Canseco's night as All-Star pitcher doesn't last long
CHICO, Calif. -- Jose Canseco's All-Star pitching debut proved to be short.
The former major league star retired only one batter Tuesday night while giving up four runs in the first All-Star game in the independent Golden Baseball League.
"I feel great -- as good as ever," Canseco said.
Before his struggles on the mound, Canseco wowed the crowd of 3,111 with some titanic drives to win the home run derby.
Canseco, who has played just seven games in the Golden Baseball League, batted last in the 10-player derby lineup. He advanced to the two-man final by hitting five homers to left field, including three shots that soared over the lights similar to the tape-measure blasts he was known for in his prime in the majors.
Canseco then edged Scott Goodman of the San Diego Surf Dawgs 4-3 in the final, hitting one shot over the scoreboard to win the title and a $250 prize.
"I'm going to take these guys out and get them drunk," he said, motioning toward his teammates on the South team. "I'm going to buy about 400 gallons of beer."
Canseco didn't do as well with his knuckleball when he took the mound the fourth inning with the South leading the North 5-1.
Former major leaguer Marcus Jensen led off with a bloop double to left. Mike Mallory followed with a single, and another former big leaguer, Desi Wilson, drove in Jensen when he grounded out to third.
After Doug Gredvig walked, Henry Calderon hit an RBI double down the left-field line, and South manager Terry Kennedy relieved Canseco with Ryan Claypool to a chorus of good-natured boos from the crowd.
Gredvig and Calderon eventually scored, making Canseco's final line four runs, three hits, one walk in one-third of an inning.
The North team won 7-6.
Canseco made one big league pitching appearance, working the final inning for the Texas Rangers in a 15-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 1993. He walked the bases loaded and allowed three runs and two hits. He threw 12 strikes and 21 balls, most of which were far from the strike zone.
But he tore a ligament in his elbow, ending his season. He said he felt a sharp pain in his elbow on his second pitch but stayed in and threw 31 more pitches.
Canseco has been getting his arm into pitching shape the past two weeks and could be used in regular season games later in the season.
Canseco, a former American League MVP and six-time All-Star in the majors, got off to a slow start in his comeback in the Golden Baseball League. He struck out 11 times in his first 13 at bats but is hitting .333 with two homers and seven RBI in his past five games for the Long Beach Armada.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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