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Archive for Sunday, May 9, 2004

Reese, Schilling ensure K.C. woes continue

May 9, 2004

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— Pokey Reese knows he has a reputation for a great glove and a weak bat. He's doing everything he can to change that.

"I want to be known as an all-around player," he said after the first two-homer game of his career gave Boston a 9-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. "The defense is there, but I want to be known as a hitter also. That's why I'm going to get my work in ... batting practice. That's where it all starts."

Reese had an inside-the-park homer and one of the conventional type to snap a 172 at-bat homerless streak dating to April 4, 2003.

Curt Schilling (4-2) pitched his first AL complete game and 80th of his career, allowing one run on five hits while striking out eight.

Since losing five in a row, the Red Sox have won four straight, including Friday night when they scored two in the eighth and three in the ninth to beat the Royals.

The Royals could only keep it close for five innings Saturday.

Jimmy Gobble (1-1), who took a perfect game into the sixth in his last start, gave up six runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out three before he was chased in the five-run sixth. Benito Santiago homered and added a single for the Royals, who have lost 18 of their last 22 and fell to 2-14 on the road.

"Nobody wants to start a season the

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way we have," said manager Tony Pena, who led the Royals to nine victories to start last season and was the AL's manager of the year. "We're having it very, very bad. ... Today was a tough day -- I have to say, one of the worst days of the season."

A lifetime .251 hitter with two Gold Gloves, the Red Sox signed Reese as a free agent this winter after letting second baseman Todd Walker go, thinking that they could sacrifice offense to shore up the infield defense.

Reese became more important when shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was injured in spring training. Garciaparra has not played yet this season, and Reese has filled in with stellar shortstop play.

Lately, he's been looking a little like the two-time batting champion at the plate, too.

"I'm sure that he's taken that 'All glove, no hit' to heart," Schilling said. "Pokey's going to hit. People are starting to see that."

Reese snapped his homerless streak in the fifth when he lined an 0-2 pitch down the first-base line that bounced off the wall at an odd angle and got past right fielder Juan Gonzalez. The relay from second baseman Desi Relaford was up the first-base line and Reese slid head-first, reaching out to get to the plate before the tag and break a 1-1 tie.

In his next at-bat, in the next inning, Reese came up with a runner on and homered over the Green Monster to cap a five-run sixth inning that put the game away. David McCarty also had his first homer of the year -- a two-run shot to make it 9-1 in the eighth.

Johnny Damon singled and scored on Mark Bellhorn's double to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the third. Kansas City tied it in the fifth on Santiago's homer.

Kevin Millar and Manny Ramirez doubled to start the sixth, then Varitek singled and stole second. Bill Mueller singled to make it 5-1, and reliever Jason Grimsley came in and retired McCarty on a groundout and got Gabe Kapler to hit into a fielder's choice.

Reese homered into the seats above the Green Monster to make it 7-1, and kept the fans on their feet until he came out of the dugout to tip his cap.

Notes: Schilling's last complete game was with Arizona last May 14 at Philadelphia. ... The Royals are 4-18 against righty starters, and 4-2 against lefties. ... It was the fourth consecutive game the Red Sox have had at least 10 hits. ... Ramirez is 9-for-20 with seven runs and four RBIs in his last five games. ... The last Red Sox player to hit a conventional homer and an inside-the-park homer in the same game was Tony Armas on Sept. 24, 1983, at Detroit.

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