ATLANTA (AP) -- Darrell May was devastated when the Atlanta
Braves put him on waivers. Eight years later, in his first start
against his former team, he put all that behind him.
The left-hander won his second straight start, and Desi Relaford
went 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Kansas City Royals past
Atlanta 10-4 Thursday. The Royals improved their AL-worst road
record to 9-21 with their second victory in a row."This is what we thought we were going to be from the get-go
this season," May said.May (4-8) was picked by the Braves in the 46th round of the 1992
draft and made his major league debut with them three years later.
After appearing in two games, he was claimed off waivers by
Pittsburgh and began a long journey to the Royals, a trip that
included four years in Japan.Now, he appears to have a home in Kansas City. He was 10-8 with
a 3.77 ERA last season."When they put me on waivers, it was like I had been
released," May said. "I was devastated. It feels good to beat
them the first time I faced them."Relaford homered for the first time this season, Carlos Beltran
went 2-for-3 with a home run and Dee Brown added two RBI singles
for Kansas City."To play a good team and take two out of three, that's a
confidence builder," Relaford said. "The last few games, this
seems like last year's team. It looks like it could be a turnaround
for us."With rain falling in the fifth, May retired Nick Green on a fly
ball to end the inning before the game was stopped for 33 minutes.
Brian Anderson relieved May when play resumed, and he pitched out
of a two-on jam in the sixth when Andruw Jones hit into a double
play and Eli Marrero grounded out.May went five innings and allowed one run on five hits."I would have loved to come back out after the rain," he said.
"But it wasn't just the rain, it was the humidity. It was so hard,
it takes so much out of you."Mike Hessman homered off Anderson during a three-run seventh,
and Green finished with two hits. The Braves lost for the sixth
time in nine games, and in four of those losses they've allowed at
least 10 runs."It's hard to win games when you give up 10 runs," Atlanta
third baseman Chipper Jones said. "But it's not just the pitching.
Defense hasn't been good all year. Offense has been sporadic all
year, at best. It's a combination of the three."When you don't put any of the three elements together, you're
going to get your brains kicked in."John Thomson (5-5) gave up six runs and eight hits in 6 2-3
innings. He left after Joe Randa's two-run double made it 5-1, and
Kevin Gryboski didn't fare much better.He intentionally walked Ken Harvey and allowed three straight
run-scoring singles to make it 8-1. Beltran hit a two-run shot off
C.J. Nitkowski in the eighth."We made too many mistakes, and that's why you lose games,"
Andruw Jones said. "I don't want to speak for the pitchers, but
we're giving up too many two-strike base hits. If you can keep the
game close, we've got some guys that can hit."Chipper Jones went 0-for-4 for Atlanta in his third game since
replacing Mark DeRosa at third, but he made a stellar defensive
play in the fourth. With two outs and Kelly Stinnett on first,
Jones ranged to his right to snare Brown's hard-hit grounder down
the line, and his off-balance throw to first beat Brown by a
DeRosa singled as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, his first
hit since going to the bench. ... Royals 1B Mike Sweeney had the
day off. In June, he's batting .211 (12-for-57). ... Kansas City
RHP Rudy Seanez, called up from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday, pitched
a perfect ninth in his first appearance.