KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kansas City's best hitters failed to
come through, so rookie Ken Harvey bailed them out.
What a season it's been so far for the Royals.
Harvey homered leading off the bottom of the 11th inning and
Kansas City handed the Detroit Tigers their 14th loss in 15 games
this year, 4-3 Friday night.
"This clubhouse, everyone is jumping around like little kids,''
manager Tony Pena said. "It's good to see how much they care about
each other. They waited for Harvey at home plate because they know
he has been struggling and he's better than that.''
The Royals wasted a great chance to win in the 10th, loading the
bases with none out against Matt Anderson for their 3-4-5 hitters.
But Carlos Beltran, just off the disabled list, grounded into a
force play at the plate, Mike Sweeney fouled out and Ibanez lined
out to center.
One inning later, Harvey made sure it didn't matter.
He connected on an 0-2 pitch from Anderson (0-1) for his second
home run of the season, sending a near-sellout crowd home happy.
"Harvey has been struggling,'' Pena said. "I gave him the day
off yesterday, just to see the game and get refreshed. He came
through big for us.''
Ibanez homered to tie it at 3 in the sixth for the surprising
Royals, who have won 12 of their first 15 games for the first time
in team history.
After falling behind in the count, Harvey was just looking to
put the ball in play. He did much more than that.
"I didn't feel much pressure, because I was leading off the
inning,'' Harvey said. "My mind-set was just to get on base. I was
not trying to hit a home run. I'm just glad I put a good swing on
Pena wondered if Carrasco's effort would be wasted, after the
blown opportunity in the bottom of the 10th.
"You start thinking, 'Oh, oh.' Of course, you don't want to let
the players see you make an expression,'' he said. "But of course
you think about it. That's going to happen. But we went back for
another inning and Carrasco gave Ken Harvey the chance to win the
Anderson gave up three hits in one-plus inning.
"Obviously, we were down (after the 10th),'' Harvey said.
"I've been on a lot of teams where guys get down in that
situation. We were kind of quiet, but it was a quiet confidence
that we were going to get another chance.
"I'm proud of myself. I've had a pretty (lousy) week. I got
down on myself a little bit, but I didn't really show it like young
guys do. I just tried to stay as positive as I could.''
The attendance of 38,937 was the Royals' largest April
non-opening day crowd since April 30, 1989, when 40,113 fans saw
Kansas City play Milwaukee.
"They cannot ask for a better game,'' Pena said. "It's nice to
see that they are starting to believe that we can win.''
Detroit starter Nate Cornejo allowed the first batter to reach
base in each of the first six innings. But he managed to wiggle out
of most of the jams. He pitched seven innings, allowing three runs,
two earned, and six hits.
"We try not to think about (our record),'' Cornejo said. "We
know we're struggling right now. We need to come together and keep
going out there and battling every day. Sooner or later things will
fall into place.''
Kansas City starter Darrell May gave up three runs, two earned,
and seven hits in six innings.
"He did struggle a little bit, but he gave us what we asked
for,'' Pena said. "He kept us in the ballgame.''
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, when Bobby
Higginson led off with his first home run of the season. Ramon Santiago walked, stole second and scored on Craig Monroe's single
The Tigers added an unearned run in the fourth when Gene
Kingsale scored on an error by shortstop Angel Berroa.
The Royals answered with a run in the bottom half when Joe Randa
led off with a double and scored on Sweeney's RBI groundout. They
got an unearned run in the fifth and tied it on Ibanez's fourth
It was the first extra-inning game for either team this
season. ... Higginson kept his average at .333 when batting
leadoff. He went 2-for-6 and is hitting .107 (3-for-28) when
batting elsewhere in the lineup. ... The Tigers matched their
largest lead of the season at 3-0 in the fourth. They led the
Chicago White Sox by three runs in their lone victory, 4-3 on April