Greg Vaughn homered for the third game in a row and was once again a difference-maker as the Padres defeated the Pirates on this day 20 years ago. His sixth-inning two-run shot broke a 5-5 tie, bringing the game to its final score of 7-5.
The Padres hopped out to an early lead when Ken Caminiti brought Steve Finley home with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, then extended it to 3-0 on starting pitcher Joey Hamilton’s two-run single in the second. The Pirates caught up with a run in the second inning and two in the third, then took a 5-3 lead on Al Martin’s two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the fourth. San Diego retied the game in the next frame; Quilvio Veras tripled home Ed Giavanola, who had walked hitting in place of Hamilton, and then scored on a sac fly from Tony Gwynn.
Brian Boehringer, making his first appearance since a horrendous outing in which he allowed four earned runs in less than an inning, got the win with three innings of scoreless relief once Hamilton’s day was done. Dan Miceli and Sterling Hitchcock were awarded saves for splitting a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.
1998 Padres record to date: 13-3 (.659); 4.0 games ahead of the Giants for the NL West lead
Elsewhere in baseball:
- Joey Cora went 2-for-5 in the Mariners’ 11-6 win in Minnesota, raising his batting average from .308 to .314. The 1997 All-Star drove in and scored a run. Teammates Glenallen Hill, Jeff Huson, Alex Rodriguez, David Segui, and eventual team Hall of Fame members Dan Wilson and Ken Griffey, Jr. all doubled and drove in at least one run.
- Chuck Finley won his thirteenth decision in a row.
- In the only transactions of the day, the Angels signed free agent pitcher Mike Butcher to a minor league deal, and released minor league reliever Jerrod Riggan. Butcher’s only major league service time had been with the Angels from 1992 through ‘95. He would spend the rest of 1998, his final year in affiliated ball, in Vancouver with Anaheim’s AAA affiliate.
- Devil Rays third baseman and eventual Hall of Famer Wade Boggs was placed on the disabled list with a strained right calf.
- Mark McGwire hit his MLB-leading eighth home run; Griffey kept pace with his seventh. Four other players (below) hit their sixth.
Craig Biggio, Astros (2)
Rico Brogna, Phillies (3)
Jose Canseco, Blue Jays (6)
Ron Gant, Cardinals (2)
Brian Giles, Indians (6)
Ken Griffey, Jr, Mariners (7)
Todd Hollandsworth, Dodgers (2)
Derek Jeter, Yankees (1)
Tom Lampkin, Cardinals (4)
Derrek Lee, Marlins (6)
Al Martin, Pirates (1)
Tino Martinez, Yankees (2)
Mark McGwire, Cardinals (8)
Pat Meares, Twins (3)
Mickey Morandini, Cubs (1)
Mike Piazza, Dodgers (4)
Tim Salmon, Angels (6)
Greg Vaughn, Padres (5)
Todd Zeile, Dodgers (2)
Elsewhere in the world:
- Karl Malone led the Utah Jazz to victory, clinching home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
- Convicted Unabomber Ted Kazcinski’s sentencing was rescheduled.
- The band Clutch released their third full-length album, The Elephant Riders, which was their first release on a major label.