Larry Parrish's third homer of the game, a two-run blast off John Montefusco, gave the Texas Rangers a 7-5 victory over New York tonight and spoiled the return of Yankees Manager Billy Martin.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Texas. New York has lost four straight.
The Yankees blew a four-run lead and hurt themselves with some bad base running in the fourth inning when Bobby Meacham ran past teammate Willie Randolph between first and second base after Meacham had hit what appeared to be a three-run homer.
With Butch Wynegar on third and Randolph on first, Meacham hit a fly ball to left that was caught in the wind and drifted over the fence. Randolph ran only halfway to second base thinking the ball might be caught and Meacham, running hard all the way, went past Randolph before he could stop himself. Meacham was credited with a single.
Parrish started Texas back from a 4-0 deficit in the fourth with a three-run homer and the Rangers tied the score at 5-5 in the sixth on solo homers by Gary Ward and Parrish.
Parrish, who hit three homers in a game three times with Montreal, became the fifth player in major league history to hit three homers in a game in both leagues. Babe Ruth, Johnny Mize, Claudell Washington and Dave Kingman also accomplished the feat.
The first two homers came against Ron Guidry (1-3). With two out in the eighth and Parrish on his way to the plate with one on, Martin chose to bring in Montefusco. Montefusco was activated today from the disabled list.
"I didn't want to leave Ron in there because Parrish (12 career homers against New York) has always hit him real good. John had pitched well for me in the past," said Martin, "and I don't plan to give up on him. He just hung a curve ball and Parrish got all of it."
Martin took over the Yankees for the fourth time today with the same belief he had the other three times -- that his team can win a pennant.
"It's an uphill fight," Martin said, "but we are going after the division (title). I'm a gambling manager. We have speed and I'm going to use it. I like to go for the jugular vein."
His latest tenure with the team began after Yogi Berra was fired.
Martin announced his plan to immediately impose new disciplinary measures for the Yankees.
"There will be curfews and fines for breaking them," Martin told the New York Daily News. "The first violation will be a $500 fine. The second will be $1,000 and the third $1,000 plus a suspension. In addition, coats and ties will be worn on all trips -- with no jeans. And there will be no playing golf the day of games and no public appearances on game days. Players will be expected to be at the ballpark at 5:30, while the coaches and myself will be there at 3:30. There will also be workouts, which will be mandatory."