KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Runelvys Hernandez made the most of his
chance to keep pitching.
"Let's not talk about the suspension," Hernandez said. "I
don't feel good about that. I'm appealing, trying to get it down to
Hernandez (8-9) was suspended Thursday by Major League Baseball
for his role in last Sunday's bench-clearing brawl in a game
between the Royals and Tigers. Hernandez hit Carlos Guillen in the
head with a pitch, leading to the melee.
"I didn't pitch that bad, but I was much better in Detroit than
today," Hernandez said. "I've got better games than today.
Sometimes you have to make adjustments to throw the ball down."
Hernandez gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. The
right-hander, who missed all of last season after having elbow
surgery, is 6-2 in his past eight starts. Twice he got Frank
Catalanotto to ground into double plays to get out of trouble.
"I don't think Runelvys had his best stuff, but that's what
makes him so effective," Royals catcher John Buck said. "He still
does what it takes to get runners out. He gets double plays and
gets himself out of holes. He just makes great pitches at great
Bench coach Bob Schaefer, acting as manager while Buddy Bell
served a one-game suspension from the Detroit scuffle, removed
Hernandez after 81 pitches.
"With the power arms in our bullpen and the heat, it was a
no-brainer," Schaefer said. "It's not my win. It's Buddy's win.
I'm just glad I didn't screw it up."
Royals All-Star Mike Sweeney was taken to a hospital for X-rays
after he was hit in the left hand by a pitch in the first inning.
X-rays were negative, detecting only a bruise, and Sweeney is
listed as day-to-day.
Blue Jays starter Pete Walker (3-3), who was looking for his
first win since June 22, was pulled after 3 1/3 innings. He gave up
five runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter.
The Royals scored three runs in the first. David DeJesus led off
with a single to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 13
games, Terrence Long walked and Walker beaned Sweeney to load the
bases with none out.
Matt Stairs doubled to right, scoring DeJesus and Long. Emil
Brown's groundout scored Sweeney.
"Right out of the chute I put a couple of guys on, a hit
batsman and a walk," Walker said. "It's kind of frustrating. You
want to make sure they put the ball in play and give yourself a
chance that way. I put myself in a hole and they get a big hit, but
I essentially gave it to them."
Buck hit his first career triple in the second and scored on
DeJesus' sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. Buck's triple was aided when
the ball boy in right field picked up the ball in foul territory as
Alex Rios was chasing it.
"It'll probably be my last one," Buck said. "It took somebody
not knowing the ball was fair or not for me to get a triple."
Will he tip the ball boy?
"No, I would have had an inside-the-park homer if he hadn't
touched it," Buck joked.
Vernon Wells hit his 100th career home run in the Blue Jays'
three-run third, a shot into the left-field stands with Catalanotto
aboard. Orlando Hudson doubled and scored on Catalanotto's single
for the first run.
"It's significant," Wells said of his milestone. "But I can't
enjoy it as much given the situation that we lost."
Wells leads the American League with 21 RBI in July. That is
also Wells' career high for a month, with eight games still
remaining in July.
"Pete just struggled from the get-go," Blue Jays manager John
Gibbons said. "That's the first time I've really seen that all
year. The first inning he had difficulty, but we came back with
three of our own, but you lose."
1B Eric Hinske converted an unassisted double play in the
fourth inning, the 21st consecutive game the Blue Jays have turned
a double play. They also turned double plays in the seventh and
eighth innings. ... The temperature was 98 degrees for the first
pitch. The last time the temperature was that high for a Kauffman
Stadium game was Aug. 17, 2003. ... Royals LHP Brian Anderson had
elbow ligament replacement surgery on Thursday and is out for nine
to 12 months.