Series: Game 3 of 4

Kansas City leads 2-1 (as of 9/15)

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 9

(58-91, 24-50 away)

Tigers 3

(53-96, 32-42 home)

    2:05 PM ET, September 15, 2002

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 204201000 9 - -
    DET 001000002 3 - -

    W: R. Hernandez (4-4)

    L: J. Beverlin (0-1)

    Hernandez narrowly misses first complete game

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press