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Sweeney homers for fourth straight game in win

6/29/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The strategy was simple for the Kansas City Royals after they fell behind by five runs.

"Get (Mike) Sweeney up and let him do his thing,'' Raul Ibanez
said.

Sweeney homered for the fourth straight game and drove in five
runs as the Royals rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 14-10
Friday night.

Sweeney, who leads the majors with a .367 batting average,
extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. He had a
bases-clearing double in a five-run seventh as the Royals took the
lead for the first time.

"When we got down 5-0, it was kind of tough, like, 'Oh great,
here we go again,''' Sweeney said. "But Mac Suzuki came in and
kept us in the ballgame and we got some good middle relief, and
boom, we got a victory. We sealed the deal in the seventh. That's
the sign of a good team, showing a lot of heart.''

Sweeney homered in the second with Aaron Guiel, who had three
hits and scored three runs, aboard. Sweeney tied his own club
record with home runs in four consecutive games. He also did it
June 28-July 1 of last season.

The Royals' five-run seventh also included reliever Jeremy Fikac
balking home Michael Tucker, who had three hits. Rookie left-hander
Eric Cyr (0-1), who started the inning, took the loss in the
first-ever meeting between the teams.

Fikac said he had never balked home a run.

"That hurt us, but that didn't cost us the game,'' Fikac said.

Fikac fell behind Sweeney 3-0 when he hit a three-run double
into the left-field corner.

"You fall behind a guy like that and you're going to pay for it
and obviously, I did,'' Fikac said.

Jason Grimsley (3-3), the fourth Kansas City pitcher, got the
victory. The Royals have won four straight, matching their season
high.

The Padres lost their second straight game in which they had a
five-run lead.

San Diego starter Brian Lawrence departed in the fifth inning,
when the Royals scored four runs to draw to 9-8. Joe Randa drove in
two runs with a bases-loaded single to chase Lawrence.

"Lawrence didn't have it,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
"It was just an off night for him.''

Ibanez, who had a career-high four hits, greeted Cyr with a
run-scoring single. Cyr walked Luis Alicea with the bases loaded to
force in Randa with the final run of the inning.

D'Angelo Jimenez went 4-for-4 and drove in a career-high four
runs for the Padres. He tripled with the bases loaded in a five-run
first and doubled home Deivi Cruz in the fourth. Jimenez has 11
RBI in the past three games.

Royals rookie starter Miguel Asencio retired only two of his
nine batters. He walked five and threw only 17 strikes in 45
pitches before being replaced by Suzuki.

Asencio's outing was similar to his major league debut April 6,
when he walked four Chicago White Sox batters on 16 pitches before
being pulled. Asencio was making his first appearance since June 14
after he skipped a start because of elbow inflammation.

Asencio walked Mark Kotsay, Ryan Klesko and Bubba Trammell to
load the bases. Ray Lankford's two-out single scored two.

After Asencio walked Cruz to load the bases again, Jimenez
tripled to right to clear them.

Kotsay singled home Jimenez in the third and has at least one
RBI in eight of his past 11 games.

Trammell had a career-high four hits.

Game notes
Cruz's RBI double in the fourth was his first extra-base
hit since May 29, a span of 23 games. ... Royals rookie LHP Jeremy
Affeldt, on the disabled list with a blister on his finger, is
scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday and report July 4 to
Double-A Wichita to begin a rehab assignment. ... Royals rookie RHP
Shawn Sedlacek starts Saturday on his 26th birthday.