Sweeney carries Kansas City to rare road sweep
Denver ? Sporting a large ice pack on his injured left hand, Mike Sweeney bore the look of a warrior.
“I can’t control the bumps and bruises,” the Kansas City first baseman said. “I can control my attitude and my heart. I just go out and play hard.
“I’m going to sleep well tonight.”
Sweeney, shrugging off a badly bruised finger on his hand after being hit by a pitch Thursday, hit a two-run double as the Royals beat the Colorado Rockies, 9-5, Saturday night to complete their first doubleheader sweep on the road in 12 years.
Aaron Guiel added a career-high four hits.
Sweeney’s grand slam in the opener carried Kansas City to a 13-11 victory. He finished with four hits and six RBIs on the day. He also walked four times, reaching base in eight of his 10 plate appearances.
“The way he plays has something to do with it,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said of Sweeney. “He can deal with pain.”
Carlos Beltran had a two-run homer and three RBIs in the nightcap. The Royals had 30 hits in the two games for their first doubleheader sweep away from home since Aug. 13, 1991, at Yankee Stadium.
The Royals built a 12-1 lead in the first game and a 6-0 lead in the second game, withstanding Colorado comebacks in both games.
“We dug ourselves a couple of deep holes,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We didn’t play well enough to win either one of those ballgames, but we battled back to get close. We had the tying run at the plate in the ninth in both games.”
D.J. Carrasco, making his first major-league start, went 41Â¼3 innings in the second game, allowing four hits and two runs.
Jason Gilfillan (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for his first career win, and Mike MacDougal retired Greg Norton with the bases loaded to end it.
Kansas City went ahead 2-0 in the first against veteran reliever Todd Jones (1-3), who also was making the first start of his big-league career.
Guiel, Joe Randa and Sweeney all singled to load the bases with no outs, and runs scored on RBI groundouts by Raul Ibanez and Beltran.
The Royals made it 6-0 with a four-run fifth.
After Guiel doubled and Randa singled, Sweeney doubled over center fielder Preston Wilson, chasing Jones. With two outs, Beltran hit a two-run homer, his 11th, off Darren Oliver.
|When: 2:05 p.m. today.Where: Coors Field.Television: Channel 38 (Sunflower Broadband Channel 15).Pitchers: Jeremy Affeldt (3-3) vs. Scott Elarton (2-1).K.C. record: 30-29.|
The Rockies countered with four in their half, and Todd Helton’s two-run double made it 6-4. Jose Hernandez led off with a double and scored on Bobby Estalella’s single. After a walk, Helton doubled off Brad Voyles, and Wilson followed with an RBI single.
Helton finished the day with four hits and six RBIs.
Desi Relaford had a bloop RBI single in the ninth, and Guiel added a two-run single.
In the first game, Sweeney’s second career slam helped the Royals build an 11-run lead.
It was the makeup of a game postponed Friday night by rain, with Colorado leading 3-1 in the top of the fifth.
“We haven’t been playing well,” Sweeney said. “Maybe the rainout helped us. We got a break and we took advantage of it today.”
Rockies starter Shawn Chacon gave up a franchise-record 12 runs. Colorado, which trailed 12-1 in the fourth, rallied late, including a grand slam by Charles Johnson in the eighth off Jason Grimsley.
Angel Berroa and Relaford each had three hits for the Royals, who snapped Colorado’s four-game winning streak and eight-game streak at home.
Helton had a three-run homer for the Rockies, Larry Walker also went deep and Chris Stynes had three hits.
Chris George (6-4), who was staked to a 12-1 lead, earned the win despite allowing six runs in the fifth. George yielded seven runs on seven hits in five innings.
MacDougal worked the ninth for his 14th save in 18 chances.
Chacon (8-3), who won his previous four starts and was tied for the NL lead in wins, was roughed up in 3 2-3 innings. He allowed nine hits and six walks.
The Royals scored five runs in the second, including Sweeney’s slam. Then they sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth, scoring seven runs — all with two outs — on just five hits.
Notes: Friday night’s rainout was the first at Coors Field since June 13, 2001, against Seattle. … Sweeney’s other grand slam came May 14, 1999, at Seattle. … In the opener, 3B Relaford made a diving stop near the bag, starting a 5-4-3 double play in the third. … Relaford extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … It was only the third time Colorado has been swept in a doubleheader at home.