On April 19, Expo rightfielder Larry Walker threw out John Burkett at first base after the Giant pitcher's sharp ground ball went for an apparent single. Walker had previously nailed Padre shortstop Tony Fernandez and Pirate pitcher Tim Wakefield at first base, both in 1992. "I get a kick out of watching guys run as fast as they can to first when they hit one to me," Walker says. The night before he gunned down Burkett, Walker alerted first baseman Randy Milligan that he might try to snare Barry Bonds on a sharply hit ball. Didn't happen.
The Pirates' first road win of the season, 5-2 over the Braves last Friday, had a bizarre ending when, with two out in the ninth, Atlanta's Jeff Blauser struck out and the ball got past Pittsburgh catcher Jerry Goff. Blauser thought he had hit a foul tip and didn't run to first until he saw the umpire rule the ball in play. Goff threw a 40-hopper to first baseman Kevin Young, who dived to make the catch and then dived for Blauser and tagged him out. Said Pirate third base coach Rich Donnelly, "I've never seen a game end like that—with the first baseman and the runner lying on top of each other in the coaching box."
When Padre rightfielder Tony Gwynn went 5 for 5 in San Diego's 8-2 win over the Phillies last Saturday night, he became the sixth player this year to get five hits in a game. It was the eighth five-hit game of Gwynn's career. Among players who played their entire careers in this century, the only ones with more five-hit games than Gwynn were Ty Cobb (14), Pete Rose (10) and Max Carey (nine).
Double the Pleasure.
When Julio Franco and Robin Ventura of the White Sox hit back-to-back homers twice in a 7-6 loss to the Tigers on Sunday, it marked the 17th time it had happened in major league history. While it didn't occur from Oct. 3, 1972, through Aug. 5,1992, it has happened five times since—including five days earlier, when Mo Vaughn and Tim Naehring became the first Red Sox batters ever to do it.