Series: Game 3 of 4

Kansas City leads 3-0 (as of 6/18)

Game 1: Monday, June 16
Kansas City9
Game 2: Tuesday, June 17
Kansas City14
Game 3: Wednesday, June 18
Kansas City8
Game 4: Thursday, June 19
Kansas City2

Twins 6

(38-32, 20-15 away)

Royals 8

(36-32, 20-14 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 18, 2003

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 100211100 6 13 1
    KC 01420100 - 8 13 0

    W: C. George (8-4)

    L: R. Reed (3-7)

    S: M. MacDougal (15)

    Royals win third straight in four-game series

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- This town's got something it's lacked for 10 years -- a pennant race. Carlos Beltran and Joe Randa had three hits apiece Wednesday night as the Royals beat Minnesota 8-6 and trimmed the Twins' lead in the AL Central to just one game. "It's been so enjoyable to come out to the ballpark and have the fans behind you and really into the games, and have the games mean something," Randa said. "We haven't had that in a long time." The resurgent Royals have won eight of 11 after a 4-15 swoon while the defending division champion Twins have been outscored 52-31 during a five-game losing skid. They've lost the first three games of this four-game series with Kansas City, which lost a team-record 100 games last year and hasn't been a contender since 1993. "Then we're due," said first baseman Ken Harvey, who had two hits and an RBI. "Now that we've won the first three of this series, it almost puts more emphasis on winning all four. Why let them up for air?" Minnesota's Rick Reed (3-7), who came off the 15-day disabled list to make his first start since May 31, was roughed up for nine hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. "He had good arm strength, his body was fine," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But he had no location. Everything was up." The Royals' Mike Sweeney was removed in the third inning with stiffness in the upper back. "It's something I've been battling through for three or four days and it's gotten worse and worse," said Sweeney, who spent the rest of the game receiving alternating heat and ice on the back. "Hopefully, the treatment I got tonight will make me ready to go tomorrow." Chris George (8-4) went five innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out one. He left with the Royals up 7-4 after giving up a leadoff triple to A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth. Mike MacDougal pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 19 opportunities. Harvey, who had four hits and five RBIs the night before, singled and doubled his first two trips to the plate, giving him five hits and five RBIs in five at-bats. After third baseman Corey Koskie's fielding error allowed Raul Ibanez to score from third in the second, Kansas City scored four times in the third on Beltran's RBI single, Harvey's RBI double and a two-run single by Michael Tucker. Justin Morneau drove in a run for the Twins in the first, and George gave up RBI singles in the fourth to Lew Ford and Jacque Jones. The Royals scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on Randa's RBI double and Beltran's second RBI single to go up 7-3. Torii Hunter had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Denny Hocking's groundout scored Pierzynski in the sixth to trim Kansas City's lead to 7-5. Reed, who had been out with a sore back, got his glove on a hard line drive off Harvey's bad in the second. "My fastball, I didn't have a clue," he said. "My back's fine but now my thumb hurts. It's a little bruised." Ibanez's RBI single off Juan Rincon in the sixth made it 8-5, and Ford had a run-scoring fielder's choice in the seventh. Randa extended his team-record to 74 consecutive errorless games at third base and made a diving stop of Doug Mientkiewicz's hard grounder in the fifth, throwing from his knees to second for a force out.

    Game notes

    Twins RHP Mike Fetters saw Dr. Lewis Yocum in California on Wednesday about his sore elbow. Yocum withheld an opinion until Fetters can fly back to Minnesota to have another MRI with the same machine that was used for his first one. ... Royals SS Angel Berroa was hit by a pitch in the fifth for the 11th time this year, tying Toronto's Josh Phelps for the AL lead. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been chosen a coach for the American League in the All-Star game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press