Sport - National
Royals Snap 13-Game Losing Streak, Barely
Friday, May 26th 2006, 8:59 PM CDT
The Kansas City Royals' 13th consecutive loss was painful enough. No. 14 would have been devastating. It didn't happen.
A day after blowing a 6-0 lead in a 13-8 loss to Detroit, the Royals retook the lead against the New York Yankees on Friday night, waited out a 108-minute rain delay and then hung on to end their losing streak with a 7-6 victory.
``It feels great,'' manager Buddy Bell said after Kansas City's first win in 15 days. ``I know the way things have been going lately. You keep thinking positive. It worked out fine.''
Angel Berroa hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning. After the long rain delay, reliever Andrew Sisco got Jason Giambi to hit into a double play with the tying run on third and the Royals, who still own baseball's worst record at 11-35, had their third road win of the season.
``He threw a great pitch,'' Bell said of Sisco, who earned his first career save.
In other AL games on Friday, it was: Boston 8, Tampa Bay 4; Detroit 8, Cleveland 3; Toronto 8, Chicago 2; Texas 5, Oakland 3; Minnesota 3, Seattle 1; and Los Angeles 5, Baltimore 2.
Derek Jeter got his 2,000th hit for the Yankees, who had won 14 straight home games against Kansas City since Aug. 6, 2002.
``A hit's a hit,'' Jeter said, ``but we should have won this game. We let a couple of opportunities get away.''
Reggie Sanders homered as the Royals took a 3-0 lead before falling behind 4-3 as Giambi had a two-run double in the sixth. But Kansas City tied the score in the seventh and took the lead on Berroa's fourth home run.
Scott Elarton (1-5) gave up five runs and 10 hits in seven innings for his first win with Kansas City since signing as a free agent in the offseason.
``They dragged it out on us, didn't they?'' he said.
After the rain delay, Gary Sheffield's RBI single off Joe Nelson cut it to 7-6 and put runners at the corners. Giambi slipped in the muddy batter's box as he tried to break for first and the Royals turned the double play.
``The percentages were on their side to win,'' Jeter said.
Red Sox 8, Devil Rays 4
At Boston, David Ortiz drove in four runs and Mike Lowell hit a two-run homer for Boston, which lost starter David Wells to another knee injury. Making just his second start of the season after being on the disabled list with a sprained right knee, Wells allowed one run and four hits in 4 1-3 innings. He left after being hit on that knee by Travis Lee's liner in the fifth. An examination showed only a deep bruise.
Jonathan Papelbon set a rookie record for most successful save opportunities to start a season with his 17th.
Carl Crawford had two homers for Tampa Bay, which has won two of its last 17 games at Fenway Park.
Tigers 8, Indians 3
At Detroit, Curtis Granderson drove in a career-high five runs and Detroit won its seventh straight. The Tigers, who hadn't won seven in a row since 1993, has done it twice this season. Nate Robertson (5-2) moved to 4-0 in his last seven starts, allowing three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.
Jake Westbrook (4-3) lost for the seventh time in 10 career decisions against Detroit, giving up seven runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Blue Jays 8, White Sox 2
At Toronto, Troy Glaus, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson homered for Toronto, which has won five of six. Ted Lilly (5-4) rebounded from his shortest outing of the season by allowing two runs and five hits while striking out seven and walking four in 6 1-3 innings.
Paul Konerko homered twice for the White Sox, who had won their previous three games. Freddy Garcia (7-2) failed to win his eighth straight decision. He allowed five runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Rangers 5, Athletics 3
At Arlington, Hank Blalock hit a two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning to lead Texas as Oakland lost its seventh straight. Chad Gaudin (0-2), the third Oakland pitcher, struck out the first two batters in the eighth, then walked the bases loaded. Ron Flores relieved and surrendered the hit to Blalock.
Gary Matthews Jr. had put Texas ahead 3-2 in the sixth with a solo homer off reliever Randy Keisler. Eric Chavez's sacrifice fly off Rangers reliever Francisco Cordero (4-3) tied the score 3-3 in the top of the eighth.
Twins 3, Mariners 1
At Minneapolis, rookie Francisco Liriano (3-0) pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing four hits for Texas, which went ahead 3-0 on Joe Mauer's homer in the third. Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
Felix Hernandez (3-6) gave up three runs and five hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Angels 5, Orioles 2
At Anaheim, Vladimir Guerrero's inside-the-park homer broke an eighth-inning tie and Los Angeles went on to its third straight victory. Scot Shields (2-3) got three outs in the eighth for the win and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.
Angels starter Ervin Santana took a two-hit shutout into the sixth before the Orioles tied it on RBI singles by Melvin Mora and Jay Gibbons.