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K.C. pitchers survive season-high 10 walks

4/23/2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Even on a night when their pitchers
struggled, the Kansas City Royals kept on winning.

Joe Randa hit a three-run homer and Runelvys Hernandez overcame
wildness to win his fourth straight decision as the Royals beat the
Minnesota Twins 4-3 for their 15th victory in 18 games.

Kansas City pitchers walked a season-high 10, but the early 4-0
lead was just enough. Mike MacDougal allowed a pair of runs in the
ninth before completing the four-hitter.

"You just try to get them into some kind of rhythm," catcher
Brent Mayne said. "Runelvys didn't have quite the control he's had
the last three or four games. Neither did MacDougal. They still
battled through it. Runelvys just kept going at it, mixing his
pitches up."

Randa broke a scoreless tie with the third-inning homer off
Kenny Rogers (2-1) that followed a single by Carlos Febles and a
walk by Michael Tucker. Randa also had three RBIs and a home run in
Sunday's 4-3 win over Detroit.

"As a hitter, you like those opportunities to drive in runs,"
Randa said. "Being in the two-hole you don't get as many, so the
last couple of days have been pretty gratifying to me."

Raul Ibanez added an RBI double later in the inning as the
Royals sent Minnesota to its fifth consecutive loss. Kansas City,
which has won four straight, is off to the best start in the
history of the franchise, which started play in 1969.

Hernandez (4-0) gave up one run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings
and walked a career-high six -- all in the first five innings.

"I was missing (with) my breaking ball, but I came back with my
fastball and kept the team in the game," Hernandez said.

He retired seven straight batters before Cristian Guzman's
seventh-inning single.

"He threw too many changeups and too many sliders early in the
game," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. "Late in the game, he
threw his fastball."

Hernandez's league-leading ERA rose from 1.09 to 1.10. MacDougal
pitched the ninth for his major league-leading eighth save in eight
chances.

Bobby Kielty had an RBI groundout in the ninth that ended a
19-inning scoreless streak for the Kansas City bullpen, and Torii
Hunter followed with an RBI single. With runners at the corners and
two outs, Doug Mientkiewicz struck out.

"I definitely made it interesting," MacDougal said. "Luckily
I got out of it. My control just wasn't quite as sharp. I need to
clean that up a bit."

Rogers gave up all four runs, seven hits and four walks in six
innings.

Minnesota, coming off four straight losses at home against the
New York Yankees, got its first run on Luis Rivas' fifth-inning
homer -- the first off Hernandez this season.

"We didn't cash in," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"That's been our problem all year. We didn't win, but we found a
little bit of ourselves in the end."

Game notes
Kielty was 0-for-2 with three walks, ending his career-high
12-game hitting streak. ... Carlos Beltran, who began the season on
the disabled list and missed the first 14 games, is hitless in 13
at-bats. ... The Twins dropped to 6-1 against the AL Central. They
were 50-25 in the division last season.

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