Royals 8, Phillies 4

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Mike Sweeney, who hit one of two home runs off Freddy Garcia in a six-run second inning, was not surprised to hear the big right-hander is headed for the doctor.

“I’m sure there is something wrong,” Sweeney said Friday night after Kansas City snapped a seven-game home losing streak with an 8-4 victory over Philadelphia.

Garcia, who turns 31 on Sunday, lasted only 1 2-3 innings. He said he felt pain in his right shoulder and would be examined in Philadelphia on Monday.

“I don’t have much to say. Monday I’m going to check it out. I don’t want to pitch the way I’ve been pitching, not 100 percent,” he said. “I’m going to go check it out and see what’s going on with my shoulder.”

Garcia (1-5) won 17 games for the White Sox last year and will be a free agent after this season. But he’s winless in eight starts since April 22. He was charged with six runs on seven hits and his ERA climbed from 5.11 to 6.05.

“When I took him out of the game, I walked him downstairs,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “He told me his shoulder was sore. I told him I do not want somebody that’s hurt pitching, ‘I want you at 100 percent.’

“We’ll check him out and see what’s wrong with him.”

Mark Grudzielanek also homered in the second as the Phillies, in their first visit to Kansas City since the 1980 World Series, had their six-game road winning streak snapped.

Scott Elarton (2-2) gave up three home runs, including Ryan Howard’s mammoth two-run shot, but went five innings for the victory.

Closer Octavio Dotel, making a successful comeback from his own surgery, came on with runners on first and second and one out in the ninth and got Jimmy Rollins to hit into a double play for his third save in as many chances.

“Freddy, when he first came into the league, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s still a great pitcher but his velocity is obviously down,” said Sweeney. “He used to be mid-90s and now he’s mid- to upper 80s. He’s not a guy who’s going to make excuses.”

Garcia was handed a 3-0 lead going into the second but got in quick trouble when Jason LaRue doubled and Tony Pena Jr. singled.

Joey Gathright’s infield out pushed the first run across, then David DeJesus doubled home Pena. Grudzielanek’s home run bounced off the foul pole into the bleachers in fair territory, putting the Royals on top 4-3.

Garcia, who faced the Royals 21 times while with Seattle and Chicago, walked Mark Teahen and Sweeney lined a 3-2 pitch into the visitors bullpen.

“When we got down 3-0, we were like, ‘Oh, no. We’re not going to play the here-we-go-again story and roll over and take it on the chin,”’ Sweeney said.

“We fought back in the second inning and stepped up and finally got our bats going.”

Gathright and Pena each drove in a run in the seventh and Pena, DeJesus and LaRue all had three hits for the Royals, who hadn’t won at home since May 23.

Rollins led off the game with a double and Howard drove Elarton’s 2-2 pitch 428 feet into the right field water display for a 2-0 lead. Greg Dobbs had a solo homer in the second and Rod Barajas hit his third home run in the fifth.

Elarton gave up four runs on six hits, with one walk and three strikeouts in his second victory since shoulder surgery last Aug. 1.

“I still made three critical mistakes—two fastballs and one curveball,” said Elarton. The six-run second “changed the whole atmosphere,” he said. “I put us in a hole early, but we bounced back and that changed the momentum of the whole game.”

Philadelphia All-Star Chase Utley, whose .308 average coming into the series led all NL second basemen, struck out four times for the first time in a career spanning 505 games. He also stranded four runners. But he made a great running, sliding catch with his back to the infield to save a run in the seventh.

Notes

The first 20,000 spectators entering the stadium got a pin commemorating the 1980 Phillies-Royals World Series. Philadelphia won the Series, its only world championship, in six games. … The six-run second tied KC’s best for an inning this year. … It’s the start of a nine-game interleague homestand for the Royals, who’ll also host St. Louis and Florida.

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