Darnell Coles fouled off three-and-two pitches five times, then hit one into the center field bleachers to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Red Sox, 5-4, yesterday in Boston.
It was his first home run this season, his second in Fenway Park and his third in the major leagues.
Earlier, he had set up two runs with a single and a sacrifice. His homer, with two out in the seventh inning, came off starter Al Nipper (1-2) and provided a 5-3 lead.
"I kept trying to hit the ball up the middle," Coles said, "and Nipper finally got the ball up a little."
Jim Rice led off the Boston seventh with his third homer. It hit the back wall in the bleachers in straight-away center and chased starter Walt Terrell (2-1). But Randy O'Neal and Willie Hernandez protected Terrell's lead, Hernandez getting his fourth save.
The Tigers took a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the 11 a.m. Marathon Day game. Dave Collins led off with a double to left, Coles sacrificed, then Lou Whitaker singled. After Kirk Gibson reached on an error by first baseman Bill Buckner, Lance Parrish's single made it 2-0.
*Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6: In Toronto, designated hitter Cliff Johnson's eighth-inning double drove in three runs that beat Texas.
Lloyd Moseby started the rally with a single. One out later, Rance Mulliniks singled to center. With two outs, George Bell's RBI single chased rookie starter Ed Correa and brought on Greg Harris (2-2).
Harris got Jesse Barfield to hit a grounder to shortstop Curtis Wilkerson, who booted it to load the bases. Johnson cleared them with an opposite-field double to right.
"I'm coming off a terrible spring and I've tried to convince myself not to try to do too much too soon," he said. "I decided I'd start off by going to right field and then, as the weather warms up, start bringing it around to left for the homers."
Of his eight hits this season, four have been opposite-field doubles. He has five RBI in eight games. Actually, he'd lost his job to Cecil Fielder at the start of the season, but got it back after Fielder batted .115 in eight games.
"I come to the ballpark the same always," Johnson said. "If I'm in the lineup, I play. If I'm not, I sit on the bench, eat sunflower seeds and cheer for Cecil."
*Yankees 8, Royals 4: Don Mattingly, who hadn't had an extra-base hit this season, doubled three times and drove in five runs in Kansas City, Mo.
And Ed Whitson (1-1), who hadn't started anywhere since the Yankees decided not to start him at Yankee Stadium because of hostile fans, allowed two runs on five hits before Rod Scurry relieved in the seventh.
The Yankees broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth when Griffey took second on a fielder's choice and scored on Mattingly's double to left.
Mattingly had doubled down the right-field line in the third inning to drive home Griffey and Rickey Henderson, tying the game, 2-2. Henderson had singled to lead off and Griffey doubled, the 1,700th hit of his major-league career.
After Mattingly's second double, Dave Winfield singled to make it 4-2 and finish starter Bret Saberhagen (1-1).
*A's 6, Angels 2: Jose Canseco hit two homers and drove in four runs and Joaquin Andujar allowed three hits over six innings for his first AL victory as visiting Oakland defeated California.
Andujar (1-1) departed because of a stiff shoulder. Steve Ontiveros finished, allowing four hits, for his first save.
The A's took a 1-0 lead in the third on consecutive singles by Carney Lansford, Bruce Bochte and Alfredo Griffin off Ron Romanick (2-1). Canseco made it 2-0 with a homer in the third.
In the seventh, Griffin led off with a single, took second on Bill Bathe's sacrifice and went to third on a single by Tony Phillips. When Dwayne Murphy grounded to short, Griffin was thrown out at the plate. Canseco then hit a pitch 450 feet to the opposite field for his fourth homer.
*Twins 5, Mariners 2: In Seattle, Frank Viola pitched a four-hitter and Tom Brunansky had two RBI singles as Minnesota ended a three-game losing streak.
Viola (3-1) walked five, struck out nine and was helped by four double plays. Brunansky singled home Randy Bush in the first and drove in Kirby Puckett in the seventh, giving the Twins a 5-2 lead