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Mussina tosses eight scoreless innings in win

8/13/2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- With Mike Mussina in command of six or
seven different pitches, he had little trouble taking command of
Kansas City.

One day after the Royals rapped out a team-record 11 doubles,
Mussina held them to four hits in eight masterful innings Tuesday
night and led the New York Yankees to a 6-0 victory.

Jorge Posada was 4-for-5 as the AL East leaders snapped a
three-game losing skid and stopped the three-game winning streak of
the leaders in the AL Central.

"I think the stuff was OK today," said Mussina (13-6). "I
thought I had pretty good life on my fastball. I threw some slow
curves in there. But the splitter was useful again."

Mussina, raising his record to 13-6 lifetime against the Royals
and 7-1 lifetime in Kauffman Stadium, struck out five and walked
four. He said he had about six or seven pitches working for him.

"I can't tell you for sure. Some days I've got five or six and
some days I'm thinking up more than that. It just depends on what's
necessary."

His most important pitch might have come in the first inning.
The Royals loaded the bases on Raul Ibanez's single and two two-out
walks. But Desi Relaford took a called third strike on an inside
fastball and the Royals would get only one more runner as far as
third base against him.

"It could have been a completely different ballgame if Relaford
gets a hit," said Mussina, who was replaced by Mariano Rivera
starting the ninth.

"That was a big deal to get out of that jam and still have the
lead. Last night was just a unique game. We all assumed today would
be a more conventional ballgame."

Posada, who was 2-for-5 Monday night, had a homer, a double and
two singles, with two RBI and two runs scored. It was his ninth
career four-hit game.

"Just keep swinging, keep grinding," he said. "Have good
balance and a good approach. Today, it seemed like everything was
there."

His solo homer off Darrell May (5-6) leading off the sixth put
the Yankees up 4-0. His two-out double in the first scored Jason
Giambi.

Posada singled leading off the fourth and eventually scored on
Todd Zeile's sacrifice fly.

May went 7 1-3 innings and gave up five runs on 12 hits with one
walk and one strikeout.

"Mussina works both sides of the plate with his fastball and he
throws a good breaking ball," said Kansas City manager Tony Pena.
"Our plan was to make him get the ball up. We did a good job of
being patient but we just faced a real tough guy."

Pena said May for the most part pitched well.

"He made a couple of mistakes and he paid for it."

The Royals, who have reignited baseball interest in Kansas City,
surpassed last year's entire home attendance total with Tuesday
night's crowd of 37,820.

That brings their 2003 attendance to 1,357,101 with 21 home
dates left. The 2002 Royals, while losing a franchise-record 100
games and missing the playoffs for the 17th straight year, drew
1,332,034.

Alfonso Soriano tripled leading off the third and scored on
Derek Jeter's single for a 2-0 New York lead.

Nick Johnson had a pinch-hit RBI single off Al Levine in the
eighth. In the ninth, Bernie Williams had an RBI single.

Relaford made a great catch in center field that resulted in a
double play for the Royals in the third.

With Jeter on first after his RBI single, Williams hit a
powerful drive into right-center. Relaford, who is regularly an
infielder, made a one-handed running catch as Jeter reached third.
The ball was relayed to first for the easy double play to end the
inning.

Game notes
LHP David Wells, who left Monday night's game after three
innings with an ailing back, will undergo an MRI exam in New York
on Wednesday. Sterling Hitchcock will take his next scheduled start
on Saturday if Wells cannot go. ... The Royals designated 2B Carlos
Febles for assignment on Tuesday and gave his roster spot to IF
Mendy Lopez. ... Aaron Boone's eighth-inning single snapped an
0-for-17 skid.