A One-Note Horn
On July 17, Oriole designated hitter Sam Horn became the first nonpitcher in major league history to strike out six straight times in one game. In the 15-inning game against the Royals, Horn whiffed on six straight at bats before doubling. He matched the one-game consecutive strikeout record set by Carl Weilman, a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, in 1913. "Three strikeouts is a hat trick, four is a sombrero, five is a golden sombrero, and six is now called a Horn," said Baltimore pitcher Mike Flanagan. "Seven would have been a Horn a Plenty. When you make history, you've got to put your name on it."
No Nail-Biter for Him
The tension surrounding San Diego pitcher Greg Harris's bid for a no-hitter against the Mets on July 14 was lost on one of the game's participants. Harris gave up a double to Mackey Sasser in the eighth inning to spoil the effort, but after the game Padres centerfielder Thomas Howard admitted that he had not known a no-hitter was in progress. "How long did he have it?" Howard asked.
Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson gave up only one hit but walked 10 Milwaukee hitters in four-plus innings during a 6-1 loss to the Brewers on July 17. Johnson threw 103 pitches in his short stint, the same number thrown by Milwaukee's Bill Wegman in his complete-game four-hitter. "People don't understand it's not easy when you're as tall as I am," said Johnson, who is 6'10".
Indians pitcher Rod Nichols won his first game of the season on July 16, beating Oakland 2-1. It made his record 1-8 and ended a string of 13 losses dating back to Sept. 14,1989. "People have been calling me like I'd won my 20th," says Nichols, who has a 3.59 ERA this year. "A bunch of family members called. My college coach called. It was great, but I told [catcher] Joel Skinner in the seventh inning, 'If I win, don't run out and hug me.' I have a long way to go. Now I'm just another 1-8 pitcher."
Two Who Are Due
The Brewers' publicity department tried to set up a home run hitting contest between Milwaukee's Jim Gantner and Minnesota's Al Newman before a game at County Stadium on July 16. On that day the two were tied for longest home run drought in the majors, having each gone 1,611 at bats without a dinger. Gantner, who has 44 career home runs but has not hit one since June 14, 1987, refused to participate in the contest, saying, "I'm not embarrassing myself unless there is a prize." Newman, who has one homer, said he was upset that he and Gantner weren't invited to compete in the home run derby at the All-Star Game. "We would have backed up the All-Star break for several weeks and made sure everyone enjoyed every aspect of the SkyDome," he said.
By the Numbers
?The heart of the Giants' order—Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell and Matt Williams—has had consecutive hits in the same inning only once this year.
?Right now there are no players in baseball who have hit 400 career homers, though Eddie Murray, Dale Murphy and Dave Winfield could all reach that mark before the end of the season. Before 1990, the last time the major leagues were without an active 400-homer hitter was 1956.
?Oriole pitcher Jeff Ballard is 0-12 in his last 17 starts at home.