Stops home-run leader with high, soft floatersA lot of pitchers have gone around Mark McGwire this year. Bob Tewksbury tried something new - he threw over the big guy.
Tewksbury resorted to lobbing balls to McGwire on Sunday, and it worked. The major league home run leader could only laugh as he grounded out and popped up on the 44 mph pitches."It was awesome," McGwire said after Tewksbury pitched the Minnesota Twins past the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 at the Metrodome. "I loved it. I tell you what, I'll swing at it every time if it's in the strike zone."
Tewksbury promised his teammates he would throw the lobs if McGwire was at the plate with two outs and no one on base. He kept his word, twice retiring McGwire on floaters.
"I can't throw the ball by him, but I can throw it slower," Tewks-bury said. "I was excited to face McGwire. I couldn't wait to face him."
Tewksbury's odd pitches were not quite as high as the "eephus" balls that Rip Sewell popularized for Pittsburgh in the 1940s, or the floaters that Steve Hamilton and Dave LaRoche once threw.
But they were high-arching enough to keep McGwire - who hit his 36th home run a day earlier - off-balance. He could not connect against them in the first and fourth innings, and Tewksbury got Ray Lankford to ground out on a lob to end the sixth inning with a runner on third and the Twins leading 2-1.
"The first time it was funny," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He kept getting outs with it, and then it wasn't funny."
METS 2, YANKEES 1: The Mets averted a three-game sweep in the Subway Series, beating the Yankees by scoring a strange run in the bottom of the ninth at Shea Sta-dium.
The Mets put runners on first and third with one out, and pinch-hitter Luis Lopez hit a fly ball to right field that Paul O'Neill caught. Carlos Baerga tagged up and scored, moments before the Yankees relayed the ball to first base, beating a wandering Brian McRae back to the bag.
First baseman Tino Martinez ran off the field with his arms raised, thinking it was a double play that had prevented the run from scoring. The Mets also seemed anxious, with Baerga being restrained by coach Cookie Rojas.
Plate umpire Frank Pulli, however, pointed toward the plate, indicating the run had scored before McRae was thrown out.
Rule 2.00 of the Official Baseball Rules backed up Pulli's call - the run counts as long as it scored before the third out was recorded.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, MARINERS 2: Yamil Benitez led off the ninth with a home run as Arizona won at home. Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 32nd home run for Seattle.
ASTROS 12, INDIANS 3: Moises Alou once again came through against Cleveland. He had three hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs and scored three for visiting Houston.
BRAVES 10, BLUE JAYS 3: Tom Glavine matched teammate Greg Maddux as the only 11-game winners in the NL and also tied a career best with three RBIs as Atlanta topped Toronto at Turner Field.
ANGELS 11, PADRES 3: Jarrod Washburn raised his record to 4-0 and fellow rookie Justin Baugh-man had his first four-hit game as Anaheim averted a three-game sweep in a meeting of West Division leaders.
GIANTS 7, RANGERS 0: Mark Gardner pitched another strong game against Texas and J.T. Snow hit a grand slam and drove in five runs for host San Francisco.
ROCKIES 11, ATHLETICS 10: Rookie Todd Helton's two-out, two-run homer highlighted a five-run rally in the seventh inning as Colorado came back to beat Oakland at Coors Field.
CUBS 6, ROYALS 3: The Cubs broke a seven-game losing streak, winning at Kansas City behind Sammy Sosa.
EXPOS 8, ORIOLES 4: Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer and host Montreal sent Baltimore to its sixth straight defeat.
DEVIL RAYS 5, PHILLIES 4: Fred McGriff had three hits as Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia. The Devil Rays won a road series for the first time since May 22-24 at Seattle.
WHITE SOX 10, BREWERS 8: Chad Kreuter, Frank Thomas and Albert Belle hit RBI singles and the White Sox rallied in the eighth inning at Comiskey Park to stop Milwaukee's six-game winning streak.
MARLINS 5, RED SOX 1: Rookie Ryan Dempster won for the first time in the majors, pitching Florida past visiting Boston.
REDS 5, TIGERS 2: Steve Parris earned his first major league victory since 1995 and Cincinnati completed a three-game sweep at Tiger Stadium.
PIRATES 6, DODGERS 4: A bench-clearing brawl seemed to wake up Pittsburgh, which overcame a three-run deficit at Dodger Stadium and averted a three-game sweep.
The Pirates trailed 4-1 when Gary Sheffield, who had homered and driven in three runs for Los Angeles, wrestled with catcher Jason Kendall after a tag play at the plate in the sixth inning. Both players were ejected.
Al Martin hit a two-run homer in the seventh and the Pirates scored twice more in the eighth, helped by rookie third baseman Adrian Beltre's error.