Kansas City, Mo. An angry Jeff Suppan took the mound against Milwaukee.
Winless since May 24, the right-hander was mad at Kansas City manager Tony Muser, peeved at being banished to the bullpen, and furious with himself.
Channeling all this emotion into a positive energy flow, Suppan pitched his best game of the season, going 71/3 innings and leading the Royals to a 7-4 victory over the Brewers on Saturday night.
"Sure, there's a lot of anger inside me," Suppan said. "But I took it as a positive. I wasn't out there to throw a no-hitter, to throw 18 scoreless innings. I was out there to take each inning at a time, each batter at a time."
Joe Randa and Todd Dunwoody drove in two runs apiece and several Royals, including Randa at third base and Luis Ordaz at second, made outstanding defensive plays.
"I think Suppie was angry at me," Muser said. "At least I hope he was. He didn't like having to go to the bullpen."
Winless in seven starts, Suppan lost his spot in the rotation and made two relief appearances before Muser decided to let him start against the Brewers.
"He was much more aggressive tonight," Muser said.
Suppan (3-6) surrendered four runs on 10 hits, with seven strikeouts and no walks. He retired Ron Belliard on a grounder leading off the game, then struck out the next five batters.
"Any time a starter has to go to the bullpen, it's tough," he said. "My goal is to get back to the starting rotation."
Suppan was relieved by Ricky Bottalico after yielding a one-out double to Geoff Jenkins and a single to Jeromy Burnitz in the eighth.
Bottalico allowed a run on an infield out before getting his sixth save in 12 opportunities.
The Royals, who lost nine of their previous 11, jumped on Jimmy Haynes (9-8) for five runs in the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Mike Sweeney dropped an opposite-field single into shallow right for one run.
Two more runs scored when Jermaine Dye grounded to shortstop Jose Hernandez, whose throw to first was high for an error. Then Dunwoody's two-run single made it 5-1.
"A bloop drops in right field and then a double play and we can't get it," Haynes said. "I just came out on the losing end. It's always frustrating. I'd rather have them really hit the ball."
The Royals loaded the bases again in the fifth on a single, a walk and Mark Quinn's infield single, and Randa grounded a two-run single just past third baseman Charlie Hayes.
Haynes, looking for his third straight victory, was charged with seven runs, eight hits and five walks in 41/3 innings.
Belliard had an RBI double in the third for Milwaukee, which cut it to 5-3 in the fourth on Burnitz's 19th home run and Hernandez's RBI single.
Notes: The Royals have lost eight of their last nine series, including this three-game set with the Brewers. ... The Brewers hit 10 doubles in the three-game series. ... Brewers 1B Tyler Houston took a spill in the third inning. He jumped into the air trying to catch a high throw from SS Hernandez, and Dye clipped his leg while crossing the bag. Houston lay on the ground a couple of minutes, but stayed in the game. ... Ordaz made a terrific play on Hernandez's grounder in the sixth, diving to his right to stop the ball and getting the runner by a step.