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Chicago wins in bottom of ninth

4/14/2004

CHICAGO (AP) -- For the second time in the young season, the
Kansas City Royals staged a big ninth-inning rally and were on the
verge of sending the Chicago White Sox to a numbing loss.

This time, though, the White Sox made a comeback of their own.

"A wild game," said Chicago's Paul Konerko, who had the
game-tying single in a two-run ninth as the White Sox pulled out a
10-9 win Wednesday.

"You just say if they are going to beat us, make them earn it,
and give a good finish, go up there swinging and see what
happens," Konerko added.

Joe Crede's bases-loaded single over a drawn-in outfield capped
the rally after the Royals had scored four in the top half to take
a 9-8 lead.

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer to tie and Mike Sweeney put
Kansas City ahead with a solo shot off Billy Koch.

"I am ticked, but at the same time I got to tip my cap," Koch
said. "I made some good pitches. I'm definitely disappointed I
couldn't get the job done."

Beltran had hit a winning two-run homer against the White Sox on
opening day when the Royals scored six in the bottom of the ninth
for a 9-7 victory.

This time, his long blast to center -- his second homer of the
game -- got the Royals even before Sweeney followed with another
blast off Koch, who gave up four hits and four runs.

"I was able to square my bat. I never though it was going
out," Beltran said. "It was a great game. We weren't going to
quit out there and they didn't either."

Curtis Leskanic (0-1) walked two, and an error by second baseman
Mendy Lopez loaded the bases.

Konerko then hit a fly ball single to right that fell between
Lopez and Juan Gonzalez and just inside the line, tying the game.

"I'm real lucky it got down. It's one of those things I didn't
do anything right and it just worked out," Konerko said.

Nate Field replaced Leskanic, the Royals brought Gonzalez in as
a fifth infielder and drew their two remaining outfielders in.
Crede then hit a 3-2 pitch to deep right-center.

"That's the toughest part when your team comes from behind and
you go out and blow it," Leskanic said. "I thought we were going
to do it again today. You are going to give up runs here and there
some times. You don't want to do it in a one-run game in the ninth
inning."

Jon Adkins (1-0) got the win, pitching one-third of an inning.

Beltran had four hits and four RBI, including a two-run homer
in the seventh off starter Jon Garland.

Miguel Olivo's bases-clearing double and a pair of RBI singles
by Juan Uribe gave Garland a 6-0 lead.

But the Royals, pumped up by a dugout pep talk from manager Tony
Pena, pecked away and cut the lead to one in the seventh on homers
by Benito Santiago and Beltran. Garland gave up five runs and seven
hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Nursing a 6-5 lead, the White Sox added two runs in the seventh
on an RBI infield single by Carlos Lee and bad-hop, run-scoring
single by Konerko.

Frank Thomas' double off the top of the fence and walks to Crede
and Aaron Rowand loaded the bases in the fourth before Olivo drove
an 0-2 pitch to right center to make it 5-0. He then scored on
another single by Uribe.

Sweeney had a sacrifice fly following a single by Berroa and
double by Beltran in the sixth and a second run scored on Joe
Randa's fielder's-choice grounder.

Santiago homered leading off the seventh to make it 6-2.

Game notes
The Royals' starting staff is winless through eight games.
Kansas City's 1992 rotation didn't win until the 18th game ...
Kansas City is flip flopping starters. Brian Anderson will start
Thursday's series finale against the White Sox, while Jimmy Gobble
-- Thursday's slated starter -- will now pitch Friday against the
Twins. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said before the game
that Willie Harris is his second baseman but he wanted to get Uribe
in the lineup for a second straight game because of his performance
Tuesday when he homered. He said Uribe might also start Thursday at
short to give Jose Valentin a day off, with Harris returning to
second. Uribe reached bases four times Wednesday.