<
>

Hernandez narrowly misses first complete game

9/16/2002

DETROIT (AP) -- Runelvys Hernandez wanted to get his first
complete game. So did his manager, Tony Pena.

After Mike Rivera's two-run double with one out in the ninth, it
wasn't going to happen, though. Pena pulled his starter and Jeremy
Hill finished up the Kansas City Royals' 9-3 win over the Detroit
Tigers on Sunday.

"I wanted him to finish the game but we also don't want to hurt
him,'' Pena said. "We were going to go hitter by hitter. After he
hit a double, there's no reason for it. He pitched well.''

Joe Randa had three hits and Dee Brown homered for Kansas City.

Randa tripled and scored three runs as the Royals won their
second in a row and extended their lead over the last-place Tigers
to five games in the AL Central.

Before the game, the Tigers honored longtime broadcaster Ernie
Harwell, who is retiring after 55 years as a major-league
announcer, 42 with the Tigers.

A statue of Harwell was unveiled inside the entrance to Comerica
Park.
Hernandez (4-4) walked three and struck out five.

"I know I'm happy because the team won,'' said Hernandez, who
pitched his longest outing of the season.

It was the sixth loss in seven games for the Tigers, who have
lost 21 of their last 25.

Detroit starter Jason Beverlin, making his first major league
start, lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up five earned runs on
seven hits.

"Our ballclub is real good when we're facing a new guy,'' Pena
said. "We look at a lot of pitches. We watch them throw ball after
ball, pitch after pitch, so we have some idea of what this guy is
(throwing).''

With two outs in the first, Mike Sweeney walked and went to
third on singles by Randa and Brown.

Beverlin (0-1) then walked Brent Mayne and Aaron Guiel to force
in two runs.

The Royals scored four times in the third inning to chase
Beverlin, then added a pair of runs in the fourth inning off
reliever Adam Bernero. Brown hit his first home run of the season
in the sixth.

Beverlin, a native of suburban Royal Oak, admitted to being
nervous.

"I was so excited when the game started, I tried to do too
much,'' he said. "I left a couple of balls up, and these hitters
will make you pay for that.''

Detroit scored in the third, when Chris Truby reached base on a
fielder's choice, went to second on a walk to George Lombard and
scored on Omar Infante's single.

Game notes
Sweeney extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a
pair of singles. Randa has hit safely in 12 of the last 13 games.
... Beverlin was the 56th player used by the Tigers this season,
tying an American League record set by the Philadelphia Athletics
in 1915. ... Brown's homer was his first since Oct. 7, 2001, also
at Detroit. ... Detroit manager Luis Pujols said both infielder
Dmitri Young (hernia) and pitcher Mark Redman (dead arm) won't play
again this season. ... The game was delayed for several minutes in
the middle of the fifth inning, when a message was broadcast over
the public address system ordering fans to leave Comerica Park due
to an "emergency.'' It was a false alarm.