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Archive for Monday, October 8, 2001

Royals win finale

KC avoids setting mark for worst record

October 8, 2001

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— In a season of few highlights, Kansas City ended the season Sunday with something to be proud of.

The Royals' 10-4 win, sparked by Carlos Beltran's grand slam and two-run homer, ensured they would not set a team record for losses in a season.

Kansas City matched the team mark of 97 defeats, also done in 1970 and 1999.

"I wasn't thinking about that, I was just trying to win a baseball game," Kansas City manager Tony Muser said. "You can't get caught up in all that stuff. But that wouldn't have been a good thing."

The Royals (65-97) and the Tigers (66-96) finished with losing records for the eighth consecutive year.

Beltran finished the season with a career-high 24 homers, 101 RBIs, 106 runs and a .306 batting average.

Blake Stein (7-8) pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Jose Lima (5-10) gave up six runs five earned on eight hits over seven innings. The former 20-game winner lost six of his final seven decisions.

Lima said this was the worst team he's played on, including the 1996 Tigers team that lost a franchise record 109 games.

"There's a lot of negative things going on around here," Lima said. "I've never seen anything like it, guys nagging and needing a babysitter. They need to make a lot of changes. I'm sick of this."

Manager Phil Garner, who has had nine straight losing seasons since leading the Brewers to 92 wins in 1992, agreed.

"It was time for it to end," Garner said. "We had nowhere to go."

Beltran's two-run homer, which followed Angel Berroa's leadoff single in the fourth, gave the Royals a 2-1 lead. Beltran hit a grand slam in the ninth. Joe Randa's 13th homer scored Raul Ibanez in the seventh. Dee Brown's solo home run put Kansas City ahead 6-2.

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