Cecil Fielder became the first Tiger and ninth major-leaguer to hit three home runs in a game twice in a season last night, powering Detroit past the Indians, 6-4, in Cleveland.
Fielder, who leads the majors with 22 home runs and 53 RBI, homered his first three at-bats, then walked on four pitches from Cecilio Guante in the eighth inning, drawing boos from the crowd.
Fielder drove in five runs and connected for one of the longest homers in Cleveland Stadium history, a 470-foot shot to left-center. He homered off Greg Swindell (2-5) in the second and fourth innings. The Tigers trailed by 4-3 when he came to the plate with two on and two out in the fifth.
Fielder, on a 1-2 pitch, missed the left-center bleachers by a few feet. No one has reached those bleachers in the 58-year history of the park.
"I've seen them hit farther, distance-wise, but not as hard," Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson said. "The trajectory -- that was a shot, boom."
"I don't understand what's going on," said Fielder, "but I hope it'll keep going. I'm thrilled. That one felt good. Just to get us the lead felt good. That's not my goal, to hit balls into the bleachers."
"Where did it land, Lake Erie?" Swindell asked. "Did the waves bring it back in? I knew off the bat it was hit pretty good. I watched it for a second."
Fielder hit three home runs May 6 in Toronto and three in a spring training game. He hit 38 last year in Japan and was signed as a free agent. At this pace, he would finish with 66.
"I'm in awe of the man," teammate Alan Trammell said. "That's the third time I've seen him hit three in a game. . . . That's three times in a matter of three months -- less than three months."
Joe Carter, now with San Diego, was the last to hit three homers in a game twice in a season (last year for the Indians).
Red Sox 4, Yankees 1: In Boston, Mike Boddicker threw a two-hitter for his sixth straight triumph, spoiling Stump Merrill's debut as manager of the New York Yankees.
Merrill, who took over for fired Bucky Dent earlier in the day, endured the Yankees' fifth straight loss and 10th in 11 games. The Red Sox have won four in a row.
"You're not going to beat anybody when you get two hits," Merrill said. "Boddicker pitched a heck of a game against us. He kept us off balance all night long.
". . . I wasn't as shaky as I thought I'd be, but I had the butterflies going and I still do. I'm going to find out what we're holding. Tonight it wasn't much."
The Yankees scored in the first off Boddicker (7-3). Roberto Kelly singled, stole second and scored on newly acquired Matt Nokes's single. The Yankees' only other runner was Alvaro Espinoza, who reached on shortstop Luis Rivera's sixth-inning error.
Boston scored twice off Dave LaPoint (4-5) in the fourth. Tom Brunansky tripled for one run and scored on Dwight Evans's grounder.
Athletics 5, Rangers 4: In Arlington, Tex., Jose Canseco and Dave Henderson hit long home runs to ruin Nolan Ryan's return from the disabled list.
Ryan (4-3) pitched five innings in his first start since May 17, when back spasms sidelined him. He gave up five runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks, and struck out eight, failing in his fifth try at his 294th win.
Scott Sanderson (7-2) allowed three runs. Dennis Eckersley got his 18th save in 18 tries.
White Sox 5, Mariners 0: In Chicago, Melido Perez (5-4) pitched a four-hitter for his second career shutout, backed by a five-run first inning. The White Sox won for the sixth time in nine games. Seattle has lost eight of 12.
Matt Young (1-6) settled down after the first inning and struck out 10 in going the distance. He allowed only two hits after the outburst.
Carlton Fisk's two-out single made it 1-0, Scott Fletcher doubled home two runs and Lance Johnson singled in two more.
Twins 12, Blue Jays 5: In Toronto, Kirby Puckett went five for five, Fred Manrique four for five and Greg Gagne three for five, including a two-run homer. Minnesota equaled its season high with 19 hits.
Angels 6, Royals 2: In Kansas City, Mo., Bert Blyleven (5-3) allowed six hits in 8 2/3 innings and Dave Winfield and Lance Parrish hit consecutive fourth-inning home runs off Tom Gordon (2-4). Winfield's was a three-run shot.