1996 Game Recap: Record Setting 40th Home Run
Athletics 11, Twins 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (Aug 13, 1996 - 03:47 EST) -- The Oakland Coliseum was once a place where pitchers looked forward to. Not this season.
Geronimo Berroa hit three home runs in a game for the second time this year and major league-leader Mark McGwire added two more Monday as the Oakland Athletics routed the Minnesota Twins 11-1.
Minnesota's Rich Robertson (5-11) gave up three home runs and seven runs in three innings.
"This place used to be a pitcher's park. Not anymore," Robertson said.
"Trying to pitch in this park, against those guys, is a nightmare," Twins manager Tom Kelly said.
One pitcher who seems to be adjusting is Oakland starter Ariel Prieto, who got his first win since May 11.
"It's great to be pitching for a team where one swing can change an entire ballgame," Prieto said.
McGwire hit his 40th and 41st home runs and Berroa got his third of the night and 29th of the season in the eighth after homering in his first two at-bats.
Berroa, who also hit three homers on May 22 in New York, became the 10th player in major league history to hit three homers in a game twice in the same season. Detroit's Cecil Fielder was the last to accomplish the feat in 1990.
"We were very nice to Berroa," Kelly said. "We kept giving him fastball after fastball."
The A's have 193 homers this season and are on pace to break the major league team record of 240 set by the 1961 New York Yankees.
"There's no one formula we've got going," said Oakland's Terry Steinbach, who had three singles. "One thing about this lineup is we don't have to rely on one guy to get them for us."
McGwire, who has played 90 of Oakland's 120 games, needs 20 homers in the Athletics' final 42 games to tie the Yankees' Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs in one season.
Prieto (3-5) allowed four hits in seven innings. He had a 3.00 ERA in his previous three starts, going 0-1 with two no-decisions due to a lack of run support.
"That's the first time I've hit one when he's pitched," Berroa said. "After the game I told him, 'I'm glad I finally did something when you pitched."'
McGwire and Berroa hit back-to-back homers in the first off Robertson. Berroa hit a three-run homer in the third to give the A's a 7-0 lead, and capped his night with a solo homer in the eighth.
Prieto spent 10 weeks on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow before returning to the A's on July 28.
McGwire's first homer, a three-run shot in the first, traveled 450 feet into the upper deck in left. His opposite field shot to right in the sixth made it 10-0.
Notes: The A's have 16 multi-homer games. ... Robertson, who shut out California in his last start, has three shutouts this season. But he's 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA in each of the three starts following his shutouts. ... Jason Giambi was out of Oakland's starting lineup with a sprained ankle. His replacement in left field, Damon Mashore, dislocated his left shoulder while sliding head first into second on a stolen base and left the game in the second inning. ... Minnesota shortstop Pat Meares was scratched from the lineup when he experienced blurred vision in his left eye. ... McGwire became quickest player to reach 40 home runs in a season with 294 at-bats. ... McGwire became only the second Athletic in history to have two 40 home run seasons, the other being Jimmie Foxx.
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