Tucker's clutch single gives Royals a boost


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Michael Tucker finally came up with a key hit for the Kansas City Royals in his second stint with the team.

Tucker, who has struggled most of this season, delivered a game-winning single Saturday night in the Royals' 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Tucker was a first-round pick of the Royals in 1992, but has
been in the NL since 1997. The Royals reacquired Tucker in a
December trade with the Chicago Cubs. Tucker is hitting .244 in 138
games in return engagement with the Royals.

"After being gone six or seven years, it's not easy coming back to the American League and trying to make that adjustment and not really having an idea,'' Tucker said.

Chuck Knoblauch led off the inning with a double off Terry Mulholland (3-2) and moved to third on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice bunt. Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa were intentionally walked around Raul Ibanez's popup to second before Tucker's single ended it.

"I'm trying to figure out Mulholland and where his ball is coming from,'' Tucker said. "It's not easy since I haven't seen him in two years. I'm trying to find out where his release point is and see the ball.'

Jason Grimsley (4-6) gave up a hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory.

Bill Selby homered twice for his first career multihomer game
for Cleveland.

"The first one I didn't know if it was out, but I knew the second one was,'' Selby said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't score more than two runs.''

Selby, who started because Milton Bradley was a late scratch
with a strained muscle on his left side, homered in the sixth and
seventh innings off Royals rookie right-hander Runelvys Hernandez.

"The home runs were on bad pitches, two-seam fastballs in the
middle of the plate,'' Hernandez said. "I'm happy because the team

Sweeney's infield single in the fifth scored A.J. Hinch to give
the Royals a 1-0 lead. Hinch led off the inning with a single and
Knoblauch walked. Hinch advanced to third on Beltran's fly to deep

The Royals tied the score in the seventh when Sweeney and Ibanez
singled with two outs, pulled off a double steal and Sweeney scored
on Mark Wohlers' wild pitch.

Cleveland's Cliff Lee, in his second major league start, allowed
one run and four hits in five innings.

"I felt like I got away with some pitches that should have got crushed,'' Lee said. "I'm sure they eventually will if I keep throwing them like that. I got lucky.''

The Indians had 12 hits, but stranded 10 runners.

"Six times we had runners in scoring position and we couldn't score,'' Indians manager Joel Skinner said

Hernandez gave up two runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Cleveland's Jim Thome, who had two singles, has reached base in 48 consecutive games -- the longest streak in the AL this season.

Game notes
Indians C Josh Bard left the game in the sixth with a bruised left toe from a foul tip. Martinez replaced him. ... The
Royals, who are assured of a losing record in September, have a
club record 14 consecutive losing months. ... Darrell May, who
starts Sunday, is 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in three games against the
Indians this year.