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Homer In 11th Lifts Jays


Tony Batista feels very lucky these days.

Batista homered with two outs in the 11th inning to lift the streaking Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

"This guy has had a career of big hits for us since he's been with us," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said of Batista, who has hit six of his 13 home runs with Toronto in the eighth inning or later.

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Game Summary

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  • "It just happens," Batista said of his late-inning heroics. "I'm happy and I'm surprised. I've just been hitting the ball pretty good. I'm just doing my job."

    Batista hit the first pitch he saw from Bob Howry (2-2) over the fence in left-center for his 13th homer since being traded from Arizona on June 12. Batista had only five homers with the Diamondbacks.

    "Defensively, he's been incredible," Toronto starter Pat Hentgen said of the shortstop, acquired to replace Alex Gonzalez who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. "He's solidified our whole infield."

    Batista now has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games with nine home runs and 22 RBI. He had only five homers in two months with the Diamondbacks.

    "Right now, I've been lucky. I've been hitting the ball pretty good," he said.

    John Frascatore (6-0), who also came to Toronto in the deal for Dan Plesac, pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. Billy Koch got three outs for his 19th save in 22 chances.

    The Blue Jays are 17-5 this month, one win shy of the club record for wins in July.

    Shawn Green extended his hitting streak to an AL season-high 24 games for Toronto, which has won nine of its last 10 and leads Boston by 1 ½ games in the wild-card race.

    "The wild card has nothing to do with it. We're still playing baseball," said Fregosi, who has his sights set on the AL East title.

    Green's hitting streak is the second longest in club history behind John Olerud's 26-game streak in 1993. Green had an infield single in the first inning and a single in the fifth to finish 2-for-5.

    The White Sox have lost 10 of ther last 14 games and fell to a season-worst five games under .500 (46-51).

    White Sox rookie center fielder Brian Simmons, who made two outstanding catches. Simmons snared Carlos Delgado's fly ball in the first, diving fully extended onto the edge of the warning track in left center field.

    "He made a highlight film for himself today," Fregosi said.

    In the 10th, Simmons slammed into the left center wall while catching Shannon Stewart's fly ball. The rookie lay motionless on the field for a few moments. His elbow had jammed into his ribs and Simmons said he was having trouble breathing.

    "It's always special to make a couple good plays," Simmons said. "I'm just upset we didn't come out on the winning end."

    Trailing 3-0 with two out in the eighth, Chicago rookie Carlos Lee hit his sixth home run off Roy Halladay. After Paul Konerko walked, Simmons greeted Paul Quantrill with a triple to make it 3-2. Pinch-hitter Ray Durham singled to tie the game at 3.

    Delgado hit a sacrifice fly in the first to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

    Homer Bush hit a ground-rule RBI double in the fourth to make it 2-0.

    Green singled with one out in the fifth and stole second. One out later, Darrin Fletcher singled and Green scored on a grounder as Fletcher was out in a short-to-third-to-first relay.

    Hentgen pitched six shutout innings, giving up six hits and walking two. Chicago starter Jaime Navarro gave up three runs on eight hits and four walks over 7 1-3 innings.

    Notes:

  • Toronto 3B Tony Fernandez was a late scratch because of a sore left knee. His status was day to day.
  • Toronto went 18-10 in July 1985.
  • Durham did not start because of stiffness in his back.
  • After the game, the White Sox outrighted Bryan Ward to Class AAA Charlotte and planned to recall right-handed pitcher Carlos Castillo Tuesday. Ward was 0-1 with a 7.55 ERA in 40 games.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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