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Archive for Sunday, August 17, 2003

Twins crush Royals

August 17, 2003

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— Kansas City Royals manager Tony Pena kept saying the Minnesota Twins wouldn't quit without a fight.

He just wishes they wouldn't go to such lengths to prove him right.

Torii Hunter drove in three runs for the second straight game and Minnesota routed the Royals again, 14-5, Saturday.

Kyle Lohse (10-9) went seven innings for the win, which brought the Twins within two games of first-place Kansas City in the American League Central.

Minnesota got 15 hits, a day after rapping 17 in a 9-2 romp. The power surge came on the heels of a three-game losing skid.

"What they were serving on the plane helped," Hunter said. "They were serving some hits."

The defending division champions jumped to a four-run lead in the first inning against Runelvys Hernandez (7-5).

"We know the Royals are in first place and we're trying to get back into first place," Hunter said. "That's why we've been playing with intensity."

The Royals came into the weekend on an emotional high after taking two of three from New York to win a home series against the Yankees for the first time in 10 years.

But in 18 innings against Kansas City pitching, the Twins have gone down in order only four times. Have the Royals matched last week's intensity?

"I don't think so at all," Pena said. "This ballclub is going to fight back. They're not going to run away. We just have to put this behind us."

Luis Rivas scored three runs for the Twins. Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones and A.J. Pierzynski each had two RBIs.

Carlos Beltran, who had missed five starts with a sore elbow, homered twice and drove in the Royals' first three runs. Beltran also had a single and is hitting .356 with three doubles, three triples, nine homers and 28 RBIs in his last 28 games.

Pierzynski had a two-run single on a wild play in the first inning that led to the ejection of Royals catcher Mike DiFelice. Taking the throw from shortstop Angel Berroa after Pierzynski's pop fly dropped into shallow left, DiFelice appeared to make the tag as Hunter crashed into him.

But Hunter was ruled safe by plate umpire Jerry Layne and DiFelice went into a rage and was tossed. He stomped into the dugout and began throwing coolers and a trash can onto the field.

"Everybody's personality is different," DiFelice said. "My personality was very disappointed, mad, upset how that thing went."

Hunter, who hit a three-run homer Friday night, singled home a run off Hernandez in the first and delivered a two-run single off D.J. Carrasco in the fourth that made it 9-2.

Hernandez lasted just 3 1-3 innings and was charged with nine runs on nine hits, with three walks and one strikeout.

Lohse gave up five runs on six hits, with four strikeouts and no walks. Juan Rincon pitched the eighth and ninth innings.

"I don't think we let down," Royals second baseman Desi Relaford said. "I just don't think we came to play prepared like we should have the first two games. These guys are motivated by the fact they're only out by a few games with a chance to make up some ground. Basically, they wanted it more than us."

Jones' bunt single brought in the first run of the game. In the second, Mientkiewicz had an RBI single and Koskie a sacrifice fly for a 6-2 lead.

Cristian Guzman had an RBI triple in the third. Shannon Stewart's RBI single made it 10-2 in the fifth, then the Twins scored three more in the seventh when Graeme Lloyd hit Koskie with a pitch, Mientkiewicz had an RBI single and Jones a fielder's choice grounder.

Michael Ryan had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Mendy Lopez, who had only two home runs in his first 148 major league games, hit his second in three games, a two-run shot off Lohse in the seventh.

Notes: It was the eighth career multihomer game for Beltran and his second this season. ... Umpire Dana DeMuth was a last-minute scratch with a pulled hamstring. He was replaced by James Hoye. ... It was unofficially Minnesota Day in Kansas City. As the Twins and Royals played in the afternoon, the Chiefs and Vikings were getting set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in an NFL exhibition game across the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium.

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