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Yankees hand Lima first loss of season

8/19/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Lima was enjoying a dream season -- until he
ran into the New York Yankees.

Jorge Posada and Karim Garcia homered as New York sent Lima to
his first loss of the season with an 11-6 victory over the Kansas
City Royals on Monday night.

"Somebody's going to pay the price," Lima said. "I don't know
who, but somebody's going to pay."

Jeff Weaver won despite another shaky outing and Alfonso Soriano
hit a two-run single for the Yankees, who built a 9-2 lead en route
to their fifth straight victory.

The Yankees are a season-high 29 games over .500 and 5{ games
ahead of the Boston in the AL East, their largest margin of the
year.

"We're building a good lead right now," reliever Jeff Nelson
said. "Especially with the teams we play -- Boston has a tough
schedule, they're playing Seattle and Oakland -- we need to take
advantage and extend the lead."

Nick Johnson had three hits and Hideki Matsui scored three times
as New York took the opener of a three-game series between division
leaders after losing two of three in Kansas City last week.

The Royals are two games up on Chicago in the AL Central after
the White Sox beat Anaheim on Monday.

Signed out of the independent Atlantic League on June 11, Lima
(7-1) is a big reason the young Royals have been able to maintain
their division lead thus far. But he struggled on this night in his
return from the disabled list -- the right-hander had been out since
Aug. 2 with a groin strain.

"He was a little bit rusty," Royals manager Tony Pena said.
"I was happy with the results. His location was just up in the
zone. He didn't feel pain. He's ready to go."

Carlos Beltran homered, tripled and singled for the Royals,
driving in three runs. Needing a double for the cycle, he grounded
out against Nelson leading off the eighth.

"I was thinking about it in my last at-bat," Beltran said.

Beltran led off the second by lining an 0-2 pitch from Weaver
(7-9) over the right-field fence for his 21st homer of the season.

Lima walked the bases loaded in the second, and Soriano hit a
two-run single with two outs.

The Yankees broke it open with five straight hits to start the
third -- three for extra bases. Derek Jeter led off with a triple to
center -- it bounced out of Beltran's glove as he leaped in front of
the wall -- and scored on Jason Giambi's single.

Bernie Williams singled, and Matsui lined an RBI double into the
right-field corner. A strong relay cut down Williams at the plate,
but Posada followed with his 22nd homer.

The Yankees hit for the cycle in the inning, taking a 6-1 lead.

Lima lasted four innings, giving up six runs and seven hits. His
ERA rose from 2.96 to 3.72.

"My timing was a little off," he said. "I never walk people
like that. I'm just disappointed -- we're in a pennant race."

Garcia added a three-run shot off Paul Abbott in the fifth,
making it 9-2. It was Garcia's second homer in two games and 10th
this season -- fifth with the Yankees since being acquired from
Cleveland on June 25.

Beltran hit a run-scoring single in the fourth and an RBI triple
in the sixth, when he scored on Raul Ibanez's single.

The Royals tried to rally against New York's struggling bullpen.
Ken Harvey and Brent Mayne opened the seventh with consecutive
doubles off Antonio Osuna, and Mayne scored on Nelson's wild pitch
to cut it to 9-6.

But Nelson retired all five batters he faced, and Chris Hammond
finished up with a hitless ninth.

"He got big outs for us," manager Joe Torre said of Nelson.
"That was a good outing -- a great outing."

Johnson rolled an RBI single to right with two outs in the
seventh, and Posada added a two-out RBI single in the eighth for
some insurance. The Yankees had 14 hits.

Weaver was coming off a terrible start last Wednesday in Kansas
City, when he was tagged for a season-high nine runs and 13 hits.
He was helped by three double plays this time, all on hard-hit
balls.

The right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in
5 2-3 innings, leaving to a mix of cheers and boos.

"A little erratic at times, but I still felt a lot more
comfortable with the total package I went out there with," Weaver
said. "The positives are what we'll keep in mind and hopefully
continue for next time."

Game notes
Beltran is 10-for-16 with four homers and 11 RBI in his
last five games. "Everybody knows Carlos Beltran is a second-half
player," Pena said. "He is getting hot at the right moment --
right now." ... Johnson snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a
fourth-inning double.