KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Calvin Pickering drove in six runs with
a grand slam and a two-run home run in his first major league
appearance in almost three years to power the Kansas City Royals to
a 10-2 victory over Texas, that snapped the Rangers' eight-game
winning streak on Sunday.
In his previous official at-bat in the majors on Oct. 5, 2001,
the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Pickering hit a three-run home run for
Boston against Baltimore.
Zack Greinke pitched six shutout innings for the victory.
Pickering, who hit 35 home runs for Triple-A Omaha this season,
walked in his first plate appearance. Then he drove a 3-2 pitch
from Scott Erickson over the fence in left field with one out in
the third for his first career grand slam.
In the fifth, he pounded Joaquin Benoit's first pitch 440 feet
over the wall in straightaway center for a two-run shot. He lined
out to second his next time up.
Coming into Sunday, Pickering had played in 883 minor league
games and 53 in the majors since being drafted in the 35th round in
1995 by Baltimore. Seeing action with the Orioles, Cincinnati and
Boston, he had six home runs.
His contract was purchased from Omaha, where he homered in four
straight games, on Saturday when first baseman Ken Harvey was put
on the disabled list.
Greinke (6-9) won for the fourth time in five starts, giving up
six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He was relieved by
Dennys Reyes starting the seventh.
Erickson (1-3), who beat Cleveland in his previous start for his
first major league win since 2002, lasted just three innings. He
was charged with five runs on four hits and six walks.
David DeJesus tripled to lead off the Royals' third and scored
on Ruben Gotay's sacrifice fly. After Joe Randa singled, Erickson
walked Matt Stairs and Abraham Nunez before Pickering connected on
his opposite-field shot.
Andres Blanco had an RBI single for the Royals in the fifth, and
DeJesus had a sacrifice fly. Desi Relaford had an RBI double in the
Reyes balked home a run and gave up an RBI single to Gary
Matthews Jr. in the eighth.
Kansas City 1B Mike Sweeney was out of the lineup because
of stiffness in the upper back. ... The addition of Pickering
brought the number of players used by the Royals to a team-record
54. But it's not only players who are going down. The public
address system stopped working this week, forcing club employees
and official scorers to shout their announcements. ... The Rangers
had two nine-game winning streaks in 1999. ... The eight-game
streak matched Texas' third-longest. ... DeJesus left the game with
a bruised left knee after being hit by Benoit in the fourth. ...
Three of the Royals' last six home runs have been grand slams.