Tuesday, August 12, 2003

AL: KC outslugs Yanks in first-place battle

Enquirer news services

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mike DiFelice hit three doubles as Kansas City and the New York Yankees combined to set an American League record with 19 two-base hits in the Royals' 12-9 victory Monday night.

The teams broke the AL mark of 18 doubles by Cleveland and Minnesota on July 13, 1996. The major league record is 23 by St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs on July 12, 1931.

Mike Sweeney, Joe Randa and DiFelice all doubled during a four-run eighth inning off Yankees newcomer Bret Prinz that put the Royals ahead 12-7.

After the Royals set a team record with 11, the Yankees made sure the game broke the league record for doubles as Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi hit them in the ninth.

DiFelice drove in three runs as the Royals won their third in a row, taking advantage of the Yankees' battered bullpen to send New York to its third straight loss.

The Yankees had not lost in Kauffman Stadium since Sept. 6, 2000. They had swept the three-game series at Kansas City each of the past two seasons.

This matchup between division leaders drew a season-high crowd of 40,406 - just 379 short of capacity and almost unheard of in Kansas City so late in the year.

Twins 5, Indians 3

MINNEAPOLIS - Luis Rivas hit a two-run homer and Kyle Lohse pitched smoothly into the ninth inning to lead Minnesota to its fourth straight victory.

Lohse (9-9) won his third consecutive start for the Twins, who improved to just 3-5 against the Indians this year. They're 17-8 since the All-Star break - the second-best record in the majors in that time.

Jody Gerut went 3-for-4 for Cleveland, which is 1-12 on the road in the second half. Gerut and Ben Broussard doubled to begin the ninth and chase Lohse, who gave up seven hits, three runs and two walks while striking out three.

LaTroy Hawkins relieved and gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick before getting Travis Hafner to ground into a double play. Hawkins got his first save since 2001.

Devil Rays 4, Orioles 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Pinch-hitter Jared Sandberg doubled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Devil Rays past Baltimore.

It was the Devil Rays' third walk-off victory in the past seven games.

"We make a lot of them exciting," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We have confidence that we can come back."

"You don't want to get yourself in a position where you're coming from behind all the time," he said. " My preference would be to get a two or three run lead and just hold it."

Tampa Bay, with the AL's second-worst record at 46-71, has gone 14-11 since the All-Star break.

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