matt Merullo homered off Reardon to tie it, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Red Sox 4-3 in the 10th.
"He told us he was dead," Boston manager Joe Morgan said after Clemens threw 106 pitches. "But there's been weirder nights than this, that's for sure."
Ryan's first game at Arlington Stadium since his record seventh no-hitter was supposed to be a celebration. Instead, it turned into a night of concern.
Ryan had allowed only one hit, struck out four and walked three when he left after fanning Pete Incaviglia to start the fifth inning. Ryan left with a 2-0 lead and wound up without getting his 306th career victory.
"Three or four times a year, I experience this kind of thing and it's because of improper mechanics," Ryan said. "It's sort of like tendinitis. It stiffened up on me tonight. I felt like I would take a chance where I'd tear it and I'd be looking at a two months recovery period."
White Sox 4, Red Sox 3
Clemens gave up two runs on four hits in the first three innings. But after the power delay, he shut out the White Sox on one hit for five innings.
Reardon was perfect on 13 straight save chances, including 10 this season. Merullo hit his second home run on a 1-2 pitch.
Yankees 6, Athletics 3
Scott Sanderson stopped his former team and sent Oakland slumping out of New York.
The Athletics had won 16 straight games against the Yankees before losing three times in a four-game series.
Sanderson (4-1) won 17 games for Oakland last season. He gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings against the Athletics.
Angels 9, Indians 5
Luis Polonia went 5-for-6, scored three runs and drove in three for California.
Chuck Finley (6-1) won despite allowing five runs on 10 hits in five innings.The Indians are the only team to beat him this season.
The game was delayed by rain for 80 minutes after the fifth inning with the score tied at 5. Polonia hit an RBI triple in the sixth off Steve Olin (2-3) and scored on the play on shortstop Felix Fermin's wild relay.
Jeff Robinson pitched 1 1-3 innings for his second save.
Blue Jays 4, Royals 2
Todd Stottlemyre won his fifth consecutive decision and Joe Carter hit his fifth home run for Toronto.
Stottlemyre (5-0) gave up six hits in 81/3 innings. Roberto Alomar hit a two-run double in the third inning and Carter hit a solo homer off Storm Davis (2-4) in the fifth.
Atlanta 5, Chicago 3
Tom Glavine hurled an eight-hit complete game and hit an RBI double to lead surprising Atlanta.
The Braves, who finished last season in last place (65-97), have won 13 of their last 19 games and are in first place.
Glavine, who entered the game with a .250 average, gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the second with a two-out RBI double. Glavine, 5-2, also stole third base, struck out five and didn't allow a walk.
Cardinals 1, Reds 0
At St. Louis, Ozzie Smith drove in Bernard Gilkey from third with no outs in the eighth inning. Ken Hill allowed two hits, two walks and six strikeouts in eight innings.
Padres 5, Mets 2
At San Diego, Tony Gwynn and Benito Santiago each drove in a pair of runs to support Andy Benes' first win in 14 starts. Benes allowed five hits and two runs in 62/3 innings.
Phillies 3, Giants 2, 11 innings
At San Francisco, John Kruk smacked a solo homer in the 11th inning to lift Philadelphia. Dale Murphy added his 384th career home run.
Dodgers 8, Expos 3
At Los Angeles, Ramon Martinez gave up six hits to earn his National League-leading sixth win.