Series: Game 3 of 3

Kansas City won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 24
Detroit 2Final
Kansas City 17
Game 2: Wednesday, September 25
Detroit 7Final
in 12
Kansas City 6
Game 3: Thursday, September 26
Detroit 2Final
Kansas City 7

Tigers 2

(55-103, 22-56 away)

Royals 7

(62-97, 37-44 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 26, 2002

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000100001 2 - -
    KC 00003130 - 7 - -

    W: J. Suppan (9-16)

    L: N. Cornejo (1-5)

    Beltran's four RBI provide offense for Suppan

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jeff Suppan hasn't had a lot to celebrate this year.

    ''It was nice to go out there and pitch well and get a win,'' he said Thursday night after his five-hitter lifted the Kansas City Royals over the Detroit Tigers 7-2.

    Suppan (9-16), backed by Carlos Beltran's four RBI, won for the first time in 12 starts since July 17 against the Chicago White Sox.

    ''I just went out there to control the things I could control,'' Suppan said. ''I think I got into a rut, trying to do too much. The last four games, I went out and tried to hit spots and change speeds. That seemed to work. My last couple of starts, I was trying to do things right, regardless of outcome.''

    Suppan had been 0-1 with a 3.54 ERA in his previous three starts.

    ''In his last five outings, he has been the pitcher people were telling me he was,'' Kansas City manager Tony Pena said.

    Suppan, who struck out five and walked two, pitched his 11th complete game, his first since a career-best two-hitter at Detroit on April 29.

    Nate Cornejo (1-5) gave up four runs -- one earned -- and four hits in six innings, walked four and struck out none.

    Detroit (55-103), which made two errors in the game and eight in the three-game series, is finishing its worst season since going 53-109 in 1996.

    ''I've got to say it, we've been bad on defense,'' Detroit manager Luis Pujols said. ''We're last in the league. We've been paying for it all year. You can't hide it. We have to make the plays. You know errors are going to happen, but once in a while you expect to make the plays.''

    Eric Munson's run-scoring single put the Tigers ahead in the fourth, but Randall Simon was thrown out at third base on the play by right fielder Aaron Guiel, ending the inning.

    Kansas City (62-97), which already has tied its franchise record for defeats, needs just one victory at Cleveland this weekend to avoid losing 100 games.

    The Royals took a 3-1 lead in the fifth, loading the bases when Dee Brown walked, Damion Easley misplayed Angel Berroa's grounder for an error, Cornejo threw a wild pitch and Guiel walked.

    A.J. Hinch followed with a grounder that rolled between Shane Halter's legs at third for a two-run error. Michael Tucker walked to load the bases again, and Beltran hit a sacrifice fly. The inning ended when Mike Sweeney grounded into a double play.

    ''It was nice to see that,'' Pena said. ''We've had nothing go our way. Nobody wants to lose 100 games in a season. You could see the way they took the field tonight.''

    Sweeney got the Royals' first hit off Cornejo when he blooped a single into short right in the fourth, and Brown made it 4-1 in the fifth with his first career triple.

    Beltran hit his 28th homer in the seventh, connecting off Eric Eckenstahler. Halter hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth after Suppan gave up a pair of singles.

    Game notes

    Raul Ibanez had three hits. ... Tigers outfielder Robert Fick was not in the starting lineup. He left the game Wednesday in the second inning with tightness in his right hamstring. ... Sweeney has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games. He went 1-for-4, dropping his average to .343, four points behind Boston's Manny Ramirez, the American League leader. ... Attendance was 11,092, giving the Royals a season total of 1,323,036 in 77 dates, a 17,182 average.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press