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Liefer's slam, Konerko's RBI mark highlight win

9/11/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- This time of year, losing teams call up
their young players and try to get a glimpse of the future.

The Chicago White Sox might have something to look forward to.

Jeff Liefer hit his first career grand slam, and Paul Konerko
drove in three runs to reach 100 RBI as Chicago beat the Kansas
City Royals 12-4 Tuesday night.

''I think it's important when you grow your own that you win
some games in the process,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said.
''That's what you want to get them comfortable with, the feeling
and taste of winning at the big league level.''

The Royals tied a club record with their eighth straight loss at
home. Kansas City has also dropped eight in a row overall.

Mike Porzio (2-0) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the
win. Antonio Osuna went three innings for his 10th save in 13
opportunities.

Carlos Lee also drove in three runs for the White Sox. Liefer
hit his slam off rookie Jeremy Affeldt in the ninth, and Konerko
added an RBI double to give him a career-best 100 RBI.

''I was really pleased to be out there the night Paul gets 100
RBI,'' Porzio said. ''I'm glad I'm getting opportunities to pitch.
''I'm still kind of new at this level, still kind of trying to earn
a job.''

Porzio, recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Aug. 1, has allowed
five earned runs over 22 1/3 innings.

The Royals have lost eight home games in a row three times, most
recently in 1991. While losing their last eight overall, the Royals
have given up 89 runs.

''I'm tired of losing, like everyone else in here,'' Affeldt
said. ''The whole thing is so frustrating. You come in and you
can't help your team win.''

Lee, who has reached base in 12 straight games, had a sacrifice
fly in a three-run first inning and a two-run triple in the
four-run seventh.

AL batting leader Mike Sweeney went 2-for-5 with three RBI for
the Royals, raising his average to .341. New York's Bernie Williams
is second at .338.

''Every single day the last two weeks have been tough,'' Royals
manager Tony Pena said.

Runelvys Hernandez (3-4) is 0-3 in his last four starts. He went
6 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on eight hits.

Aaron Rowand homered leading off the Chicago seventh. Konerko
later singled off reliever Jeremy Hill, and Lee made it 7-4 with a
two-run triple.

The first three Chicago batters reached in the first, on singles
by Willie Harris and Jose Valentin and Frank Thomas' walk. Konerko
had an RBI before Lee's sacrifice fly, then Joe Crede hit an RBI
single.

With two outs in the third, Sweeney doubled over the head of
center fielder Rowand to make it 3-2.

Sweeney's RBI single in the fifth tied it 3-all, and Joe Randa's
grounder brought in Carlos Beltran to put the Royals up 4-3. It was
Beltran's 100th run scored this year.

Game notes
Royals SS Neifi Perez said he was only joking Monday night
when he refused Pena's request to go in as a late-inning defensive
replacement. Pena refused to discuss it. ... The White Sox
activated RHP Todd Ritchie from the 15-day DL and said he would be
available Wednesday. ... Thomas has hit in 10 straight games. ...
The Royals' two steals ran their AL-leading total to 125. ... Half
of Rowand's six home runs have come against the Royals. ... The
White Sox are 36-18 in Kansas City since 1995.