Before this night's game with the Brewers, Baylor talked about his new team. "They've already earned their spot without me being here," he said. "Each day somebody different will be the hero." Baylor strikes out as a pinch hitter in the 10th with two out and a runner on first, but he is right about somebody different being the hero. With the score tied 1-1 and the bases loaded with two out in the bottom of the 12th, Billy Beane, just up from Portland, steps to the plate for his first major league at bat of the year. He hits Dan Plesac's first pitch over the outstretched glove of shortstop Dale Sveum for the game-winning single. As Beane rounds first, his teammates literally maul him with joy. During the riotous celebration, somebody pokes him in the left eye.
In the clubhouse after the game, Beane jokingly credits his single to an off-season weight program. "I was able to muscle it over the shortstop," he says, wiping a tear from his reddened eye. But it looks very much like the eye of a winner.
As Labor Day dawned, the Twins led the A's by three games and the Angels and Royals by 5½. It seemed as if a division winner would be named sooner, rather than later.