1996 Game Recap: Record Setting 790th Career RBI
Athletics 10, Brewers 9
MILWAUKEE (Jun 17, 1996 - 03:47 EST) -- The Oakland Athletics came away with more than a win Sunday.
"We salvaged some pride and that's a big key for us going into Detroit," winning pitcher Billy Taylor said after Oakland rallied to beat Milwaukee 10-9 and avoid a four-game sweep by the surging Brewers.
Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire and Phil Plantier drove in runs in the top of the ninth inning off closer Mike Fetters (1-1), who hadn't blown a save since the first week of the season.
Starting the ninth with an 8-7 lead, Fetters allowed consecutive line-drive singles to Jose Herrera and pinch-hitter Terry Steinbach. Giambi followed with a grounder to second that Fernando Vina could not handle for an error, allowing Herrera to score the tying run.
Pinch-runner Tony Batista scored on McGwire's third double, a bloop to right field, and Plantier added an RBI single off Fetters, who blew his second save in 13 opportunities.
"I feel good about the way I threw the ball, they just beat me," Fetters shrugged. "There's going to be times in the major leagues when they're going to beat me. I'm not perfect.
"Who's the best closer in the game? Probably Jose Mesa? He's got a couple blown saves," he said. "It happens. This is major league baseball. Today the Oakland A's got me."
The A's had blown early leads in all four games with Milwaukee.
"We needed this one bad," Athletics manager Art Howe said.
Ernie Young, who doubled, tripled and homered to break out of a 6-for-32 slump on the trip, brought the Athletics within striking distance. His two-run homer off Jose Mercedes in the eighth trimmed it to 8-7.
"It would have been a tough day if we couldn't have pulled this one out," Young said.
McGwire's RBI was his 790th, passing Sal Bando, currently the Brewers' general manager, for the Oakland career lead.
Taylor (2-1) struck out five of the six batters he faced, allowing only Kevin Seitzer's solo homer, his seventh, leading off the ninth in driving rain. Mike Mohler struck out Jose Valentin with a runner on second for his sixth save.
"Anytime you stop the bleeding, it feels good," Mohler said. "It seemed liked every time we scored in this series, they scored. Today was a morale booster. They came in and swung the bats better than I've ever seen them swing it, but we got the big hits when we needed them."
The Brewers scored three runs in the fifth to break a 5-5 tie. Greg Vaughn's single scored Seitzer and chased starter Doug Johns. Dave Nilsson then hit Jim Corsi's first pitch for a two-run double that made it 8-5.
Young's two-run homer came on a chest-high fastball from Mercedes that angered Brewers manager Phil Garner.
"We don't have to make great pitches, but you can't miss by three feet," Garner said. "He missed three feet with that pitch, maybe four feet. We did it the whole series. We just kept missing above that guy's waist, and he killed us."
Young's homer came one pitch after Mercedes bobbled Plantier's one-hopper that looked like a certain inning-ending double play.
"If he gets that, Young doesn't even come up," Garner said.
John Jaha's fourth career grand slam erased Oakland's 4-0 lead in the third. Mark Loretta added an RBI single to make it 5-4.
Mike Bordick's second sacrifice fly off Milwaukee starter Ben McDonald tied it at 5 in the fourth after Young tripled.
Johns allowed eight runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. McDonald gave up five runs on seven hits in seven innings, his longest start since May 16.
Both starting pitchers were warned by home plate umpire Ted Hendry after Johns hit Vina with a 3-2 fastball in the third. McDonald had plunked Athletics catcher George Williams twice.
Vina was also hit again, by Corsi in the fifth. Corsi wasn't ejected, drawing Garner out of the dugout for a chat with Hendry.
"He said in his judgment it wasn't that far inside and he didn't think he meant to hit him, so that's good enough," Garner said. Notes: Giambi has driven in the run all 12 times he has batted with a runner at third and less than two outs this season. ... The crowd of 26,744 was the largest at County Stadium since Opening Day ... The Athletics placed second baseman Brent Gates (broken left leg) on the 15-day DL and recalled infielder Batista from Edmonton. ... Colorado Rockies owner Jerry McMorris says Brewers owner Bud Selig will have to call a meeting of baseball's ruling executive council to discuss moving the Brewers if Selig's meeting with Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson this week fails to salvage Milwaukee's new stadium project. Fans on Sunday signed postcards for the governor reading "Build It Now!" and Selig signed autographs in the stands.
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