Series: Game 1 of 3

Kansas City leads 1-0 (as of 5/25)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 25
Kansas City4
Game 2: Wednesday, May 26
Kansas City7
Game 3: Thursday, May 27
in 10
Kansas City7

Tigers 3

(21-23, 11-12 away)

Royals 4

(14-28, 9-10 home)

    8:10 PM ET, May 25, 2004

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000000201 3 8 1
    KC 20000011 - 4 10 1

    W: J. Grimsley (2-1)

    L: M. Maroth (4-3)

    S: J. Affeldt (1)

    Guillen called for interference in ninth

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Nobody on either team could remember a game ending like this.

    Second base umpire C.B. Bucknor called interference on Carlos Guillen in the ninth inning, nullifying the tying run and giving the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the Detroit Tigers.

    Detroit trailed 4-3 with runners at the corners and one out in the ninth. Ivan Rodriguez hit a grounder to shortstop Angel Berroa, who flipped to second baseman Desi Relaford for the force.

    As Guillen came crashing in, Relaford threw to first, trying for a game-saving double play. But Rodriguez beat the throw, allowing Alex Sanchez to score the tying run from third.

    Or so it seemed.

    Right after first base umpire Chuck Meriwether called Rodriguez safe on a close play, Bucknor signaled interference on Guillen and an automatic double play, ending the game.

    The Tigers argued, but manager Alan Trammell didn't have much to say about Bucknor's call after the game.

    "I'm really not going to get into that because I can't win," Trammell said. "To lose a game like that at the end, I'm not very happy with."

    Guillen clearly did not leave the basepath. But Bucknor said he did not go into his slide until he was beyond the base.

    "He slid way past the bag like a rolling block trying to break up the double play," Bucknor said. "If he slides and he can touch the bag, he's all right. He was still standing when he went in. I was hoping I was very emphatic when I made the call. There wasn't any doubt. The runner said he slid before the bag, but it was quite obvious he was way past the bag."

    Guillen was perplexed.

    "Why do I have to slide before the bag?" he said. "I never touched him. I never touched the ball. You could see it. If you look at the replay, I never touched him."

    But Relaford said Guillen "hit me somewhat."

    "It's probably not a double-play ball, but you've still got to try to turn it," Relaford said. "I was just trying to get rid of the ball. He didn't slide. He just came in and tried to roll into me."

    Chris Shelton singled off Jeremy Affeldt leading off the ninth, went to third on a one-out double by Sanchez and made it 4-3 on Guillen's grounder to Relaford, whose throw to first bounced in the dirt for an error.

    Berroa hit a tiebreaking RBI triple in the seventh as Kansas City snapped a four-game losing streak.

    Berroa, who was 2-for-3 and is batting .382 lifetime against the Tigers, connected off Mike Maroth (4-3) after Detroit scored two in the top of the inning to tie it at 2.

    Maroth, whose 21 losses last year led the league, gave up two runs in the first but then held Kansas City scoreless until Matt Stairs singled leading off the seventh, was sacrificed to second and scored on Berroa's liner to left-center.

    Ken Harvey was 3-for-4 with a solo home run off Danny Patterson in the eighth.

    Despite the victory, the Royals remain tied for the worst record in franchise history after 42 games at 14-28. Before the game, the players were told by general manager Allard Baird that changes might be made if the team didn't reverse its slide during this six-game homestand.

    Jason Grimsley (2-1) got one out for the win. Affeldt got four outs for his first save.

    "It's a huge play by Desi," Harvey said. "If Desi doesn't stay in right there, then we don't get the call. The fact he stayed on the base and tried to make a double play out of nothing is what got the call."

    Kansas City rookie starter Jimmy Gobble took a two-hit shutout and a 2-0 lead into the seventh when Craig Monroe singled leading off and Bobby Higginson walked.

    Brandon Inge's sacrifice moved the runners up. Then Shelton lifted a deep fly to right for a sacrifice fly, and Sanchez singled off Grimsley to make it 2-2.

    Gobble gave up three hits and two runs in 6 2-3 innings. It was the fifth time in nine appearances the 22-year-old left-hander had gone six or more innings and given up three or fewer earned runs.

    Maroth went seven innings and gave up nine hits and three runs.

    Berroa and Carlos Beltran each singled leading off the first for the Royals and scored on sacrifice flies by Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa.

    Game notes

    The Tigers had runners at first and third with two outs in the eighth, but Relaford made a great play to preserve the lead, diving behind the bag to stop Inge's grounder and flipping to Berroa for the force. ... Zack Greinke, the Royals' highly touted RHP who made his major league debut last Saturday in Oakland, was so excited that he got to the stadium more than two hours early Tuesday. Greinke, 20, will start Friday against Minnesota.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press