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Royals continue surprising start to season

4/9/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- Dee Brown and the Kansas City Royals kept up
their winning ways Wednesday. No such luck for the Detroit Tigers.

Brown hit his first career grand slam and Brent Mayne added a
three-run shot as the unbeaten Royals downed the winless Tigers
9-6.

The 6-0 start is the best in Royals' history.

"I'm not surprised we're winning, but I don't like talking
about it,'' Brown said. "Just keep playing and doing what we've
got to do.''

At 0-7, Detroit became only the second team in major league
history to start successive seasons with at least seven straight
losses. The Tigers were 0-11 last year.

The 1962-63 New York Mets were 0-9 and 0-8 in their first two
seasons.

"We're 0-7 and I'm sure people are thinking it's the same old
story, which I guess it is,'' first-year Detroit manager Alan
Trammell said. "But the first thing is that we're not going to
quit. We're going to keep battling and, hopefully, tomorrow is the
day.''

His team missed a chance to bring the tying run to the plate in
the ninth. Tigers star Bobby Higginson, running from first base,
was hit by Carlos Pena's grounder for the final out of the game.

"I was just stealing and didn't even look back,'' said
Higginson. "I assumed that we were taking ... I didn't even peek
in to look, so it hit me. I've never been hit by a ball like that
before.''

Detroit doubled its run total for the season. The Tigers had
only scored a franchise-low six runs in their first six games.

Jeremy Affeldt (1-0) allowed five runs, five hits and struck out
six in 5 2/3 innings.

"He did a great job for five innings,'' said Kansas City
manager Tony Pena.

Mike MacDougal pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Rookie Jeremy Bonderman (0-2) gave up five runs and four hits in
2 1/3 innings.

The Royals took advantage of Bonderman's control problems at the
start. Bonderman walked two and threw a pair of wild pitches,
giving Kansas City a run in the first.

"Typical young guy with good stuff,'' said the Royals' Joe Randa. "But those are the guys you have to be patient with.''

In the third, Mike Sweeney hit a sacrifice fly and the Royals
went on to load the bases as Raul Ibanez singled and Ken Harvey
walked.

Wilfredo Ledezma relived and Brown drove a 1-1 pitch into the
right-center field stands to make it 6-0.

"This is the first time I've felt happy and like I contributed
to the win,'' said Brown,who came into the game with one RBI and
bating .200. "I'm happy I drove in some runs today.''

Mayne homered in the fifth against Ledezma. Mayne has 10 hits in
his last 14 at-bats.

Detroit scored in the fourth on Higginson's long single to
left-center, which scored Gene Kingsale from first.

The Tigers got five in the sixth on Omar Infante's triple,
Pena's sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded double by Ramon Santiago.
It marked the first time Detroit had loaded the bases and the first
time the Tigers had batted around this season.

"I think it's the start of something big (on offense),'' said
Santiago. "We had a pretty good day today.''

Game notes
Tuesday night's game, postponed because of snowy and cold
field conditions, will be made up on Sept. 15 at 7:05 p.m. ...
Bonderman's ERA in his first two major league starts is 15.63. "I
just haven't been performing, that's all there is to it,''
Bonderman said. "I'm not giving my team a chance to win.'' ...
Brown's last home run had also been against Detroit. It was last
season on Sept. 15 ... Detroit's Dmitri Young snapped an 0-for-13
streak.