Athletics 9, Angels 6
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Geronimo Berroa and Terry Steinbach homered to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 9-6 victory over the California Angels on Thursday night in a game interrupted by a brief bench-clearing brawl.
Berroa, who came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Mike Aldrete in the sixth inning, hit a two-run homer off Russ Springer in the seventh as Oakland pulled away from a 7-6 lead. Steinbach hit a solo homer in the fourth.
There was a nine-minute delay in the bottom of the seventh because of the brawl, ignited when Jim Corsi hit Tim Salmon, who had homered his previous time up. Oakland’s Mark McGwire had been hit twice earlier, once in the fourth and again in the seventh, just beore Berroa’s homer.
Salmon walked to first without even looking at Corsi after being hit on the left side. But California teammate Chili Davis, who was on second base, walked toward the Athletics’ pitcher before being restrained by Oakland players as both dugouts emptied.
Several skirmishes broke out, with Steinbach, who had a minor cut on his left ear, apparently the only injured player. He remained in the game, however, and there were no ejections.
Todd Stottlemyre (1-0) went five-plus innings to earn the win, allowing six runs on nine hits, with one walk and five strikeouts. Four Oakland relievers shut out the Angels over the last 3 2-3 innings, with Dennis Eckersley pitching the ninth for his second save.
Reliever Mitch Williams (0-1), charged with two unearned runs during a five-run sixth, got the loss.
The Angels scored four times in the second, capped by Tony Phillips’ two-run double, and led 5-2 before the A’s rallied in the sixth.
Scott Brosius doubled in two runs during the Oakland outburst, which was kept alive by a two-out throwing error by California first baseman J.T. Snow and by Phillips losing Brosius’ fly ball to left in the lights.
Salmon’s leadoff homer, his fifth, narrowed the gap to 7-6, but Berroa’s homer, his second, gave Oakland a three-run lead.
Notes: After drawing 51,145 for the $1-a-ticket home opener, the Angels attendance totalled 37,152 for their next three games at Anaheim Stadium, the series against Oakland. ... Catcher Brian Harper announced his retirement Thursday. Harper, 35, signed with the A’s as a free agent on Aril 20 and was 0-for-7 in two appearances. Oakland recalled Eric Helfand from Edmonton to replace Harper on the roster.