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Young's solo home run ties game

4/29/2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Brad Fullmer emerged from a deep slump
in dramatic fashion.

Fullmer hit a two-run homer to cap Texas' three-run ninth
inning, and the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 9-7 on
Thursday.

"I don't anticipate swinging as bad I have for the whole
season," said Fullmer, who was in a 4-for-34 slide before his
homer. "Normally, I get frustrated with myself. I'm trying to stay
more even keel right now and not make it worse and prolong it. I'm
just trying to get it right. It's a long year."

Michael Young tied it with a solo shot off Curtis Leskanic
(0-3), and Hank Blalock followed with a triple before Fullmer hit a
1-0 slider into the right-field seats.

"It was a breaking ball up a little bit, not where he wanted it
and you can pull it," Fullmer said. "It's good to get a big
hit."

The Royals led 7-6 entering the ninth, but Young tied it by
hitting a first-pitch fastball to center that bounced off the top
of the fence.

"In that situation, I'm trying to get on base and see if we can
get something going," Young said. "I have great hitters behind
me. We're only down one run. All we need is one guy getting on base
and one ball to the gap and we're tied."

It was Leskanic's third blown save in five opportunities.

"I'm driving to the park the other day in the bright sunshine
and I'm the only car with the windshield wipers on," Leskanic
said. "That's how my day is.

"You just never think these things can happen to you. It's just
a bad month. Let's get this one over with."

Royals manager Tony Pena said he did not bring in closer Mike
MacDougal because on Wednesday he warmed up twice and threw 21
pitches in Kansas City's win.

"MacDougal was not the pitcher to bring in today," Pena said.

Rookie Justin Huisman threw only 13 pitches, 12 for strikes, in
working two flawless innings to get the Royals into the ninth with
a lead, but Pena said it was not the plan to leave him out there.

"He's been a one and two inning guy," Pena said. "We set a
plan at the beginning of the game and that was to close with
Leskanic."

Carlos Almanzar (3-0), the fourth of five Texas pitchers, worked
two perfect innings for the victory.

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his seventh save in
seven chances.

Carlos Beltran had three hits, including his eighth home run for
the Royals in the first inning. He scored two runs and drove in
two.

Rod Barajas hit a two-run homer in the Rangers' three-run
second. He also singled home Eric Young in the sixth to tie it at
6.

The Royals went ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the sixth when Ken
Harvey walked with the bases loaded. Tony Graffanino led off the
inning with a single, giving him a 10-game hitting streak that
matched the longest of his career.

Neither starting pitcher was effective and both were gone in the
fifth.

Rangers right-hander Chan Ho Park allowed six runs -- four earned
-- and seven hits. He walked two, hit a batter and threw a wild
pitch.

Dennys Reyes, making a spot start for the Royals because of a
groin injury to Darrell May, went four-plus innings and gave up
five runs and seven hits. He walked two, threw two wild pitches and
made an error.

The Royals went 0-for-2 with the bases loaded and less than two
outs, and are 1-for-15 in those situations this season.

With the bases loaded in the sixth, Randa lined out to Alfonso
Soriano, who started an inning-ending double play.

"Soriano's stab of the line drive and starting the double play
was huge," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "That could have
opened up the flood gates if that get through."

Game notes
The Royals lead the league with 12 wild pitches. ... Kansas
City INF Desi Relaford, who had been out with a pulled left
hamstring, was activated from the disabled list. The Royals
optioned rookie SS Andres Blanco to Double-A Wichita. ... The
Rangers reinstated 1B Mark Teixeira, who has been on the disabled
list with a strained oblique, and optioned 1B Adrian Gonzalez to
Triple-A Oklahoma. ... Beltran leads the majors with 23 runs.