Archive for Sunday, April 28, 2002

Batista helps Baltimore slug KC - Orioles 9, Royals 4

April 28, 2002

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— With nine RBIs in two games, Tony Batista is feeling like the power hitter who had 41 home runs and 114 RBIs in 2000, not the guy Toronto gave up on last June.

Saturday night, just 24 hours after driving in four runs, Batista had two home runs and five RBIs to lead Baltimore past Kansas City, 9-4.

"It's coming back," said Batista, who was hitting .207 last year when the Orioles claimed him on waivers from the Blue Jays.

"The swing is right there."

Batista went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer off Paul Byrd (4-1) in the first inning and a two-run shot off Nate Field in the eighth to match a career high for homers and RBIs.

Geronimo Gil and Melvin Mora also homered as Sidney Ponson (1-1) won for the first time in eight decisions.

"My hands are coming through there real quick now and I'm seeing the ball better," Batista said. "I hope I can continue it."

It was the ninth multihomer game of Batista's career, and he has hit in 11 of his past 12 games.

Byrd, who hadn't walked or hit a batter all year, walked Mora leading off the game, snapping a string of 281/3 innings without a free pass. Mora was erased on a double play, but Byrd then hit Jeff Conine with a pitch, walked Jay Gibbons and allowed Batista's fifth homer of the season on a 2-2 pitch.

"I struggled with my control and couldn't keep the ball down," he said. "It was frustrating to walk those guys in that situation. I didn't give up a lot of hits but they made every one count."

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