Royals Put an End to Losing Streak
Jose Lima sprinted out of the dugout and threw his arms around Mike MacDougal, who had just closed out Kansas City’s first victory in more than three weeks.
A few minutes later, the eccentric pitcher started pouring glasses of champagne he’d been hiding for this very moment.
Not quite a pennant or a playoff victory, but no matter.
The Royals ended baseball’s longest losing streak in 17 years Saturday night, defeating the Athletics, 2-1, at Oakland to end a club-record 19-game skid.
“This win is like winning a playoff game,” Lima said. “We’re a young team, we stuck together and took it like a man. It’s tough to stay tough, but we did it.”
Then he offered up $1,000 to the player who most helps the Royals win today. Some of his teammates just shook their heads, so accustomed to Lima going over the top.
“Save it, Lima!” one yelled, music blaring in the background.
“Is this champagne from the Dodgers?” hollered another.
Emil Brown doubled in a run, Matt Stairs added an RBI groundout and Mike Wood pitched five effective innings, helping the Royals stop their slide two shy of the American League record.
Kansas City (39-82) beat A’s ace Barry Zito and got clutch outs when Oakland had a runner on third base with fewer than two out in the fifth and sixth.
Royal outfielder Terrence Long, who spent 2000 to 2003 with the A’s, has seen astonishing streaks from both sides. Long avoided becoming the first player since 1900 to be part of a 20-game winning streak and a 20-game losing streak. Oakland won 20 straight in 2002.
“Yeah, that’s good. I don’t want to go down in the history books for that,” Long said.
New York 5, Chicago 0 -- Shawn Chacon stopped a punchless offense and Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run double at Chicago as the Yankees sent the White Sox to a season-high seventh straight loss.
Chacon (2-1) gave up four hits in eight sharp innings for his second straight win, and the Yankees again beat former teammate Orlando Hernandez, who had a frustrating day at U.S. Cellular Field.
El Duque was warned for throwing a pitch behind Rodriguez, committed his first two errors in 109 games and was also called for a balk. He gave up six hits and five runs -- four earned -- in six-plus innings.
Chicago has scored two runs in the last 36 innings.
Cleveland 6, Baltimore 1 -- Cliff Lee remained unbeaten since July 8, pitching seven superb innings for the Indians at Cleveland.
Lee (13-4) gave up one run and four hits, and only two after the first inning. The left-hander hasn’t lost in his last seven starts, going 4-0.
Detroit 3, Toronto 2 -- Magglio Ordonez doubled in the winning run with one out in the 13th inning for the Tigers at Detroit.
Placido Polanco singled off Miguel Batista (5-4) to open the inning, then moved to second when Chris Shelton walked.
Ordonez’s hit sailed over left fielder Reed Johnson to the wall.
Seattle 8, Minnesota 3 -- Richie Sexson hit a grand slam, his second homer of the game, in the 10th inning at Minneapolis, and the Mariners ended the Twins’ six-game winning streak.
The Mariners’ ended a 23 2/3 scoreless innings streak for the Twin bullpen.
Tampa Bay 4, Texas 2 -- Jorge Cantu homered and tied a career high with four RBIs and Scott Kazmir gave up one run in six innings at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Kazmir (7-8) equaled a career best with 10 strikeouts. The 21-year-old left-hander gave up four hits and two walks.
The Devil Rays have won seven of eight and are 22-12 since the All-Star break.