Thu, Jul 31, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Mueller grand slams into record books

LANDMARK The Red Sox's slugger hit one from the right side of the plate and then one from the left in an unprecedented display of power and versatility

AP , ARLINGTON, TEXAS

Boston Red Sox's Bill Mueller follows through on his second grand slam of the game in the eighth inning against the the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday. Mueller became the first player in major league history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate.

PHOTO: AP

Boston's Bill Mueller became the first player in major league history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in a game, connecting for three homers to lead the Red Sox over the Texas Rangers 14-7 on Tuesday.

Mueller, batting left-handed, hit a solo homer in the third inning against R.A. Dickey. Batting right-handed, he hit his first slam off Aaron Fultz in the seventh for a 9-4 lead. One inning later, he connected from the left side against Jay Powell for a 14-4 advantage.

"You never come to the ballpark thinking you're going to do anything like this," Mueller said. "I'm just trying to have some good at-bats, and I guess some of my good at-bats went over the wall tonight."

Mueller had a career-high nine RBIs with the first three-homer game of his career. He has 13 homers this season, also a career best, and four career slams.

It was the 12th time a player hit two grand slams in a game, the first since Boston's Nomar Garciaparra against Seattle on May 10, 1999.

"I'm very humbled by it. It was just one of those nights that went in my favor and kept going. Maybe someday I'll really appreciate it. ... I feel good. I'm ready to go them tomorrow."

Orioles 7, Twins 5

In Minneapolis, Jay Gibbons homered and drove in three runs and Tony Batista also hit a home run in Baltimore's win over Minnesota.

Gibbons hit a two-run shot in the first inning, a run-scoring single in the sixth and was at the plate when the Orioles took the lead on a wild pitch in the eighth.

Devil Rays 9, Blue Jays 8

In Toronto, Rocco Baldelli hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning as Tampa Bay rallied for a victory over Toronto.

Travis Lee and Aubrey Huff homered for the Devil Rays, who rallied from 4-0 and 7-6 deficits.

White Sox 9, Royals 6

In Kansas City, Missouri, Mark Buehrle won his seventh straight decision as Chicago closed within three games of the AL Central leading Kansas City.

Mariners 11, Tigers 5

In Seattle, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone and John Olerud hit home runs, and Gil Meche ended a personal four-game losing streak for Seattle.

Athletics 6, Indians 2

In Oakland, California, Mark Mulder had 11 strikeouts while pitching into the eighth inning for Oakland's win over Cleveland.

Yankees 6, Angels 2

In Anaheim, California, New York bounced back from their bruising weekend series in Boston by winning the opener of their West Coast trip and trading unhappy Raul Mondesi.

Andy Pettitte (13-6) won his career-high eighth straight decision, and Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.

AP, ATLANTA

Russ Ortiz stretched his winning streak to a career-high eight games and hit a homer, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros in a matchup of division leaders on Tuesday.

Marcus Giles had a career-high five hits and set an Atlanta record with nine consecutive hits over two games. Gary Sheffield hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth that put the Braves ahead for good.

Ortiz (15-4) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings to join Toronto's Roy Halladay as the only 15-game winners in the majors. John Smoltz worked the ninth for his 39th save in 42 chances.

Giles followed up two straight four-hit games by going 5-for-5. He broke Jeff Blauser's Atlanta record of eight straight hits and is one shy of the NL record, shared by 10 players and last done by Cincinnati's Bip Roberts in 1992.

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