Beltran finally solves Maroth, homers in first

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Carlos Beltran had little success
against Mike Maroth going into Tuesday night's game. That changed

Beltran hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the first inning,
leading the Kansas City Royals over the Detroit Tigers 8-1.

Beltran, a switch-hitter, had been 4-for-26 (.154) against the

"I never do well against him," Beltran said. "He threw me a
two-seamer in the middle of the plate, and I was able to square my
bat to it and get it out of the ballpark. I do not face too many
lefties, so it is difficult to keep my swing in shape from that
side of the plate."

Beltran hit his 14th homer of the season following Tony
Graffanino's single off Mike Maroth (5-5). Kansas City has said it
might trade the center fielder because he is eligible for free
agency after the season.

"It was a fastball that stayed up over the plate," Maroth
said. "Anytime it gets up, it's a dangerous pitch for me. I've got
to keep the ball down."

Mike Sweeney added his 150th career homer in the eighth, a
three-run drive against Ugueth Urbina that followed an intentional
walk to Beltran.

"I didn't know that was 150," said Sweeney, who hadn't homered
since June 6. "It has been a long time since 149."

Jimmy Gobble (4-4) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2-3
innings, striking out a season-high four. Gobble, 1-2 in his
previous five starts, gave up an RBI double in the third to Ivan
Rodriguez, who leads the AL with a .360 batting average. Nate Field
completed the four-hitter for his second save.

"I was able to pitch inside, which was the game plan coming in,
and I was throwing my curveball for strikes, which was a key,"
Gobble said. "My legs felt strong and stamina-wise I felt really
strong in the seventh inning."

Gobble needed to be sharp. The Royals led only 3-1 when he came

"I try not to look at the scoreboard," Gobble said. "Whatever
the score, you have to hit your spots. The game can turn real quick
if you don't watch it."

Maroth gave up four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in 6 1-3
innings for Detroit, which lost its fourth straight.

"I did all right," Maroth said. "I was able to get some good
innings in after the home run. We lost the game, so I can't be

Kansas City scored an unearned run in the sixth after errors by
outfielders Craig Monroe and Rondell White. Detroit had made a
league-leading 63 errors.

Ken Harvey hit a run-scoring single in the seventh and scored on
a double by Joe Randa. Harvey, who went 2-for-4, is hitting .352.

Game notes
Rodriguez and Alex Sanchez doubled for the Tigers, who have
an extra-base hit in 35 of their past 36 games. ... Alberto
Castillo, called up Tuesday from Triple-A Omaha, singled in his
first two at-bats and doubled in the eighth for a career-high three
hits. ... The Tigers are 8-19 when opponents start left-handers.