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Ibanez has grand slam, three-run homer in win

7/14/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Swinging hard, Raul Ibanez was 0-for-9.

Swinging easy, he hit a grand slam and a three-run homer in the
first two innings Sunday to lead Kansas City to a 12-3 victory over
the Anaheim Angels.

"Sometimes less is more,'' said the outfielder/first baseman.

"I'd been swinging way too hard the first couple of games of
the second half,'' Ibanez said. "Now I'm trying to go back to
putting an easy swing on the ball. Today, the good swing showed
up.''

Ibanez hit a 3-2 pitch off Ramon Ortiz (8-7) for his second
career grand slam in the first inning. Then Ortiz, whose 28 home
runs are the most allowed by any pitcher in the majors -- gave up a
triple to Brandon Berger and singles to Luis Alicea and Joe Randa
before Ibanez connected in the second for a 9-0 lead.

Both teams had 12 hits.

"But you mix in how many walks?'' Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia
said.

Angels pitchers walked four and hit a batter.

"Then you get a grand slam and a three-run homer, it's a little
different,'' Scioscia said. "We set the table for them because we
were pitching behind in the count a lot.''

Facing reliever Lou Pote in the sixth, Ibanez was hit in the leg
by a pitch. With the crowd still booing, Michael Tucker hit a
two-run homer to make it 12-2. Ibanez finished 2-for-4 with three
runs scored.

"I'm sure it got away from him,'' Ibanez said. "It was a
two-seam fastball. He was trying to throw a sinker inside and run
it back over the plate and it got away from him.''

Ibanez was down 0-2 in the first before Before working the count
to 3-2.

"At that point, I was in emergency mode just trying to put the
ball in play and not strike out,'' he said. "In the second inning,
I was just looking for a fastball to hit and trying to put an easy
swing on it.''

In his last 15 games, Ibanez has seven home runs and 17 RBI. He
also had a two-homer game, the first of his career, July 2 at
Seattle.

His seven RBI tied the club record accomplished eight other
times, most recently by Johnny Damon on Aug. 10, 1996 at Anaheim.

Ortiz lasted just two innings in his shortest outing of the
year. He was charged with nine runs on seven hits and two walks. In
his eight previous starts, he'd been 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA.

"Occasionally, you're going to have a game like this,''
Scioscia said. "Sometimes you can pitch out of it. Today we
weren't able to.''

Miguel Asencio (2-2) went six innings for the win. He gave up
nine hits and two runs on RBI singles by Troy Glaus and Brad
Fullmer.

Carlos Beltran had an RBI grounder in the second and Aaron Guiel
hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the Royals, who split the
four-game series.

Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, who is competing with
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki for the AL batting lead, was a last-minute
scratch with what the Royals said was lower back stiffness.

"This morning when I was getting ready for batting practice, it
locked up,'' Sweeney said. "I don't feel like I should miss
much.''

Game notes
Ibanez's first grand slam was July 17, 1999 in Seattle and
the first in Safeco Field when he played for the Mariners. ... The
Royals turned double plays the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, one
short of the team record of four straight innings set in 1983
against the Angels. ... Anaheim still leads the season series 6-3.
Overall, the Angels have won eight of their last 11 against Kansas
City.