OAKLAND, Calif.--Mark McGwire hit a solo home run with one out in the ninth inning as the Oakland Athletics finally broke through and beat Los Angeles, 2-1, last night, cutting the Dodgers' lead in the World Series to 2-1.
McGwire fouled off three 2-2 pitches before lining a drive over the left-center field fence for his first hit in 10 World Series at-bats.
The blow came against Jay Howell, making his first appearance since his suspension for using pine tar in the third game of the National League playoffs. It was the first home run Howell had given up to a right handed batter in 112 at-bats this season.
The Athletics managed just five hits, but McGwire's homer was the difference in a game in which Oakland's bullpen did the job.
The Athletics escaped a basesloaded, no-out jam in the sixth inning and Rick Honeycutt allowed one hit in the final two innings for the victory. Howell entered in the ninth and retired Jose Canseco on a pop-up before McGwire homered.
The Dodgers will pitch Tim Belcher in Game 4 tonight against Dave Stewart, a rematch of opening game starters.
The home team has now won 13 straight games in the World Series.
Comedy of Errors
The Dodgers blew a chance to break the game open in the sixth when they loaded the bases with no outs but failed to score.
Danny Heep's double, John Shelby's single and a walk to Mike Davis finished ex-Dodger Bob Welch.
The Oakland bullpen, the most effective in the majors this year, did its job. Left-hander Greg Cadaret stopped lefty Mike Scioscia on a foul pop-up and right-hander Gene Nelson got Jeff Hamilton on a force at the plate and Alfredo Griffin on a grounder to first.
Kirk Gibson, the Dodgers' pinch hitter deluxe in the Series' opener, was not employed this time, even though Los Angeles was at the bottom of its batting order.
The Dodgers' injury problems worsened as starting pitcher John Tudor and right fielder Mike Marshall each were forced from the game. Tudor, bothered by hip and elbow problems throughout the season, left in the second inning with more arm trouble, and Marshall's weak back stiffened up in the third.
Welch gave up a leadoff single to Steve Sax and struck out the next four batters. He fanned eight in four innings and took a 1-0 lead into the fifth before Los Angeles scored.
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