Rickey Henderson equaled Ty Cobb's 62-year-old American League record for stolen bases yesterday and the Athletics won their sixth game in a row, defeating the Cleveland Indians, 6-3, in Oakland.
Henderson stole third base with one out in the fifth inning, giving him 892 steals in less than 11 seasons. Cobb set the mark in 24 seasons from 1905 to 1928.
Only Lou Brock (938) and Billy Hamilton (937) have more stolen bases. Hamilton played before 1900.
"I knew it was a tie," Henderson said. "It will probably be more exciting when I break it. Me picking up the best base and enjoying it. A tie only makes me closer to the record."
"I had an idea of what it meant," said A's Manager Tony La Russa, "but when you see Ty Cobb's name up there and Rickey tying him with so much left to go, it made a special impression on everybody out there."
The steal, Henderson's 20th in 23 attempts, came after his one-out single off Sergio Valdez (1-1) and Carney Lansford's single. On a 1-1 count to Jose Canseco, Henderson broke for third and Sandy Alomar was unable to make a throw.
"I knew when the ball bounced that I had it," Henderson said.
"The ball hit me on the thumb," Alomar said. "But I don't think I would've got him anyway. If you throw him out one out of 10 times you're doing good."
Said Henderson: "Jose was up at the plate. They're not going to give him that many fastballs the way he's been hitting the ball. I had been reading the signs so I knew what was a breaking ball and what was a fastball.
"He put down a breaking ball sign and I knew I was going."
Henderson was given a standing ovation and tipped his cap to the crowd.
As for the game, Felix Jose hit a two-run homer and Canseco and Lansford each drove in two runs as Bob Welch (6-2) improved to 6-0 lifetime vs. the Indians. Welch pitched seven innings and allowed nine hits.
White Sox 10, Tigers 4: No. 8 hitter Ron Karkovice and No. 9 Ozzie Guillen totaled six hits, four runs and three RBI, leading Chicago in Detroit.
Ken Patterson (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 no-hit innings. Jeff Robinson (4-4) gave up six runs in 5 1/3.
Cecil Fielder hit his 18th homer in the second, extending his hitting streak to nine games and giving Detroit a 1-0 edge. Karkovice tied it an inning later with his first home run.
After the Tigers gained a 2-1 lead in the third, Karkovice and Guillen hit RBI singles in the fourth for a 3-2 Chicago advantage. Guillen is batting .429 (18-42) in his last 12 games.
Twins 6, Red Sox 5:
In Minneapolis, Kirby Puckett led off the eighth inning with his sixth home run, a 449-foot shot to center that broke a 5-5 tie. Gene Larkin had his first two-homer game, the second home run hit inside the park.
John Candelaria (5-1) threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings Rick Aguilera pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Trailing by 5-3, the Red Sox pulled even in the seventh on Carlos Quintana's RBI double off starter Mark Guthrie and pinch hitter Danny Heep's RBI single off Terry Leach.
Before the two-out rally, Guthrie had retired 16 of 17 hitters since the second inning. He allowed only one runner, Ellis Burks via a walk in the fourth, and picked him off.
Royals 9, Yankees 4:
Tom Gordon threw a seven-hitter and Jim Eisenreich and Rey Palacios drove in three runs each in Kansas City, Mo.
Gordon (2-2) struck out nine and walked one in his first victory since April 22. He had a three-hit shutout entering the eighth before the Yankees scored four runs, three unearned. Steve Sax's bases-loaded single drove in two and a third scored when center fielder Bo Jackson allowed the ball to get past him. Sax scored on Roberto Kelly's grounder.
Eisenreich singled home a run in a five-run second inning that knocked out Andy Hawkins (1-4).
Angels 10, Brewers 3:
Johnny Ray and Max Venable each had three hits and scored three runs as California, at home, won its sixth straight. Wally Joyner and Chili Davis each drove in two runs as the Angels backed Bert Blyleven's five-hit pitching and first complete game with a season-high 15 hits.
The Angels rocked Mark Knudson (3-2) for six runs and nine hits in three innings.
Blue Jays 11, Mariners 4: John Olerud's two-run single broke a seventh-inning tie and George Bell and Kelly Gruber hit three-run homers as Toronto scored seven runs in in the last three innings in Seattle.
With the bases full, Olerud came through against Brian Holman, making it 6-4.
Gruber delivered his 13th homer, a two-out shot in the eighth off Mike Jackson. Nelson Liriano doubled in two runs in the ninth.
.........LEADERS SINCE 1900........
Lou Brock ......1961-1979.......938
Ty Cobb ........1905-1928.......892
Max Carey ......1910-1929.......738