1996 Game Recap: Record Home Run 145 at Oak Coliseum
Athletics 9, Orioles 6

OAKLAND, Calif. (Aug 19, 1996 - 03:35 EST) -- Mark McGwire doesn't understand why his home runs are grabbing so much attention.

"I'm not close to anything yet. It's a long way away," said McGwire, who hit his major-league leading 43rd home run Sunday as the Oakland Athletics beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-6.

McGwire is still 19 homers shy of breaking Roger Maris' single season record of 61 homers set in 1961. The A's have 35 more games.

"I don't know why people are making a big deal about it," McGwire said.

Scott Brosius and McGwire hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning as the A's jumped to an 8-0 lead against Orioles left-hander David Wells (9-11).

Terry Steinbach, who hit a two-run homer on Saturday, hit his 30th of the season in the first inning.

The A's, who have 205 homers this season, are on pace to the break the record of 240 home runs set by the 1961 New York Yankees team that featured Maris and Mickey Mantle.

A's manager Art Howe said he's getting excited about the prospect of surpassing that legendary Yankees club.

"I'm starting to think about it now. We're going to some pretty homer-friendly ballparks coming up," said Howe, noting that the A's start a three-game series at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

The Orioles, who have moved back into the playoff picture, failed for the second straight day to gain any ground in the AL East on the Yankees. Baltimore trails New York by 5 1/2 games.

Baltimore manager Davey Johnson pointed out that his club still took three of five games in the series against the A's.

"We've been playing awfully well. The worst of our schedule is over," he said. "You can't complain with 3-for-5 for a series."

B.J. Surhoff homered for the Orioles, who closed to 9-6 in the ninth on Brady Anderson's three-run double.

Oakland starter Don Wengert (6-8) allowed six hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings.

"The offense made it easy," said Wengert.

The A's rocked Wells for seven runs and eight hits in one-plus innings.

Brosius and McGwire each hit RBI singles in the first. Brosius scored when Geronimo Berroa grounded into a double play and Steinbach followed with his home run to put the A's up 4-0.

Brosius hit his 20th homer, a three-run shot, off Wells in the second inning before McGwire homered off reliever Esteban Yan.

Steinbach added an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Brosius, who went 4-for-5 Sunday, said the possibility of a record year isn't the hot topic in the clubhouse yet. The concentration is simply on solid at-bats.

'You kind of expect to see one or two (home runs) a day out of that lineup," Brosius said. "With Mark, you almost have to expect one a day out of him."

Baltimore didn't score until the fifth inning when Cesar Devarez tripled for his first major-league hit and scored on Brent Bowers' groundout.

Anderson's RBI groundout in the seventh inning made it 9-3.

Notes: McGwire now has 145 career home runs in the Oakland Coliseum, beating Reggie Jackson's record of 144. ... Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles left the game in the fourth inning with a strained right groin. He was replaced by Devarez. ... The A's have three players with 30 or more home runs: McGwire (42), Berroa (34) and Steinbach. ... Palmeiro has hit safely in nine straight games. ... The A's have hit 90 home runs at the Coliseum, surpassing the record of 88 set in 1987. The A's started the season in Las Vegas, where they had 10 additional "home" homers. ... The Orioles have six players with 20 or more home runs. ... The A's have hit consecutive homers 10 times this season.

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