Hot corner AMERICAN LEAGUE

May 16, 1998

Quote: "The best moment was rounding first base, seeing that ball go in the net. It's something I'll never, ever forget."

-- Red Sox's 27-year-old rookie Lou Merloni, who grew up a half-hour from Boston in Framingham, Mass., on homering in his first Fenway Park at-bat.

It's a fact: The Angels' Ken Hill, who failed against the Blue Jays last night in his bid to become the majors' first seven-game winner, is 0-4 lifetime against them. Toronto is the only AL team Hill has not beaten.

Who's hot: Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (5-1) has won his last five starts.

Who's not: Seattle's Jeff Huson hit a two-run homer in the seventh -- his first since Sept. 23, 1995, when he was with the Orioles. He's batting .161 this season.

On deck: Boston's Steve Avery, twice an 18-game winner with Atlanta, will start today against Kansas City. Avery had a 9.64 ERA in just 4 2/3 innings of relief for the Red Sox before agreeing to a demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. By agreement, the team had until Monday to decide what to do with him.

Pub Date: 5/16/98

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