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Lima continues to give Royals an unexpected lift

7/27/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- After beating the Detroit Tigers, Jose Lima
wanted to look ahead instead of harping on old grudges.

Lima won his seventh straight start, and Angel Berroa and Desi
Relaford homered as the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-1 Sunday.

Released by the Tigers last season, Lima claimed Tigers general
manager Dave Dombrowski sent a letter to other major league teams
advising them not to sign the right-hander. Dombrowski has denied
that.

"No more talk about Detroit and no more talk about
Dombrowski," Lima said. "It's done."

He was told that Sunday was Dombrowski's birthday.

"Happy birthday to him," Lima said. "I wish him health for
many, many, many years."

Lima (7-0) continued his remarkable major league comeback,
giving up four hits in five shutout innings.

A 21-game winner and NL All-Star with Houston in 1999, he began
this season with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic
League -- the same team Rickey Henderson was playing for before
signing with the Dodgers.

Lima, 30, signed a minor league contract with Kansas City on
June 11 and was called up four days later. He got a no-decision
against San Francisco and has won seven starts in a row since.

"I was out of baseball pretty much," Lima said. "But now I'm
having fun again."

With a stellar 2.17 ERA, Lima is a big reason the young Royals
have been able to maintain their lead in the AL Central.

After missing his last scheduled start because of a groin
injury, Lima struck out three and walked one to become the first
Royals pitcher to win seven consecutive starts since David Cone won
eight straight in 1994.

"For us, it's just like facing any other pitcher. He just did
well today," Detroit's Carlos Pena said. "He had his stuff going,
throwing strikes, spotting the ball very well. That's what he's
been doing since he came back. He's back. He's feeling good and he
beat us today."

Royals manager Tony Pena pulled Lima after five innings because
he didn't want to take any chances with the groin.

"I told him he had one more inning after the fourth," Pena
said.

Sean Lowe, Jason Grimsley and Mike MacDougal finished the
five-hitter for Kansas City.

Tigers starter Mike Maroth (5-15) allowed five runs and seven
hits in seven innings.

The Royals have capitalized on their chances all season.

"We'll have a game like today where we'd only have six or seven
hits and get five runs," Relaford said. "That's been our M.O. for
success. It's not how many you get, but when you get 'em."

Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Carlos
Beltran's sacrifice fly.

The Royals made it 3-0 on Ken Harvey's RBI double and Berroa's
sacrifice fly.

Detroit threatened in the fourth when Bobby Higginson led off
with a double and moved to third on Dmitri Young's single. But Lima
got Kevin Witt to pop out to shortstop, Pena to pop to left and
struck out Shane Halter to end the inning.

"That really hurt us," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
"Who knows what might have happened? But to get nothing out of
that is very disappointing."

Berroa homered in the sixth to give the Royals a 4-0 lead.

Witt's homer in the sixth off Lowe put the Tigers on the board,
but Relaford led off the seventh with a home run to restore Kansas
City's four-run lead.

Game notes
Lima pitched for Detroit from 1994-96 and 2001-02. ...
Beltran has 13 RBI and is batting .412 (21-for-51) in his last 14
games. ... Higginson's fourth-inning double was the 244th of his
career. That ties him with Harvey Kuenn for 10th place on the
Tigers' all-time list. ... Berroa has homered in five of his last
12 games. ... Attendance was 35,326.