Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/14)

Game 1: Friday, September 13
Kansas City 2Final
in 10
Detroit 4
Game 2: Saturday, September 14
Kansas City 5Final
Detroit 1
Game 3: Sunday, September 15
Kansas City 9Final
Detroit 3
Game 4: Monday, September 16
Kansas City 2Final
Detroit 5

Royals 5

(57-91, 23-50 away)

Tigers 1

(53-95, 32-41 home)

    2:05 PM ET, September 14, 2002

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 120020000 5 - -
    DET 000001000 1 - -

    W: P. Byrd (16-11)

    L: A. Van Hekken (1-1)

    Royals' Byrd tosses four-hitter at Tigers

    DETROIT (AP) -- After two rough starts in a row, Paul Byrd found the perfect antidote for his slump -- an outing against the Detroit Tigers.

    Paul Byrd
    Starting Pitcher
    Kansas City Royals
    GM W L Sv K ERA
    30 15 11 0 118 3.88

    Byrd pitched a four-hitter for his American League-leading seventh complete game and Mike Sweeney had two RBI as the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-1 Saturday.

    ''The Tigers don't walk much -- they just swing away,'' said Byrd, who has three complete games against the Tigers this season. ''I know they are going to come out swinging, so if I make my pitches, it can go pretty well.''

    In Byrd's previous two starts, he allowed 16 runs in nine innings to Oakland and Chicago.

    ''My last two starts were the worst back-to-back starts of my career,'' he said. ''But I got a pep talk from my wife and my parents drove in to see the game today, which was really nice. They hit some balls at guys and we got some early runs. That helped a lot.''

    The victory was just Kansas City's second in 12 games, while the Tigers fall to 3-10 in September. The Royals increased their lead over Detroit to four games in the race to avoid the American League Central cellar.

    ''Every time Paul pitches, we know we've got a great chance to win,'' Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. ''We got him a five-run lead and he just took over. You can't ask for a better job than he did.''

    Byrd (16-11) beat the Tigers for the third time in four decisions this year, improving his career mark to 4-1. He walked one and struck out seven.

    Andy Van Hekken (1-1) took his first career defeat, allowing three runs, six hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings. Van Hekken, making his third career start, left with a bruised left hand, but is not expected to miss his next outing.

    ''I was all over the place -- I just never got on the right track,'' Van Hekken said. ''I just never had any command today, right from the first batter.''

    The Royals led 3-0 after two innings, but could have had more, leaving the bases loaded in both innings.

    Michael Tucker led off the game with a walk, took third on Carlos Beltran's single and scored on Sweeney's infield single. Kit Pellow later walked to load the bases with one out, but Van Hekken got out of the inning.

    The Royals scored twice with two outs in the second on run-scoring hits by Beltran and Sweeney. Joe Randa followed with a grounder off Van Hekken's hand, forcing him out of the game.

    ''He's got a big bruise on his hand, so we wanted to get him out of there,'' Tigers manager Luis Pujols said. ''I was close to taking him out anyway. I've seen him a lot better than today, but I don't think I've seen him worse.''

    Detroit's feeble defense led to two more Kansas City runs in the fifth. With one out, Angel Berroa doubled and moved to third when right fielder Robert Fick misplayed the ball. A.J. Hinch grounded to shortstop, but the ball skipped off Ramon Santiago's glove, allowing Berroa to score.

    Luis Ordaz hit a bloop single to right, and Fick's throw to third sailed into the stands for his second error in a span of three batters, and Detroit's third. Hinch scored on the play and Ordaz ended up on third.

    ''That was actually as much Brian Powell's fault as Fick's,'' Pujols said. ''He has to get off the mound and back up third on a play like that.''

    Detroit broke the shutout in the sixth on Santiago's run-scoring groundout, but Byrd retired 12 of the game's final 13 batters.

    ''He just goes out there and destroys your timing,'' Detroit's Carlos Pena said. ''He can put every pitch exactly where he wants it, and you are always swinging a little too early or a little too late.''

    Game notes

    Fick had an assist in the fourth inning. He leads the majors with 18 outfield assists and with 12 outfield errors. ... Ernie Harwell, who is retiring at the end of the season, was reunited with Ray Lane to announce the first three innings on radio. Harwell and Lane announced Tigers games from 1967-72. On Sunday, Harwell will call three innings with Paul Carey, who was his partner after Lane until 1991. ... The Tigers need to go 14-0 to finish with a better record than their 66-96 mark of 2001 and 10-4 to avoid 100 defeats. ... Sweeney has 20 RBI in his last 12 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press