Yankees say Griffey not target


The New York Yankees insisted they weren't throwing at Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of Saturday night's game.

The Mariners beat the Yankees, 3-2, in a game that nearly erupted into a brawl in the opening inning.

Griffey, 21, wasn't convinced. His father, Ken Griffey Sr., who wasn't in the lineup, said he didn't know if Chuck Cary was throwing at his son on purpose. Griffey Jr. said he knew he would have the support of his father in any retaliation.

"I'm not a violent guy, but he was just too close to my head," Griffey Jr. said.

"I know Chuck," Griffey Sr. said. "He gets a little wild. I don't know if he was throwing at him, to tell you the truth.

The near-brawl occurred in the first after Cary threw a pitch close to Griffey's chin. On the next pitch, Griffey swung at a pitch and his bat sailed passed Cary's right foot almost to second base.

When Griffey walked out to retrieve his bat, he exchanged heated words with Cary and both benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown and no players were ejected.

* INDIANS: Imagine what Chris James would have done with a good round of pre-game hitting.

After complaining about "bad batting practice," James drove in nine runs and broke Cleveland's record for RBI as the Indians routed the Oakland Athletics, 20-6, Saturday.

James hit three-run homers in the first and second innings, an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run single in the eighth. He grounded out in his other at-bat in the sixth, and left the game after the eighth.

James became the first player since Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles in 1985 to drive in nine runs in a game.

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