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Kansas City 3, Texas 1

9/4/2003

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Jimmy Gobble got off to a shaky start,
but the Kansas City Royals liked the way the rookie left-hander
finished.

Gobble gave up a leadoff homer to Michael Young, but shut out
Texas over the rest of his seven innings as the Royals snapped a
four-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on
Wednesday night.

"I had to get it out of my mind quick," Gobble said of Young's
12th homer. "They had some tough hitters coming up. I had to work
through it. I knew I had to be aggressive and just keep my team in
the game."

Gobble (3-3) allowed one run and four hits, struck out a
career-high six and walked two after being called up from Triple-A
Omaha on Tuesday to join the expanded roster. He had five starts
for the Royals in August, winning his first two.

He struggled in his last two starts, however, allowing a total
of 13 runs and 17 hits over 10 1-3 innings in losses to the New
York Yankees and Anaheim Angels.

"We talked before the game that he needed to keep the ball down
and attack hitters," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "He gave me
exactly what I asked for."

Gobble was facing the Rangers for the first time, and he was
especially effective against veteran sluggers Alex Rodriguez and
Rafael Palmeiro, who were a combined 0-for-7.

"When you face anyone for the first time, it's a bit of a
mystery," Rodriguez said. "But we can't make excuses. Give him
credit. He stayed ahead and threw all three pitches for strikes."

Curtis Leskanic gave up one hit in a scoreless eighth, and Mike
MacDougal got the final three outs for his 27th save in 35 chances
as Kansas City salvaged the finale of the three-game series. The
Royals had won the first six against the Rangers before this
series.

Mike Sweeney, Joe Randa and Carlos Beltran each had RBI in a
three-run fourth to help the Royals move within one game of both
Chicago and Minnesota for the AL Central lead.

"This was a very important game for our ballclub," Pena said.
"We'd lost four, and they were tough losses. But you have to be
happy where we are. We're only one out. It's going to be close all
the way to the end. We took some punches, but we're not knocked
down yet."

Rangers starter John Thomson (12-12), seeking his sixth victory
in seven decisions, gave up three runs and four hits in seven
innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

"John pitched well enough to win tonight," Rangers manager
Buck Showalter said. "He deserved a better fate. But I was
impressed with Gobble. I can see why Kansas City thinks so much of
him."

Young got the Rangers off to a good start and Thomson was
perfect over the first three innings before Aaron Guiel's double
leading off the fourth. Randa's single tied it at 1 and extended
Randa's hitting streak to 16 games.

Sweeney's triple drove in Randa to give the Royals a 2-1 lead.
Sweeney scored on Beltran's groundout.

Game notes
Young has hit a leadoff homer three times this season for
Texas. ... Sweeney had his first triple of the season and fourth of
his career. ... The Royals had a closed-door pregame team meeting
to discuss the four-game skid that matched their longest of the
season. ... Gobble's seven innings pitched was a career high.