Gonzales swings into record book

Orioles notebook

August 14, 1991|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Evening Sun Staff

Juan Gonzales has become the youngest hitter in Texas Rangers' history to hit 20 home runs in one season.

The leftfielder (21 years, 9 months, 28 days old) surpassed Ruben Sierra by two days. Sierra went on to hit 30 in 1987.

Gonzalez had five hits in last night's doubleheader loss to the Orioles, including his 20th home run, a two-run shot off Mark Williamson in the nightcap that brought Texas within a run. He has six home runs in his last 15 games.

* FRANCO LIFTED: The Rangers' Julio Franco, the American League's No. 3 hitter, left the opener in the seventh inning after aggravating a bruised heel while running to first base. He sat out the second game.

"He did it when he landed on the bag," manager Bobby Valentine said. "I wasn't going to send him back out there."

* EXTRA INNINGS AGAIN: The Orioles' 12th-inning victory in the opener followed Monday night's 11th-inning triumph over the Chicago White Sox, marking the second time this season they've played back-to-back extra-inning games.

They played -- and won -- three straight in June, the first two at Kansas City, the third here against Cleveland.

* POOLE STINGY: In his short tour with the Orioles, reliever Jim Poole has retired 35 of the 42 batters he's faced. Five have reached on hits, three on errors. He retired both men he faced in last night's opener, but was nicked for two hits in the second game.

* REIMER APPEALING: The American League has suspended the Rangers' Kevin Reimer for three games, effective Monday night, for charging the mound after being hit by Milwaukee's Chris Bosio Aug. 4. But Reimer has appealed the suspension and thus remains eligible until a hearing is held. He was 3-for-8 last night.

Reimer is the first Texas player to be so disciplined since Steve Buechele was suspended for three games after charging the mound last August against Chicago. Buechele served the suspension.

* TWIN BILLS RARE: The doubleheader is a rarity in these baseball times. Formed in part by a makeup of a rained-out game in April, it was only the Orioles' second of the season. The first, in Kansas City, started at 1:06 p.m. and ended more than eight hours later after a torrent of 36 runs and 65 hits.

The Rangers hadn't played two since last Aug. 17. Their last doubleheader here was in 1982.

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