1996 Game Recap: 300th Career Home Run
Tigers 10, Athletics 8

OAKLAND, Calif. (Jun 26, 1996 - 04:00 EST) -- Bobby Higginson and Jason Giambi had the most productive day of their young careers, and they spent it marveling at the feats of elder teammates.

Higginson drove in a career-high five runs with a homer and two doubles in the Detroit Tigers' 10-8 victory Tuesday over the Oakland Athletics, who got a career-high five RBIs from Giambi on a pair of homers.

Detroit won for the fourth time in five games as Mark Lewis added three RBIs with a double, single and bases-loaded walk. Cecil Fielder had a solo homer, his 18th.

The accomplishments of second-year players Giambi and Higginson were put into perspective by the milestones that Oakland's Mark McGwire and Detroit's Alan Trammell reached.

McGwire became the 73rd player to hit 300 home runs and Trammell drove in his 1,000th run while playing his 2,132nd game at shortstop, eighth most in major-league history.

Giambi, who hit a two-run homer in the fifth and a three-run shot in the eighth, said it's hard to imagine how many homers McGwire would have by now if he had not spent so much time sidelined by back and foot injuries the last few years.

"We've been talking among us and know if it hadn't been for the injuries, he'd be chasing 500 by now," Giambi said. "It's pretty incredible what he's done, overcoming injuries to put up those numbers."

Higginson had a two-run double in the Tigers' four-run second, hit his 11th home run leading off the fifth and added a two-run double in a four-run seventh. He said he owes much of his success to Trammell.

"Having him around has really gotten me on track," said said Higginson, who is hitting .377 with seven homers and 17 RBIs since returning June 7 after missing nearly a month because of a sprained right foot. "He saw something in my swing that he noticed was different. He saw what I was doing when I was going well, and he saw I wasn't doing it."

McGwire hit a pair of solo homers to became the 10th active player with 300 home runs. He has 24 this season.

He hit his 300th homer to left-center leading off the second. His 301st, in the seventh, went into the second deck in left.

"Basically, it was nice to get it over with, so I didn't have to think about it," McGwire said. "I'm proud of it, especially with what I've been through. Basically, I didn't play for two years."

McGwire, whose first career homer came at Detroit in 1986, has homered 19 times in his last 32 games. He has not gone more than two games without a homer during that span.

"He hits home runs at the same rate other people hit singles," A's manager Art Howe said. "Who knows where it will all end. He still has a long career ahead. If he can stay healthy, he will put up some big numbers."

Trammell, who has spent his entire 20-year career with the Tigers, became the 10th player in Detroit history to reach 1,000 RBIs when he drove in a run on an infield single in the second.

Trammell also broke an eighth-place tie with Bill Dahlen, who played for four NL clubs in 1891-1911, for longevity at shortstop.

"I'm certainly very proud of the fact that I've been able to play so long and put some decent numbers up there," Trammell said. "You accumulate things when you play a long time."

Omar Olivares (4-3) allowed five runs and 11 hits in seven innings for Detroit and Gregg Olson got four outs for his third save.

Don Wengert (2-6) lost his fourth straight start, allowing six runs and eight hits in four innings. Notes: Thirty-six of McGwire's homers have come against the Tigers, his most against any club. He has 88 RBIs against Detroit, also his most against any team. ... Olivares improved his career record to 8-2 in June. ... Scott Brosius returned to Oakland's lineup for the first time since May 4, when he broke his right forearm when he was hit by a pitch from Kansas City's Mark Gubicza. He missed 47 games. ... Detroit starters have pitched into the sixth inning in 13 of the last 16 games. ... The game was the last between Detroit and Oakland this season. The A's won the season series 8-4. ... The A's hit 31 homers in the 12 games against Detroit this season, their highest total against an opponent in one season since expansion in 1977.

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