Knocking Their Sox Off. John Valentin of the Red Sox last Friday had one of the best hitting days ever by a shortstop. In a 6-5 win over the Mariners at Fenway Park, he went 5 for 5, including three home runs, and became the first shortstop to have 15 total bases in a game. (In the past 20 years the only other American League player to have 15 total bases in a game was Dave Winfield, now with the Indians.) Valentin also joined Ernie Banks, Jeff Blauser, Barry Larkin and Fred Patek as the only shortstops ever to hit three homers in a game. Then on Sunday outfielder Troy O'Leary hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning to give Boston a 2-1 victory over Seattle, marking the first time since June 23, 1990, that a Red Sox player has hit a come-from-behind, game-winning, extra-inning homer. Dwight Evans had been the last Boston player to do it.
The Ding-a-ling of Swing. The worst at bat of the season occurred last Friday when Giant rightfielder Glenallen Hill led off the ninth in a tie game against the Phillies. Hill got ahead in the count 3-0 when reliever Gene Harris threw two balls in the dirt and one over the head of catcher Darren Daulton. On Harris's next offering Hill missed the take sign and swung at and missed a pitch in the dirt. He then fanned on another pitch in the dirt. Harris's 3-2 delivery didn't bounce, but it was a foot outside—and Hill struck out swinging.
Keep on Truckin'. The Tigers' 250-plus-pound first baseman, Cecil Fielder, was caught stealing—for the fifth time in his career—last Friday, which was significant in that, at week's end, he still had not stolen a base after playing in 994 games. No position player has appeared in more major league games without a steal. This time Detroit first base coach Gene Roof mistakenly thought the hit-and-run was on and sent Fielder lumbering off toward second. Fielder was nailed by White Sox catcher Ron Karkovice, perhaps the best-throwing catcher in the American League. "Great slide," Fielder said later. "Wrong guy [Karkovice]."