Phil Niekro, 47, released by the New York Yankees during spring training, shut them out on three hits over seven innings to help the Indians to a 6-4 victory last night in Cleveland.
He used his knuckleball and an amazingly slow change-up to win his 301st game and end the Yankees' five-game winning streak. He retired 14 straight in one stretch.
"It was their opinion that I was over the hill," he said. "Maybe . . . they underestimated my drive. But this was only one game."
Ernie Camacho relieved Niekro (1-1, 0.69 ERA) with no outs in the eighth and had no trouble till the ninth, when two singles, two doubles, a walk and a grounder made it 6-4.
After Willie Randolph's single finished Camacho, Scott Bailes got his first major league save when Don Mattingly lined to first baseman Pat Tabler for a rare, foul-ball, unassisted double play.
*Rangers 7, Brewers 5: Nobody ever did break up Bobby Witt's no-hitter in Milwaukee. A 21-year-old rookie making his second start for Texas, he pitched five hitless innings and struck out 10.
But he left with only a 2-2 tie because he walked eight and threw four wild pitches. Twice he wild-pitched runs home.
Before the odd game ended, its pitchers had totaled 21 walks and six wild pitches. The last wild pitch, by Milwaukee's Ray Searage, was the clincher, allowing the lead run with two outs in the ninth. The Rangers, who entered the inning down a run, had three walks that inning.
*Tigers 10, White Sox 6: Mike Laga's two-run single and Alan Trammell's RBI double highlighted Detroit's five-run eighth inning in Chicago. Winner Jack Morris (2-1) allowed seven hits and struck out 10 in seven innings. He didn't allow a hit the first three innings and struck out six of the first seven men he faced.
*Red Sox 6, Royals 2: Don Baylor's 11th career grand slam, on Steve Farr's 2-2 pitch with two out in the eighth, broke a tie in Boston.
"I knew the game was over when I hit it," Baylor said.
"I didnb't want to go 3-2 on him," said Farr, a DeMatha High graduate who hadn't allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings this season.
*Twins 4, Angels 1: In Anaheim, Calif., left-hander Frank Viola (2-1) had a two-hit shutout until he walked home a run in the sixth inning. But he stayed in the game and ended with a five-hit victory. He struck out eight and walked three.
The bases-loaded walk provided the 1,000th RBI of George Hendrick's career.