The Toronto Blue Jays, using George Bell's two-run triple to key the offense in Milwaukee against struggling comeback pitcher Pete Vuckovich, ended a six-game losing streak yesterday by defeating the Brewers, 5-1.
"It feels good to win again," said Manager Bobby Cox, whose team preserved its East Division lead of 2 1/2 games over Detroit and moved 3 1/2 ahead of Boston when the Red Sox lost to the Tigers. "I hope it'll start another streak. This one had to end sometime."
Toronto starter Jim Clancy (3-4) worked seven fairly steady innings, yielding seven hits and four walks.
Milwaukee's Vuckovich (2-5), out with a shoulder injury most of the two years following his 1982 Cy Young Award season, lasted only into the fourth inning in the latest of several unimpressive turns. He gave up seven hits and four walks before being removed with three on and none out.
"I've never been a quitter, and I'm not going to quit now," said Vuckovich. "I'm going to keep my mind on my game and myself and what I'm setting out to do, and keep plugging away."
Milwaukee Manager George Bamberger and outfielder Ben Oglivie were ejected in the eighth inning after arguing over first base umpire John Shulock's call of foul on Oglivie's fly over the right field fence, a potential three-run homer.
The Blue Jays touched Vuckovich for three runs in the third. Jesse Barfield doubled and, two outs later, scored on Willie Upshaw's single. Lloyd Moseby singled, then Bell tripled to right center.
Ted Simmons of Milwaukee caught the 1,726th game of his career, tying for fifth on the all-time list with Ray Schalk.
Bamberger said he has not given up on Vuckovich.
"When a pitcher misses a year or two, it takes a good half season before he gets the feel of pitching," said the manager, who was a longtime pitcher and pitching coach. "I'll throw him out there every five games until he gets the feel.
"If I never send him out there, he'll never come back."
In Kansas City, Hal McRae doubled for one RBI against Minnesota, then hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth to bring Danny Jackson the victory.
McRae homered on a 2-0 pitch from starter Pete Filson and the Royals went on to their third victory over the Twins in three nights. It was McRae's second homer this season and dropped Filson to 3-4.
Trailing, 2-0, Kansas City scored in the sixth on an infield single by Darryl Motley and a double into the left field corner by McRae. The Royals used the same formula to tie in the seventh, an infield single by Willie Wilson and a double into the left field corner by Lonnie Smith.
Jackson (5-4) yielded six hits, walked two and struck out one over eight innings. Dan Quisenberry survived a bases-loaded, one-out ninth for his 13th save.
Dave Engle, an all-star a year ago making his first start behind the plate for the Twins this season, opened the third inning with a bunt single and went to third on catcher Jim Sundberg's wild throw to first. Two outs later, Mickey Hatcher doubled him home.
Kent Hrbek led off the fourth with his eighth home run of the year and his first since June 1.