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A combined 25 hits, six errors

9/16/2003

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Angel Berroa is just a rookie, but he's got
manager Tony Pena's vote for MVP of the Kansas City Royals.

Berroa went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and Joe Randa had
four RBI, including a three-run homer, as the Royals beat the
Cleveland Indians 12-8 Tuesday night.

The win kept Kansas City 3{ games behind the first-place
Minnesota Twins, who beat Chicago 5-2. The Royals pulled within two
games of the White Sox.

Berroa is hitting .632 (12-for-19) with nine runs and four RBI
since being moved to the leadoff spot for the last four games, all
victories.

"My team wins, that makes me excited," Berroa said. "No
matter what spot I'm at I'll be hitting."

Berroa's five hits on Tuesday, including an RBI triple, were a
career high. He also scored three runs, stole two bases and had two
errors after committing just three in his last 82 games.

"This kid is amazing. This kid just has a great attitude,"
Pena said. "He made a couple errors tonight and that didn't even
bother him. He just keeps going.

"This is why Angel Berroa is so important to our ballclub. This
is why I keep saying Angel Berroa is our MVP."

The Royals powered their way through a sloppy, error-filled game
in which the teams combined for 25 hits and six errors.

"I think anytime you string together wins it builds up your
confidence," left-hander Darrell May said. "We're playing pretty
well. We were a little lackadaisical with our defense tonight, but
other than that we're hitting the heck out of the ball."

Randa hit a line drive that clanked off the railing of the
19-foot wall in left to start a four-run first inning. Kansas City
added two in the second for a 6-0 lead.

The Indians made it 6-4 in the bottom half, but the Royals took
advantage of two Indians errors in the fourth to make it 11-4.
Rondell White capped the inning with a towering 410-foot, three-run
homer to left.

It was the Indians' fourth straight loss to a Central Division
contender.

Darrell May (9-7) had a season-high eight strikeouts over 5 2-3
innings. He allowed seven runs -- only one earned -- on seven hits
and two walks.

The Indians chased May in the sixth after Victor Martinez
singled, Ben Broussard reached on Berroa's fielding error and Josh
Bard hit an RBI single.

Reliever Jason Grimsley gave up an RBI single to Brandon
Phillips and a two-run double to Coco Crisp, allowing the Indians
to pull within 12-8.

But Al Levine and Curtis Leskanic combined for three scoreless
innings of relief.

Rookie Billy Traber (6-9) didn't make it out of the second
inning for his shortest start of the season. The left-hander
allowed six runs on seven hits and a walk over 1 2-3 innings.

"He didn't have it tonight," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
"He wasn't able to command his fastball. He was working behind and
he was up and over the middle of the plate."

Alex Escobar led off the fourth with a his fourth home run.
Crisp ended the inning when he blooped a two-run double to the
corner in right, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a
triple.

Randa added an RBI single in the fourth. Raul Ibanez had three
singles and two RBI.

Game notes
Randa has nine RBI over the last two games. His 16 homers
tied a career high. ... Traber has not won since Aug. 7. ...
Crisp's four RBI were a career high. ... Randa had the Royals'
last five-hit game on May 12, 2001. ... Cleveland's four errors
tied a season high. ... Bard was 3-for-3 with a walk. ... Kansas
City is 12-5 against Cleveland this season and 7-1 at Jacobs Field.