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Royal comeback: KC rallies on Opening Day

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Royal comeback: KC rallies on Opening Day

Postby WebHamster » Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:00 am

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Mendy Lopez tied the game with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning and Carlos Beltran delivered a two-run homer moments later to give Kansas City an improbable 9-7 win over the Chicago White Sox on Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium.

Benito Santiago had two hits, drove in three runs and scored twice in his debut for the Royals, who rallied for six runs in the ninth to post their second straight season-opening win over the White Sox.

"This whole game, Opening Day, there's so much emotion. It's pretty special," said Kansas City's Joe Randa. "It says a lot about our team. We're going to play all the way to the end."

Sandy Alomar Jr. and Paul Konerko each finished with three hits and drove in two runs for the White Sox, who fell to 53-51 all-time on Opening Day. Carlos Lee added two hits, including a homer. Alomar also homered.

Mark Buehrle, Chicago's starting pitcher, permitted three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. But he didn't figure in the decision after his team lost a 7-2 lead.

"Obviously, they didn't do the job," said new Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen about his bullpen. "You've got to pitch good every inning."

Aaron Guiel singled in a run in the bottom of the seventh, off reliever Cliff Politte, to get Kansas City within 7-3.

Then the Royals scored six runs in the ninth. After Joe Randa and Ken Harvey worked consecutive walks to open the inning, Santiago doubled home a run.

Politte struck out Guiel for the first out before Lopez forced a 7-7 tie on his pinch-hit, three-run homer off Damaso Marte (0-1).

After a single by Angel Berroa, Beltran ended the game with a homer to left.

"Walk-off home run on Opening Day. It can't be better than this," said Beltran.

D.J. Carrasco (1-0) worked a shutout ninth to earn the victory.

Chicago took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth off Kansas City starter Brian Anderson.

A double by Konerko to right scored Frank Thomas and Lee, who both singled to open the inning. Two outs later, Alomar capped the rally with a two-run homer to left.

Anderson allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings.

Kansas City scored an unearned run the bottom of the second.

Juan Gonzalez led off with a single and a throwing error by Buehrle on an infield hit by Harvey put runners at the corners. Gonzalez then scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Santiago.

A leadoff homer by Lee in the fourth put the White Sox ahead 5-1. But Santiago's solo shot in the fifth brought the Royals within 5-2.

With two outs in the seventh, an RBI double by Jose Valentin and Magglio Ordonez's RBI single off Royals reliever Shawn Camp pushed the Chicago edge to 7-2.
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