On this day 19 years ago, Paul O’Neill had a career day, going 5-for-5 at the plate in leading the Yanks to an 11-1 victory over the Angels. The Warrior’s five singles paced a 14-hit attack that helped the Yanks improve their record to 12-6 and move within half a game of the Sox for the division lead.
The boys in pinstripes broke the game open in the 3rd inning when a Matt Nokes grand slam plated Don Mattingly, Danny Tartabull, and O’Neill. Bernie Williams followed with a solo blast to deep left field to hang a 5-spot on California’s Mark Leiter. They added 3 more runs in the 6th on singles from Mattingly and O’Neill and a groundout by Nokes, giving him 5 RBIs on the day despite going 1-for-4.
O’Neill’s 5-for-5 performance upped his batting average to .490 in the season’s eighteenth game. He would continue his torrid hitting right up until the strike prematurely ended their season on August 11th. Paulie’s .359 average at season’s end gave the team its first batting champion since Donnie Baseball in 1984.