Series: Game 2 of 2

Kansas City won 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, April 8
Kansas CityPostponed
Game 1: Wednesday, April 9
Kansas City9Final
Game 2: Thursday, April 10
Kansas City4Final

Royals 4

(7-0, 2-0 away)

Tigers 2

(0-8, 0-5 home)

    1:05 PM ET, April 10, 2003

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000002020 4 7 3
    DET 100000001 2 6 0

    W: M. Asencio (1-0)

    L: M. Maroth (0-3)

    S: M. MacDougal (5)

    Next loss would give Detroit consecutive 0-9 starts

    DETROIT (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers are both finding it hard to believe what has happened to them in the first 10 days of the season.



    The Royals extended their winning streak to seven games to start the season, getting a homer and three RBI from Raul Ibanez in a 4-2 victory over the winless Tigers on Thursday.

    "This is a lot of fun,'' Ibanez said. "It is still early, so things are magnified if you are doing well or doing poorly, but when you can string a bunch of victories together like this, you are definitely going to enjoy it.''

    Miguel Asencio (1-0) allowed one unearned run in five innings for the Royals, who remained the only undefeated team in baseball and extended their team record for the best start to a season.

    "I didn't want to be the first one to lose,'' Asencio said. "Everyone played together today, and that's all we are doing this year. We stay together and we never let our heads get down.''

    The Tigers (0-8) matched the 1962-63 New York Mets as the only teams to lose their first eight games in back-to-back seasons. A loss Friday against the White Sox would make Detroit the only team with consecutive 0-9 starts. The Tigers went 0-11 last year.

    "We knew we had some work to do, but this is not what we expected,'' rookie Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "Obviously, we want to get a win, but we aren't going to pack our tent because we are 0-8. We're just going to deal with it and try again tomorrow.''

    The attendance was just 9,080 _ the second smallest in the four-year history of Comerica Park.

    Asencio allowed six hits and three walks, and was able to escape several jams.

    "I got a lot of guys on base, but I was able to get out of it,'' he said. "That was nice.''

    D.J. Carrasco pitched three shutout innings in relief of Asencio, striking out six straight batters in one stretch, and Mike MacDougal got three outs for his fifth save in five chances. He allowed one unearned run on his own error covering first base.

    Mike Maroth (0-3) remained winless despite his second quality start of the season. He gave up two runs, five hits and one walk in seven innings.

    "This is really tough,'' Maroth said. "I was very positive today -- I just had a great feeling about this one. I thought we could build on our comeback yesterday, but it didn't happen. We just have to focus on the positives -- our pitching has been pretty good and no one has talked about how well our defense is playing. Our hitting is going to come around -- the guys can't keep hitting like this.''

    Detroit took just its second lead of the season with a run in the first. Bobby Higginson led off with a single, took second on Carlos Pena's base hit and scored when second baseman Carlos Febles misplayed an apparent inning-ending double-play grounder for an error.

    Dean Palmer followed with a grounder to first, and Mendy Lopez threw out Pena at the plate, allowing Asencio to escape the inning with only one run.

    "We absolutely needed more than one run there,'' Trammell said. "That would have made things a lot more comfortable for us.''

    Kansas City only managed one hit in the first five innings, but got to Maroth for two runs in the sixth. With one out, Joe Randa and Mike Sweeney singled, and Ibanez followed with an RBI single off Pena's glove at first.

    Sweeney took third on Ibanez's single and scored on a wild pitch by Maroth.

    Ibanez added a two-run homer off Jamie Walker in the seventh.

    Game notes

    Febles' first-inning error was just the second by the Royals this season and ended a four-game streak without a misplay. Kansas City made four errors in the game. ... Higginson's run was the first scored by Detroit in the first inning all season. ... Ibanez has 11 hits in his last six games. ... Maroth and Greg Maddux are the only pitchers with three losses this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press