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Hinch, Knoblauch go long in Royal win

5/14/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A.J. Hinch was glad he didn't know what
kind of pitch he hit for a three-run homer.

"That means you're just seeing the ball and reacting to the
ball," said Hinch, who tied a career high with four RBI in Kansas
City's 8-1 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night.

"It means you're not thinking too much, and I can do that with
the best of them. I can always over-think a situation and create a
bigger hole than I'm in."

Slumping Chuck Knoblauch also hit a home run and Jeff Suppan
(4-4) allowed only one unearned run and nine hits in eight innings.
Suppan struck out six and walked none, winning for the third time
in four starts.

The Royals had lost their seven previous home games against the
Twins.

Knoblauch, hitting just .184 coming in, connected off Matt
Kinney (1-3) for the 30th leadoff homer of his career. He also had
an RBI single and scored in the fourth inning.

Kinney, in his 12th major league start, gave up five runs, seven
hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"Our starting pitching just kind of set the tone for us
tonight," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "It was just not
a very good night for our pitching."

After starting 0-6 under interim manager John Mizerock after
Tony Muser was fired on April 29, the Royals have gone 5-2. As they
wait for ownership to select a permanent manager, a groundswell is
building in the clubhouse for the popular Mizerock, who managed
many of the players in the Royals' minor league system.

"I love Rock. I've said it all along," said Hinch. "I love
the atmosphere he creates, his character, the way he comes to the
park. You're seeing a much looser clubhouse."

Hinch had an RBI single in the second inning and a three-run
homer in the fifth off Bob Wells.

Doug Mientkiewicz's sacrifice fly put Minnesota ahead in the
first following a throwing error by Hinch, but Kansas City went
ahead in the second on Neifi Perez's two-out triple, Hinch's single
and Michael Tucker's bases-loaded walk.

Knoblauch had an RBI single in the fourth and Mike Sweeney made
it 5-1 with a sacrifice fly.

A terrific throw home from Carlos Beltran in center field kept
the Twins from scoring in the fourth. With David Ortiz on second,
Brian Buchanan singled to center. Beltran's throw to catcher Hinch
easily beat Ortiz to the plate.

"It all started with Beltran's play, throwing out the guy at
the plate," Suppan said. `That was a rough inning. But when he
threw out the guy, that was huge. It got momentum back on our
side."

Game notes
Darrell May, the LHP the Royals bought from a Japanese team
during the offseason, is expected to make his second start of the
year Saturday in a doubleheader at Cleveland. He has been bothered
by a pulled groin muscle. ... The Twins put RHP Brad Radke on the
15-day DL. He pulled a groin muscle while pitching Monday night.
The Twins purchased the contract of RHP Mike Trombley from Triple-A
Edmonton. ... The Twins had not lost in Kansas City since May 5,
2001. ... Knoblauch's previous leadoff homer was last Aug. 1. He
fouled off five two-strike pitches before singling in the fourth.