Bo Jackson, the would-be pro football player, sent Cleveland catcher Rick Dempsey flying behind Royals Stadium's home plate last night in a collision that fractured Dempsey's thumb.
The 235-pound Jackson, making like Walter Payton (or Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson) going one-on-one against Lawrence Taylor, didn't score on that second-inning play. But he came back with a sacrifice fly to deep right field in the eighth to lift Kansas City over the Indians, 3-2, breaking the Royals' six-game losing streak.
Dempsey went sprawling about 10 feet, but held the ball for the putout. He left on wobbly legs and was replaced by Chris Bando.
Jackson was on third base when Larry Owen hit a sharp grounder to pitcher Scott Bailes, who fired to Dempsey. Although he was out, the much-booed and lately benched Los Angeles Raider-to-be drew a rousing ovation, anyway.
"There is a dislocation at the base of the left thumb and there is a fracture according to the X-rays we have now," Cleveland Manager Doc Edwards said. "We'll send him back to Cleveland for more examination and more X-rays. He'll be out for some time, we don't know how long."
The Royals and Indians engaged in a spirited brawl last week in Cleveland, but Jackson's assault on Dempsey went unavenged.
"It was a good, clean hard-nosed play," Edwards said. "If I'd been the catcher I would have done the same thing and if I'd been the runner I would have done the same thing. Bo Jackson is a very powerful young man and he closes ground quick."
"I'm sorry that he got hurt, but that's baseball," said Jackson.
Charlie Leibrandt pitched a five-hitter for his first win since June 20.
Twins 2, Yankees 1:
In Minneapolis, Kent Hrbek broke a tie with a single in the ninth.
New York played without Don Mattingly, who on Monday night aggravated a sprained right wrist. He hurt it Saturday night, in the game in which he homered for a record-tying eighth consecutive game. He expects to sit out one more game.
Bert Blyleven (9-7) struck out eight, giving him 3,195 strikeouts for his career, passing Ferguson Jenkins for eighth place all-time.
Red Sox 3, Angels 0:
Roger Clemens' five-hitter in Boston fetched his fourth shutout. He struck out none and walked none in his 10th complete game.
California's Kirk McCaskill, in his second start since elbow surgery April 27, left in the fourth inning when his arm tightened.
Tigers 6, Athletics 5:
In Detroit, John Grubb, not supposed to play because of a sore side, lined an RBI double off the wall with two out as a two-run rally trumped Mark McGwire's 35th homer for Oakland in the 10th inning.
Reggie Jackson homered for the Athletics in the eighth, his career No. 560. In the sixth, teammate Jose Canseco hit a near-500-footer.
Rangers 6, Blue Jays 4:
Ruben Sierra's second homer of the game beat Toronto with one out in the ninth in Texas.
Brewers 6, Mariners 4:
Robin Yount hit a three-run homer as Milwaukee won at home over Seattle.