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Archive for Sunday, October 7, 2001

Split leaves KC in last place

Suppan logs 10th victory in opener

October 7, 2001

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— Randall Simon hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to spoil Chris George's four-hitter as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals, 2-1, Saturday to gain a doubleheader split.

In the opener, Jeff Suppan allowed four hits in seven innings as Kansas City won, 8-3.

With the score 1-all in the second game, Damion Easley doubled leading off the ninth, took third on Bobby Higginson's groundout and scored on Simon's fly ball to shallow left. Dee Brown's throw to the plate had a chance to get Easley, but deflected off the runner and Gregg Zaun couldn't handle it.

Steve Sparks (14-9) pitched his major league-leading eighth complete game of the season, allowing 10 hits. George (4-8) pitched his first complete game this year.

The split means Kansas City (64-97) will be last in the AL Central behind Detroit (66-95).

Wendell Magee's second-inning homer his first since Aug. 4 against Oakland put Detroit ahead but Carlos Beltran's homer tied it in the eighth.

Brown nearly gave the Royals the lead later in the eighth, but Chris Wakeland made a leaping catch at the right-field wall to prevent a two-run double.

The game lasted just 1 hour, 56 minutes, the shortest in the major leagues this season.

Suppan (10-14) allowed an unearned run and became the first Royals pitcher to reach double figures in victories this season. He had been 0-3 since Sept. 9.

"When you've got 34 starts like Jeff, not winning at least 10 means you have a pretty rough season," Royals manager Tony Muser said. "Getting to double figures at least means you salvaged something out the year."

Suppan agreed that it was a nice way to finish.

"I think I had one of my best outings, and the guys scored a bunch of late runs to make sure of the win," he said.

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