Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2000

KC blanks Tigers

Suppan tosses six-hitter in 3-0 win

September 28, 2000

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— Jeff Suppan is a different pitcher in the second half of the season.

Suppan pitched a six-hitter for his second career shutout and second straight complete game as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 3-0 Wednesday night.

"I tried to take a new approach, one game at a time," said Suppan, who was 8-3 since the All-Star break after going 2-6 the first half. "It seems to work."

Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa padded career-best years with solo home runs and Sweeney caught Chicago's Frank Thomas for the AL lead with 142 RBIs.

Royals manager Tony Muser credits an increased aggressiveness for the good second half by Suppan, who leads the majors with 36 home runs allowed.

"His change-up didn't work that well for him early in the season, so he started trying to get too fine. Then he backed off and made the transition," Muser said.

Suppan struck out three and walked three and survived a shaky ninth when the Tigers had two on and one out.

His only other shutout was on Aug. 3, 1999, when he beat Anaheim 7-0 on a five-hitter.

"He had the game under control," Detroit manager Phil Garner said. "We ever really gave him any contest. We might have played 50 innings tonight and not scored a run, the way it looked."

Suppan also saved the Royals' beleaguered staff the embarrassment of being the first in franchise history not to have at least one starter with double-digit wins.

Sweeney hit a 1-1 pitch from Hideo Nomo (8-12) over the left-field fence leading off the fourth for his 28th home run. Sweeney did not realize he had caught Thomas in the RBI race.

"I'm not really interested in personal stats," he said. "I'm more excited the way the team is playing, winning close games, getting great pitching to go along with our hitting."

One out after Sweeney's homer, Randa hit a 1-1 delivery over the wall in left-center for his 15th homer and career-best 103rd RBI.

Hector Ortiz, who was 3-for-3 with one double and two singles, scored in the seventh on Rey Sanchez's single.

Nomo had his winning streak halted at four games.

With 860 runs this season, the Royals have broken the club record for runs scored for the second consecutive year.

Notes: Detroit's Billy McMillon made a terrific catch of Mark Quinn's shallow fly into short right field in the second. Royals RF Jermaine Dye almost made a similar play in the sixth, running in and sliding feet-first for Dean Palmer's sinking liner. But the ball popped out of his glove when it struck the ground.

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