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Lima improves record to 4-0

7/7/2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- This was personal.

Jose Lima faced the Detroit Tigers on Sunday wanting to do more
than merely extend his remarkable return to the big leagues.

He wanted to show Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, who
released him last year, that he could still pitch. And Lima did
just that, going seven strong innings and leading the Kansas City
Royals to a 5-3 victory.

"He released me last year without me doing (anything)," Lima
said. "I didn't do drugs. I didn't kill (anybody). I just want to
pitch. I spent 43 days without pitching in the bullpen, like I was
nobody. Sometimes when it gets to be 14-0, they call in the ninth
inning with two out, `Lima get up.' Come on."

Lima was released by the Tigers last year with a 4-6 record and
an ERA of 7.77. After giving up two hits and two runs Sunday, the
former NL All-Star is 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA for the Royals.

"I have nothing against the (Tiger players). They work their
tail off every year," he said. "Today I felt a little more
excited 'cause I've got to prove to them that I can still do it. My
teammates backed me up with five runs and some great defense. I
settled down, I kept the ball down."

Dombrowski was not in Kansas City to see the Tigers lose three
of four to the Royals and commit two errors in the first inning.

"We were very sloppy that first inning, and that didn't set a
good tone," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said.

Lima (4-0) gave up five walks and struck out five. He loaded the
bases on a single and two walks in the first inning, then walked
Eric Munson, forcing in a run.

Munson also homered in the fourth.

Mike MacDougal pitched the ninth for his 10th straight save and
24th in 29 chances.

Desi Relaford had three hits and two RBI for the AL
Central-leading Royals, who went 6-5 on their homestand.

Aaron Guiel doubled off rookie Matt Roney (1-3) in the first,
went to third on an error by right fielder Craig Monroe and scored
on Relaford's single. Relaford stole second and third, then came
around when Munson let the ball get away from him at third. It was
the second of the Tigers' three errors.

Michael Tucker homered with one out in the fourth, giving him 13
for the year, just two short of his career high. Tucker had four
homers, three doubles, two triples and 12 RBI on the homestand.

Relaford singled with two outs in the fifth and came around to
score when Munson threw wildly on Carlos Beltran's infield single.

Relaford made it 5-2 in the seventh with an RBI double. In the
eighth, Dmitri Young doubled and scored on Carlos Pena's double off
Jason Grimsley. The Tigers then loaded the bases with two outs, but
newly acquired Curtis Leskanic came in and struck out Matt Walbeck.

Roney gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in five
innings.

The Tigers agree that Lima's back on top of his game.

"Hats off to Lima," Young said. "He's back. I don't know if
he had a humbling experience or not going to the independent
league. Whatever it was, his stuff today was great. He kept me
off-balance and made a lot of guys look bad."

Game notes
Detroit OF Cody Ross is day to day with a bruised tailbone.
... When Relaford stole third in the first inning, it marked the
15th straight theft by the Royals without getting caught. ... The
Royals acquired SS Gookie Dawkins from the Dodgers' Triple-A club
for LHP Scott Mullen and SS Victor Rodriguez, and got RHP Jim
Serrano from the New York Mets' organization. ... The two teams
combined for 14 home runs in the four-game series.