Randa's leadoff double in 14h sparks Kansas City to win


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Joe Randa helped end a 14-inning game between
two tired teams, and he's hoping his slump is finished, too.

Randa keyed a four-run 14th with a leadoff double to lead the
Kansas City Royals over the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Thursday.

"I'm still upset, still frustrated," said Randa, who now has
three hits in his last 45 at-bats. `"Hopefully some good things
will happen. We'll see -- always good to get a break."

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the
Royals, who split the four-game series and lead Minnesota by 2½
games in the AL Central.

Cristian Guzman went 4-for-7 for the Twins, who stranded 13
runners and squandered numerous chances to take the lead throughout
the 4-hour, 54-minute game.

"A very long ballgame," manager Ron Gardenhire said, "and not
very well-played by us."

Johan Santana (2-1) escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the 13th,
but the Royals batted around in the next inning.

Randa doubled, Beltran walked, Mike Sweeney sharply singled off
Santana's foot to load the bases, and Raul Ibanez hit a looper over
a drawn-in Guzman at shortstop made it 6-5.

Ken Harvey added a sacrifice fly against Tony Fiore, and Desi
Relaford and Angel Berroa followed with bloop RBI singles.

Only Randa's was a hard hit.

"A win is a win," manager Tony Pena said.

Darrell May struck out the side in the ninth and pitched a
perfect 10th and a scoreless 11th. He walked Bobby Kielty leading
off the 12th and gave up a single to A.J. Pierzynski.

D.J. Carrasco (3-1) relieved and got pinch-hitter Jacque Jones
to ground into an inning-ending double play -- started by a diving
stop and throw by Berroa at shortstop.

"Jacque hit a missile," Gardenhire said. "I thought that was
going through."

Pierzynski, Minnesota's catcher, tied the game at 3 in the sixth
with a triple, and Mike DiFelice -- the Royals' catcher -- also
tripled in a two-run seventh.

After Relaford reached on a single, DiFelice hit a gapper off
Kenny Rogers that dropped between two Gold Glovers, center fielder
Torii Hunter and Doug Mientkiewicz.

Mientkiewicz, the Twins' regular first baseman, played right
field for the second straight game because of injuries to Bobby
Kielty (strained ribcage) and Jones (strained quadriceps). Dustan
Mohr was in left for Jones.

J.C. Romero entered and walked two before balking in a run that
made it 5-3.

Rogers allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in 6 1/3
innings, striking out six.

Guzman tripled against Jason Grimsley and scored on a groundout
by Mientkiewicz in the seventh. Luis Rivas and Guzman hit two-out
singles in the eighth off Sean Lowe, and May walked Mientkiewicz
and Koskie, tying the game at 5.

"Unfortunately we didn't come out on top," Rogers said about
three hours after he was removed. "It would've been worth the

Miguel Asencio, part of Kansas City's on-the-rise rotation that
doesn't have a starter over the age of 25, equaled a season-low
five hits. He gave up three runs and three walks while striking out
five in 5 1/3 innings.

The Royals had a 2-0 lead before most people sat down for lunch
after Tucker doubled and Beltran homered with one out.

It was nearly time for dinner when the remaining fans -- only
2,000 or so from a paid crowd of 17,219 -- cleared out.

They didn't exactly see a crisp, quality game, but they were
treated to another close one between two teams that very well could
be continuing to fight for the Central down the stretch.

Many of the Twins have compared the Royals to themselves in
2001, a young team that emerged after a long string of losing
seasons and was in first place for much of the year.

"They're just a scrappy team,'' said Todd Sears, who hit an RBI
single in the third for the Twins. "They battle until the end."

Game notes
The teams combined for 15 walks, four hit batters and two
wild pitches. ... Hunter -- in a 4-for-27 slump and batting just
.215 _ stranded five runners. He also made an error that let the
Royals take a 3-1 lead in the fourth and gave them a double play in
the 14th with a base-running mistake. Hunter's grounder forced
Denny Hocking out at second and Relaford's throw sailed over first
baseman Mendy Lopez's head, but Hunter made a turn toward second
and was tagged out trying to retreat.