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Red Sox halt Royals' home streak at 11

5/7/2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals are 11-1 at home
-- and ready to start a new winning streak.

One year after losing 100 games, the Royals fell one win shy of
tying a 92-year-old major league record when Doug Mirabelli and
Todd Walker led the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 victory Tuesday night.

The modern major league record for consecutive home wins to
start a season still belongs to the 1911 Detroit Tigers, who opened
12-0 at home.

"You know, maybe it's a good thing,'' Royals outfielder Raul
Ibanez said. "The attention will be off us. We can start over. We
can start fresh. We can try to get a new winning streak going.''

The Royals improved to 11-0 at Kauffman Stadium on Monday by
rallying to beat the Red Sox in the ninth inning. No other team
since 1901 had started better than 10-0 at home.

"You know, it's history for a reason,'' said left-hander Jeremy
Affeldt (2-1), who was the losing pitcher despite giving up just
one run and five hits in four innings.

"So you go out and you do your best and we came up short. But
there's nobody who went out there thinking, `I hope we don't blow
it.' I think we just went out there to try to win another
ballgame.''

Mirabelli was 4-for-4 as the Red Sox won despite committing
their eighth error in five games.

Casey Fossum (3-1) took a two-hit shutout into the seventh but
left with two outs after allowing RBI singles to Carlos Febles and
Michael Tucker. Mike Timlin relieved, and the Royals made it 6-3 on
a double steal and catcher Mirabelli's throwing error.

"That's just the life of a backup catcher,'' Mirabelli said.
"You have to get in there and give them what you have for that
day, and know if you get four hits or zero hits, you're not going
to play the next day. So relax and make sure your team wins. That's
why you're back there.

"On the personal side, it's great. I'll sleep great tonight.
It's even better knowing I contributed to a win.''

Fossum went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits,
with five walks and two strikeouts. Timlin pitched the eighth, and
Tim Wakefield worked a scoreless ninth just two days after starting
against Minnesota.

Mirabelli reached with his fourth single in the eighth and
scored on Walker's sacrifice fly to make it 7-3.

Walker's RBI single gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the third,
then Nomar Garciaparra's RBI single off Kris Wilson in the fifth
made it 2-0 before the Red Sox scored four in the sixth.

Mirabelli drove in two runs with his third single of the night,
and Johnny Damon and Walker followed with RBI singles.

Affeldt struck out four of his first five batters. He had been
on the DL with a blister problem on the middle finger of his
pitching hand.

Kris Wilson relieved to start the fifth.

Game notes
After the game, the Royals optioned RHP Ryan Bukvich to
Triple-A Omaha. ... Red Sox catchers had thrown out seven straight
runners before Febles stole second in the third. ... The Royals
optioned OF Brandon Berger to Triple-A Omaha to make room for
Affeldt. ... The victory kept the Red Sox from their first
three-game losing streak of the year. ... SS Garciaparra, who made
three errors against Minnesota last Friday and two more Monday
night in Kansas City, had a terrific play to get Mike Sweeney in
the sixth. Sweeney hit a shot deep in the hole, but Garciaparra
snared the ball and pegged a rocket throw to first. ... Counting
their last home game of last season, the Royals' streak was 12
straight. ... Garciaparra and Boston's Bill Mueller each stretched
their hitting streaks to nine games.