Kansas City, Mo. With Carlos Beltran in a 1-for-26 skid, Kansas City Royals manager Tony Muser dropped him from third to seventh in the batting order this week.
Beltran went 4-for-4 with a home run, stole two bases and scored twice Wednesday night as the Royals rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Detroit Tigers 5-4.
"Maybe it ticked him off," Muser said of Beltran's demotion in the lineup. "No matter where he hits, I hope he plays like that every game."
Beltran said he was not mad at being moved down.
"I don't get upset as long as I'm in the lineup; that's fine with me," he said. "I know I wasn't doing that good in the third slot. I started off hitting third, but then I got in a little slump."
Beltran began the ninth with an infield single, stole second and scored on Brent Mayne's single. Mayne has six RBIs in two games since he was acquired in a trade Sunday night with the Colorado Rockies.
Mayne went to second on the throw home, but was out trying to advance on Luis Alicea's comebacker.
Alicea stole second and scored the winning run on Endy Chavez's one-out single off Todd Jones (3-5). Chavez snapped an 0-for-21 skid.
"I was just trying to hit the ball somewhere hard," Chavez said. "I was happy because I helped the team win."
Roberto Hernandez (2-2) picked up the victory despite blowing a save chance in the top of the ninth.
Shane Halter, who had a career-high 10-game hitting streak, hit a tying homer in the ninth for Detroit and Damion Easley's RBI single with two outs made it 4-3.
"You're not going to get a save every night," Muser said. "Roberto made a bad pitch to Halter, who is hotter than heck. He smoked that ball. Roberto blew a save, but a lot of other people did good things to pick him up."
Jones blew his fourth save chance in his past five opportunities.
"I feel like at this point I'm hurting the team," Jones said. "It's just something you have to deal with late in the game. I don't feel cursed. I made some good pitches and they got those kind of hits. This thing has got to turn around. It's tough right now."
Jose Lima, a 21-game winner in 1999 with Houston but only 8-18 since that point, pitched well in his first start since being traded to the Tigers on Saturday for Dave Mlicki. Lima allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision.
"I feel pretty good," Lima said. "I'm hitting my spots pretty well. The only mistake I made was to Beltran."
Lima, who set a National League record last season when he allowed 48 home runs, took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, but Beltran led off the inning with his eighth home run.
Lima had an 8-16 record with a 6.24 ERA in 57 games from 1994-96 with the Tigers before they traded him to the Astros. His previous Tigers' appearance was in relief on Sept. 29, 1996, against Milwaukee.
The Royals went ahead 3-2 in the eighth after Rey Sanchez and Mike Sweeney led off with singles. Sanchez scored the go-ahead run on Jermaine Dye's groundout.
Juan Macias led off the game with a double, the 18th straight game the Tigers have collected an extra-base hit. Macias advanced to third on Easley's sacrifice bunt and scored on Bobby Higginson's sacrifice fly.
The Royals tied the score in the bottom half on Mayne's sacrifice fly.
Higginson homered off Paul Byrd in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead 2-1.
Notes: The Royals have allowed 38 home runs in 23 games in June. The Royals top the American League with 108 home runs allowed. ... The Royals moved C Gregg Zaun, who is out with a torn left calf, from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. ... 2B Donnie Sadler is 0-for-10 since the Royals obtained him June 20 in a trade with Cincinnati. ...Tigers OF Roger Cedeno, who bruised his ribs Tuesday in attempting to make a diving catch, was held out of the lineup Wednesday. He was used as a pinch runner in the ninth and stole a base.