Doug DeCinces tied an American League fielding record with 11 assists from his third base position yesterday and hit his ninth home run of the season, with two out in the top of the 12th inning, to carry the California Angels over the Detroit Tigers, 6-5.
California leadoff batter Rod Carew went hitless in six at-bats and his average fell from .500 to .471, but the Angels had another hero in Daryl Sconiers. Leading off the ninth inning, Sconiers pinch-hit a home run (his fourth) for a 5-5 tie.
"Our club is solid all the way through," DeCinces said. "That what's going to win a pennant. We're solid on the bench and on the field."
Detroit catcher Lance Parrish said DeCinces hit his game-winning homer on a difficult pitch. "The slider he hit wasn't that bad," he said. "He just seems to be able to cover the whole plate. He's swinging the bat very well right now."
DeCinces, who had 10 assists in the first seven innings to come within one of the major league mark in regulation, drove a 2-0 pitch from Aurelio Lopez (1-1) into the upper deck in left to give Luis Sanchez (3-1) the victory on 5 2/3 innings of one-hit relief. Sconiers' home run also was off Lopez.
For the second straight day, Lou Whitaker led off the Detroit first with a home run, and John Wockenfuss and Chet Lemon later hit solos. The Tigers' last 13 homers have come with nobody on base.