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Royals release Elarton after disastrous start vs. Yankees

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals released
struggling right-hander Scott Elarton on Wednesday, one day after
bringing him off the disabled list for a disastrous start against
the New York Yankees.

Elarton, the Royals' Opening Day starter in 2006, has never
regained his form since shoulder surgery sidelined him for the
final 71 games of last season and the first 36 games this year.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Scotty will hook up with
somebody, and we'll probably see him in the big leagues at some
point this season," manager Buddy Bell said. "I think Scotty felt
like he was spinning his wheels here. We gave him an option that he
could have gone to Omaha, but I think it's probably best that he
hooks on with somebody else and starts over."

The 31-year-old Elarton, in the second year of a two-year, $8
million contract with the Royals, came off the DL on Tuesday after
sitting out 26 games with a sprained right foot.

Against the Yankees, he lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up
seven runs and six hits. His ERA rose from 9.17 to 10.46, and his
record dropped to 2-4.

"It's about results here," Elarton said after that game.
"I've definitely recovered, but I'm not back to where I want to
be."

The Royals made no immediate move to fill Elarton's roster spot,
but Bell said the team expected to call up a relief pitcher.

Elarton had been expected to start Sunday against Texas. Bell
said right-hander Leo Nunez likely would be recalled from Triple-A
Omaha to make the start.

Nunez did well in his first career start, on July 17 at Boston.
He took a shutout into the fifth inning of the Royals' 9-3 victory
but did not get the decision because he was on a pitch count and
did not complete the required five innings.