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Royals set team record for hits allowed in shutout

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals found an opponent
to play as bad as them.

Emil Brown singled home Denny Hocking with one out in the ninth
to lead Kansas City to a 1-0 victory Wednesday over Minnesota
Twins, which set a Twins' record by getting 13 hits in a shutout.

It also tied for the most hits by a major league team in a
shutout loss since divisional play began in 1969, according to the
Elias Sports Bureau. and it was most the Royals allowed without
giving up a run.

"That's something we do -- 13 hits and not score," Kansas City
outfielder Terrence Long said.

Despite the victory, Kansas City became the first team
eliminated from playoff contention when the New York Yankees beat
Seattle 2-0 later Wednesday.

The Twins' previous record for hits in a shutout was 12 in a 1-0
loss to the California Angels in 1975. The Royals shut out
opponents on 10 hits four times.

Minnesota had runners at second and third with one out in the
ninth but pinch runner Brent Abernathy was thrown out at third
after Mike MacDougal's pitch to Michael Ryan sailed to the
backstop. Abernathy started to come home, then changed his mind and
tried to get back to third but catcher Paul Phillips' throw beat
him.

"If he knew it was going to bounce right back to the catcher,
he'd have a crystal ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"They threw a ball away and it still worked out for them today."

Ryan then took a called third strike. It was the second straight
game every Twins starter hit safely.

"When you have 13 hits and you've got no runs, there's not many
explanations for it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We were
all over the basepaths. They even throw a wild pitch and it bounces
right back to the catcher.

"I've seen some of the things they've had to endure and I'm
sure they feel they finally got a good break, and they did."

Hocking singled off Matt Guerrier (0-3) leading off the ninth,
and reached second when third baseman Terry Tiffee misplayed a
grounder by Chip Ambres. Terry Mulholland relieved and struck out
Matt Stairs, before Brown grounded a single just inside the bag at
third.

MacDougal (3-4) pitched the ninth for the win, and the Royals,
who had a 19-game losing streak earlier this month, ended a
five-game skid.

"This one's tough," said outfielder Jacque Jones, who was
involved in three double plays. "I take a lot of blame."

The Twins' play was reminiscent of the way the Royals have
stumbled around all season while compiling a major league-worst
43-88 record. Their five wins in August were one better than the
team-record low for any month.

"I've been here three months and I've seen just about
everything I needed to see," said Royals manager Buddy Bell.

Royals starter Mike Wood gave up eight hits and two walks in six
innings but kept the Twins scoreless with the help of double plays
in the first, second and fourth.

With runners at first and second and one out in the fourth,
Tiffee grounded to first baseman Joe McEwing. He threw to second
for the force out there, but the throw back to first to get Tiffee
was late. Jones, who had singled leading off the inning, tried to
score from second but was cut thrown out at home by Wood, who had
covered first.

"You've got a pitcher covering first base. They throw high --
everything's perfect," said Gardenhire. "Their pitcher was aware.
Wood did a great job there. Most pitchers would catch the ball and
start arguing with the umpire. He was very aware. He turned around
looked home. He did a great job on that play."

Wood turned the play after getting a late start off the mound.

"I realized (Tiffe) was going to be safe so I just came off,
got it and threw home," he said. "I used to be a shortstop, so I
know what's going on when it's going on. I had it in my mind it
might happen. I saw him go and (Phillips) made a great tag. I
thought, 'Whew! Got out of that one."

The Twins also had two runners on base with one out in the first
and second innings but Jones and Mike Redmond each rolled into
double plays. Jones also bounced into a double play in the eighth.

Game notes
1B Mike Sweeney missed his third straight game with pain in
his lower back. Bell said it is not believed as serious as the
upper back pain which has sidelined Sweeney for long periods
before. ... Twins 2B Nick Punto made an outstanding play in the
first, diving to his right to stop Long's hard-hit grounder and
then throwing him out from his knees. ... Ryan's single in the
seventh stretched his hitting streak to a career-high seven games.