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Byrd becomes AL's second seven-game winner

5/17/2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jacobs Field has been good to Tony Pena.

The ballpark where Pena had one of his greatest moments as a
player is now the place where he got his first win as a manager.

Paul Byrd became the AL's second seven-game winner, pitching the
Kansas City Royals past the Cleveland Indians 6-2 Friday night.

"We waited three days to do it," Pena said. "It's nice to get
that first win out of the way and there can't be any better place
to do it."

Pena, who was named Royals manager Wednesday, won at the
ballpark where he hit a game-winning homer in the 13th inning of
Game 1 of the 1995 AL division series against Boston.

"One of the most memorable moments in my life -- nobody is going
to take that moment away form me, nobody," Pena said.

Byrd (7-2) allowed five hits in eight innings and beat the
Indians for the second time in six days to join Chicago's Mark
Buehrle for the league lead in wins.

Joe Randa and Chuck Knoblauch homered off Chuck Finley (2-5),
and Mike Sweeney connected against David Riske in the ninth as the
Royals beat the Indians for the fourth straight time. Kansas City
swept Cleveland at home last weekend.

Byrd threw a first-pitch strike to 24 of 32 batters, and wasn't
hurt by a season-high four walks. He threw a season-high 125
pitches.

The right-hander said he asked Pena to let him pitch one more
inning, and the rookie manager agreed.

"He's been great. He's come over here with a lot of enthusiasm.
I was really wanting to give him the win," Byrd said.

Each Royals player hugged Pena after the game, and he was given
the game ball. The Royals lost his first two games.

Byrd, who beat Finley on Sunday, has already surpassed his win
total of last season. He was 6-7 for Philadelphia and Kansas City
in 2001.

Finley, making his 500th career appearance, gave up four runs --
three earned -- on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Entering the game, he
had allowed only three homers, none since April 21.

Finley tied a season high with six walks and is winless in his
last four starts.

"Sooner or later you have to go out there and pitch a good
game. You have to go out there and pitch seven innings," he said.

Pena, a backup catcher for Cleveland from 1994-96, had another
memorable night at Jacobs Field. The Indians showed some of Pena's
career highlights, including his playoff homer, on the video screen
in center field during the game.

"He's definitely a breath of fresh air over there," said
Indians pitcher Paul Shuey, a former teammate of Pena's. "He was
one of my idols growing up, too. So it's kind of neat to see him
keeping on."

Knoblauch gave the Royals a 4-2 lead in the fourth with his
third homer after striking out in his first two at-bats.

He added an RBI groundout in the eighth to put the Royals up
5-2.

Finley struck out two in the first, then gave up a single to
Sweeney and Randa's second homer, a 419-foot shot into the Indians'
bullpen in right-center.

The Royals took a 3-1 lead in the third, loading the bases on a
throwing error by third baseman Russell Branyan and two walks.
Neifi Perez scored on a passed ball when Finley and catcher Einar
Diaz got crossed up.

Cleveland got a run in the bottom half when center fielder
Carlos Beltran broke back on Matt Lawton's fly ball, then had it
bounce off the top of his glove as he charged in, allowing Ricky
Gutierrez to score from first.

The Indians scored in the first on Jim Thome's RBI single.

Game notes
Beltran stole his 27th consecutive base in the seventh and
is 60 of 61. ... Gutierrez squandered a scoring opportunity in the
fifth by hitting into his AL-leading 11th double play. ... Indians
DH Ellis Burks is 5-for-26 (.192) since returning from a hamstring
injury. ... Byrd is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four career starts
against Cleveland. ... SS Omar Vizquel has 240 steals with
Cleveland, tying him with Nap Lajoie for third place on the team's
career list. ... The Royals have allowed three runs or less in 10
of 11 games. ... The Royals have outscored the Indians 24-6 in
their four wins. ... The teams play a day-night doubleheader
Saturday.