Royals 5, Twins 4

Preview | Box Score | Recap

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Knowing that in four days he would pitch an afternoon game in heat approaching 100 degrees, Darrell May wore a path from the bedroom to the bathroom.

“You’ve really got to hydrate yourself more than normal,” said the winner in Kansas City’s 5-4 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.

“I’ve been killing the water and Gatorade and getting myself up four or five times a night using the restroom. I’ve been drinking as much water as I could possibly hold.”

Fully hydrated and knowing this game was about as important as any that Kansas City had played all year, May went 6 1-3 heat-soaked innings, giving up six hits and three runs, with three strikeouts.

Raul Ibanez and Joe Randa hit consecutive home runs in a four-run third as the Royals avoided a three-game sweep in heat that climbed past 100 degrees.

Manager Tony Pena was so concerned about the stifling heat, he cautioned his starter to cut down on his warmup tosses.

“I talked to Darrell and said we don’t want you to throw too many pitches in the bullpen,” Pena said. “He only threw about 25. I only asked for five (innings) and he gave me six.”

Rick Reed (5-12) labored three innings for the Twins and gave up nine hits and five runs.

“He just didn’t have anything,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. “He was getting hit pretty hard, even when he got outs.”

The good news for the Twins came from a local hospital, where first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz had his left wrist X-rayed after he banged it on Ken Harvey’s helmet in the third inning.

Mientkiewicz, who had two cortisone shots on the wrist on Thursday and missed two games, seemed in pain as he left the game. But X-rays proved negative.

“It’s not broken,” Mientkiewicz said.

His replacement at first, Matt LeCroy, hit one of the Twins’ three solo homers. Also going deep was Shannon Stewart and Luis Rivas, who has hit 10 of his 17 career homers off the Royals.

The victory allowed the Royals to reclaim a three-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central. The Chicago White Sox went into their game at Texas on Sunday night 2 1/2 games out.

The Royals begin a seven-game road trip on Monday with the first of three at New York, then go to Minnesota for four.

“I have to say this game today was one of the most important games that we’ve played in the whole season,” Pena said. “I’m just happy to see the ballclub was up to it, to take the field and play the way they played.”

Pena left slumping All-Stat reliever Mike MacDougal in the bullpen and had Curtis Leskanic work the ninth for his first save since Sept. 23, 2001, when he was with Milwaukee.

In the Royals’ first, Carlos Beltran had an RBI single.

Angel Berroa and Mike Sweeney singled leading off the third, then Beltran followed with a sacrifice fly. Ibanez hit a two-run homer and then two pitches later Randa followed with a shot to left-center for a 5-2 lead.

It was the first time the Royals hit back-to-back homers since Beltran and Sweeney on April 27 at Toronto.

May, after giving up a leadoff single to Torii Hunter in the seventh and then striking out A.J. Pierzynski, was replaced by Al Levine.

“Last year I pitched in a day game and got pulled after two innings and sat on the training room table for the rest of the game with the cold shakes because it was so hot and miserable,” May said. “I didn’t want that to happenagain.”


Seven pitchers worked the game and not one issued a single walk. Minnesota’s three pitchers—Reed, Joe Mays and LaTroy Hawkins—did not have a walk or a strikeout among them. … OF Dustan Mohr was out Sunday after going to the hospital with severe heat cramps on Saturday. Gardenhire said Mohr had IVs and was not kept in the hospital. … RHP Runelvys Hernandez, who opened the season 4-0 and keyed Kansas City’s surprising surge into first place, was sent down to Double-A Wichita on Sunday. GM Allard Baird said they wanted himto work on his pitches and his command.

Related Articles