Hideo Nomo was even more dominating against Toronto than he was in his no-hitter. Nomo pitched a one-hitter, struck out 14 and found his elusive control as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Friday night. Shannon Stewart’s clean leadoff double to left-center in the fourth was the only hit for a Toronto team that’s fourth in the AL in runs. Only one other ball — Tony Batista’s routine fly to left to end the second — went out of the infield. Of the other 26 batters, 14 struck out, 11 hit groundouts and one popped out to Nomo (5-3). Nomo, who entered the game tied for the AL lead with 31 walks, issued none against the Blue Jays. The victory put Boston in first place in the AL East, a half-game ahead of New York.
The Yankees had taken the spot by beating the Red Sox on Thursday. Toronto fell 2 1/2 games behind. Nomo got the support he needed Friday on Carl Everett’s run-scoring double in the first off Esteban Loaiza (4-5). Mike Lansing added a three-run double in the eighth. Nomo lowered his AL-best mark for opponents’ batting average from .182 to .163, allowing 34 hits in 60 innings over 10 starts. Nomo struck out seven in a row — three less than Tom Seaver’s major league record and one less than the AL mark — before Jose Cruz Jr. grounded out to end the eighth. Indians 6, Yankees 4 Jim Thome hit a two-run homer, Juan Gonzalez and Jacob Cruz added solo shots and host Cleveland passed its first tough test this season. Cleveland moved into sole possession of first place in the AL Central for the first time this season as Minnesota lost 4-2 to Oakland. Athletics 4, Twins 2 Mark Mulder and Jason Giambi knocked Minnesota out of first place in the AL Central for the first time this season. Mulder (6-2) allowed one run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings at the Metrodome. Giambi had two doubles and a single for the A’s, who have won eight of nine. Mariners 9, Royals 6 Edgar Martinez had four hits and visiting Seattle scored the tying and go-ahead runs on Kansas City throwing errors in the eighth. The Mariners (34-12), the major leagues’ winningest team, scored two runs in the fourth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth to erase a 6-1 deficit. Orioles 7, Rangers 6 Jeff Conine came within a homer of the cycle and scored three runs as host Baltimore won its season-high fourth straight. Jose Mercedes (1-6) allowed four runs — three earned — and eight hits in six innings. Mike Trombley got four outs for his third save. White Sox 8, Tigers 4 Ray Durham’s three-run double off Todd Jones (2-3) highlighted a six run ninth inning that gave Chicago the victory. The White Sox, who trailed 4-0 in the game, have won two straight after dropping the first eight games on their 12-game road trip. Detroit has lost three in a row. Angels 6, Devil Rays 4 Darin Erstad hit a two-run homer off Albie Lopez (3-5) to snap a fifth-inning tie for Anaheim. Reliever Ben Weber (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory before a crowd of 10,946 at Tropicana Field, the smallest for a home game in the Devils Rays’ four-year history. Wood one-hits Brewers, strikes out 14 Kerry Wood is back on target.
Looking like the pitcher who dazzled baseball as a rookie in 1998, Wood allowed only one hit and struck out 14 in the Chicago Cubs’ 1-0 home victory over Milwaukee on Friday. After setting an NL record with 20 strikeouts against Houston and taking rookie of the year honors, Wood missed the 1999 season because of an elbow injury that required “Tommy John” surgery. Wood (3-4) took a no-hit bid into the seventh before giving up a leadoff single to Mark Loretta. Braves 1, Pirates 0 At Atlanta, Greg Maddux pitched a seven-hitter for his ninth straight victory over Pittsburgh, and Rafael Furcal had an RBI double in the eighth. Todd Ritchie (0-6) took the loss. Pittsburgh, 0-10 in Ritchie’s 10 starts, has lost four straight and nine of 11. Phillies 10, Expos 8 At Philadelphia, Travis Lee hit a two-out three-run homer in the ninth off Ugueth Urbina (0-1). The Phillies have won five straight and lead the NL East at 29-17. Montreal is 13-28 since starting 6-1. Mets 4, Marlins 3, 10 innings At New York, Timo Perez singled with two outs in the 10th as the Mets outlasted San Diego for their first three-game winning streak of the season. Pinch-hitter Lenny Harris hustled for a one-out double in the 10th off Dan Miceli (0-3) and Perez singled into the right-field corner. John Franco (1-0) got the victory. Cardinals 5, Reds 4 At Cincinnati, St. Louis’ Craig Paquette hit his first career pinch homer, a three-run shot with two outs in the ninth. Alan Benes (1-0) got the victory and Dave Veres pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Rockies 6, Giants 1 Mike Hampton allowed five hits in seven innings as Colorado snapped a 13-game losing streak in San Francisco. Hampton (7-1) improved to 10-0 in 16 regular-season appearances against the Giants. The Rockies slowed Barry Bonds’ homer binge, though he extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games. Livan Hernandez (3-7) lost for the seventh time in his last 10 starts. Dodgers 4, Astros 1 At Los Angeles, Chan Ho Park pitched 7 2-3 strong innings and Shawn Green hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers. Park (5-4) allowed a run and five hits, striking out 10 in his longest outing of the season. Jeff Shaw got three outs for his NL-leading 15th save.
Diamondbacks 7, Padres 1 At San Diego, Mark Grace hit a three-run homer as Arizona scored six unearned runs in the third inning to snap San Diego’s six-game winning streak. The Padres, who had been alone atop the NL West for one day, committed three of their season-high five errors in the third. Erik Sabel (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings of relief. Bobby Jones (2-6) was the loser.