<
>

Royals pitcher Hernandez among players ejected

DETROIT (AP) -- Runelvys Hernandez said he was not trying to hit
anybody. The Detroit Tigers did not believe him.

Hernandez allowed two hits through five innings before he was
ejected after triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth, and
the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-0 Sunday.

Three relievers finished the six-hitter for the Royals, who had
three players and manager Buddy Bell ejected in the melee that
started after Hernandez beaned Detroit's Carlos Guillen in the
helmet, his third hit batter of the game.

"What he did is not acceptable," Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez
said. "A pitcher cannot throw at a player's head. It's not a good
thing to do."

Mike Sweeney hit a two-run homer and Mark Teahen added a solo
shot.

The Royals led 4-0 when Hernandez (7-9) threw a low and inside
pitch that Guillen thought hit him. Guillen argued with plate
umpire Marty Foster, and Detroit manager Alan Trammell came out to
plead the case. The next pitch hit Guillen in the helmet.

"I didn't try to hit nobody," Hernandez said. "I feel sorry
about that [hitting Guillen in the head]. But I didn't try to hit
him on purpose."

Guillen yelled at Hernandez when he got up and the two charged
each other. The dugouts and bullpens then cleared, with Hernandez
and Guillen being kept away from each other.

"I think that's absolutely wrong, throwing at somebody's
head," Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman said. "If I hit somebody
in the head, I expect someone to do the same thing. You stand up
for your teammates because you can end a guy's career throwing at
somebody's head.

"He might say he did it on accident, but he still did it. In my
opinion, it was totally intentional and you just don't throw at
somebody's head."

The scuffle appeared to be over with no punches thrown, but more
pushing and shoving began. Detroit reliever Kyle Farnsworth then
charged Kansas City relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, picked him up
and slammed him to the ground.

"It was nothing that I said," Affeldt said. "He must've felt
like we were going at it."

Farnsworth said he had nothing to say.

Tigers manager Alan Trammell said Guillen was in the hospital
for observation.

"It's just a typical baseball fight," Royals manager Buddy
Bell said. "I just hope Guillen is OK. We've all been hit in the
head at one time or another."

Hernandez, Bell, Emil Brown and Alberto Castillo were ejected
for the Royals. Guillen, Farnsworth and Bonderman also were tossed.

"A lot of pitchers hit guys in the head, I don't do that,"
Hernandez said. "I'm not that kind of a pitcher. I always throw
inside."

Too far inside, according to the Tigers.

"When you throw at a guy's head, it's no accident," Craig
Monroe said. "When you go after guys' livelihoods, it's
personal."

Brandon Inge agreed.

"When you're a big league pitcher, you should be able to throw
below the shoulder," he said. "When you throw above the shoulder,
it's no accident."

Leo Nunez relieved Hernandez and got Chris Shelton to hit into a
double play and Magglio Ordonez to ground out to end the sixth. He
pitched a perfect seventh before Affeldt allowed a single to Nook
Logan in the eighth.

Mike MacDougal allowed three hits in the ninth before getting
pinch-hitter Rodriguez to ground to short with the bases loaded.

"Runelvys started off real well and the guys came in from the
pen and did a good job," Teahen said.

Hernandez hit two of the first three Detroit batters of the
game, Brandon Inge and Shelton. Hernandez said he was rusty after
not pitching for nine days.

Detroit starter Mike Maroth (7-10) hit David DeJesus in the
second inning and home plate umpire Marty Foster warned both
dugouts.

DeJesus led off the game with a single and scored on Sweeney's
one-out homer. Brown followed with a lined single to center that
Logan misplayed for a two-base error, which allowed Brown to go to
third. Terrence Long then singled to right through a drawn-in
infield for a 3-0 lead.

"It killed us when I gave up three runs in the first inning,"
Maroth said. "I left a lot of pitches up out over the plate."

Teahen homered with one out in the fourth.

Detroit had runners on the corners with one out in the third,
but Hernandez got Shelton to hit into a double play on a 3-2 pitch
to end the inning.

"We didn't play a very good ballgame," Trammell said. "When
we came out today, it didn't appear that we were ready."

Maroth allowed three earned runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Game notes
Sweeney is 14-for-31 (.452) in his last seven games with
four home runs and 11 RBI. ... The Tigers were without 2B Placido
Polanco (strained hamstring) for the fourth straight game and 1B-DH
Dmitri Young (sore calf) for the second consecutive contest.