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Sweeney's blast sends Royals to victory

May 10, 2007 - 4:45 AM KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Over the years, the one player every team had to fear from the Kansas City Royals has been Mike Sweeney. Against the Oakland Athletics, he showed why he has earned that respect.

Sweeney snapped a tie with a home run in the eighth inning and Gil Meche pitched six strong innings as the Royals downed the Athletics, 3-2, on Wednesday to end their four-game losing streak.

Handcuffed for most of the contest by Oakland ace Dan Haren, Sweeney hit a two-out solo homer off reliever Justin Duchscherer (3-2) in the eighth to give Kansas City a 3-2 advantage.

"Something finally clicked in that third at-bat (in the sixth), and I carried it into the eighth," Sweeney said. "Our team needed that lift. It was a thrill to be able to provide that lift to our team."

"The time before he swung the bat well and got a base hit up the middle and I'm sure that gave him a little confidence," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "That was a big hit to give us a big win.

Though he did not factor into the decision, Meche kept Oakland's offense in check until Sweeney delivered. The righthander allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits with four walks and a season-high seven strikeouts. Meche, who entered the game with the third-best ERA in the American League, lowered his mark to 2.15.

"Gil had the best stuff he's had all year," Bell said. "The ball was getting out of his hand, curveball, changeup, everything. You don't see that kind of stuff that often."

"Command-wise, my fastball wasn't there but stuff-wise, I thought it was the best I've had, too," Meche said. "This team makes you pitch. They don't swing at pitchers' pitches and make contact. Today, I was better than I had been all year. I thought I had better velocity on all my pitches; a stronger curveball than I've had lately."

Jimmy Gobble (1-1) walked one in the eighth to get the win and closer Joakim Soria worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his sixth save in seven opportunities, as the Royals' bullpen pitched three scoreless frames to ensure Meche's efforts were not wasted.

Haren actually saw his AL-leading ERA rise from 1.75 to 1.89 despite yielding just two runs and six hits in six innings.

"Haren pitched a great game," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It was a pretty good battle with two good pitchers going."

"I didn't have my best stuff," Haren said. "Tonight, I was trying to create a lot. I bounced a lot of splits (split-finger fastballs). It was really humid out there. A couple of balls stuck; I lost a fastball. I had two first-and-second-with-no-out jams which I got out of. That's the game right there for me. It's tough way to lose."

The Royals' victory halted the Athletics' domination at Kauffman Stadium, as Oakland had won 20 of the previous 23 contests played at the venue.

Dan Johnson hit a two-run home run for the Athletics, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 x 3 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - DAN HAREN, KIKO CALERO (7TH), JUSTIN DUCHSCHERER (8TH) AND
    JASON KENDALL
    KAN - GIL MECHE, DAVID RISKE (7TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (8TH),
    JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN

    May 9 10:52 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Athletics vs. RoyalsMay 9 10:41 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE SWEENEY (4) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF JUSTIN DUCHSCHERER.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, KANSAS CITY 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.176, 0-FOR-2, HBP)

    Athletics vs. RoyalsMay 9 10:40 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BILLY BUTLER SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BUTLER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: S COSTA (.200, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Athletics vs. RoyalsMay 9 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DAN JOHNSON (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF GIL MECHE SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.229, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. RoyalsMay 9 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHANE COSTA SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S COSTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.290, 4 HR, 8 RBI)

    Athletics vs. RoyalsMay 9 8:37 PM