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Bottom of Royals' order ravages Twins pitching

8/5/2002

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Stung by four consecutive one-run losses, the
Kansas City Royals ended their frustrations against the Minnesota
Twins on Monday.

Luis Alicea hit a three-run homer and Carlos Febles went 4-for-4
for the Royals in a 12-4 victory that ended the Twins' five-game
winning streak.

"That's what we needed,'' Febles said, "to come out and play a
game like this.''

The bottom third of Kansas City's order -- Neifi Perez, Brent
Mayne and Febles -- went 10-for-15 with nine runs scored and three
RBI. Leadoff hitter Aaron Guiel was 2-for-5 with two RBI and
Alicea, batting second, drove in four with two hits.

"It feels good to leave this place with a win,'' Alicea said.
"Minnesota has a great team.''

After losing six in a row, Kansas City got 17 hits and avoided
its first four-game sweep at the Metrodome. The Royals, 4-11
against Minnesota this year, have outscored the Twins 73-68. They
scored more than four runs for the first time in 13 games.

"That's just the way this game is,'' Kansas City manager Tony
Pena said. "I was happy to see the bottom part of the lineup come
out like that. It's a good sign right there.''

Royals rookie Shawn Sedlacek (2-2) won despite allowing four
runs, eight hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. Sedlacek gave up
a pair of sacrifice flies, to Denny Hocking in the second and Bobby
Kielty in the sixth, then faded in the seventh.

Luis Rivas hit an RBI double, and Cristian Guzman drove him in
with an infield single, but Scott Mullen relieved and got David
Ortiz to hit into an inning-ending double play.

"It was a pitcher's dream game,'' Sedlacek said. "All I had to
do was throw strikes. The hitters made it simple.''

Joe Mays (1-3) yielded eight runs and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings
for Minnesota. His fourth start since spending three months on the
disabled list with elbow inflammation was by far his worst.

But he said his arm felt strong.

"It's funny how it works,'' Mays said. "I thought I had good
stuff. It seems like every ball they put in play seemed to find a
hole.''

Though he struck out only one, Mays was fine until the Royals
scored twice on four hits in the fifth. Trailing 4-1, Mays got two
outs in the sixth but then gave up four straight singles.

Kevin Frederick entered with two on and allowed Alicea's first
homer since last Sept. 8, putting the Royals up 9-1 and ending the
Minnesota bullpen's scoreless innings streak at 20.

Mays threw wildly past first on a bunt single by Perez in the
sixth, ending the Twins' club-record errorless streak at 12 games,
but Torii Hunter could've been charged with an error in the third
when he lost Mayne's ball in the ceiling and let it bounce under
his glove for a ground-rule double. The Royals scored twice in that
inning.

Hocking played third base for Minnesota in place of Corey
Koskie, held out of the lineup after bruising his chest Sunday when
Royals first baseman Chan Perry hit him with a ball that was
intended for home plate.

Koskie spent the night in a hospital as a precaution, underwent
tests Monday morning and was released. He said he could play
Tuesday in Baltimore.

The Twins, still 19-5 since the All-Star break and 16 games
ahead of Chicago in the AL Central, weren't fretting after the
lopsided loss.

"It was just one of those bad games,'' catcher A.J. Pierzynski
said. "It's a six-month season. It happens. We had a great
homestand. Hopefully, it will continue on the road.''

Game notes
The Twins' clubhouse was subdued in victory after Koskie's
scare on Sunday but back to normal Monday. An enlarged paper
replica of a baseball was taped to the chest of Koskie's jersey in
his stall. ... Chuck Knoblauch, still sore above his elbow after
being hit there by Rick Reed on Friday, was out of the lineup for
the second straight day but is expected back for Tuesday's game in
New York. Knoblauch, who missed 39 games earlier this year with a
strained forearm, took the Royals' lineup card out to the umpires
at the plate before the game. ... Ortiz extended his hitting streak
to 18 games with a single in the sixth. ... Finishing a 10-game
homestand at 8-2, the Twins averaged 29,777 fans per game.