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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL SCOUTING REPORT: KANSAS CITY

Boone's Patience Finally Pays Off

May 31, 1997|From Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Kansas City's pitching staff finally made Royal Manager Bob Boone look good.

Rookie Glendon Rusch won for the first time in eight starts and relievers Randy Veres and Hipolito Pichardo gave up one hit over the final two innings as Kansas City beat the Texas Rangers, 3-2, Friday night to end a three-game losing streak.

"I've been second-guessing myself," Boone said. "I was beginning to think that I was crazy. You make a move and it doesn't work. You don't make a move and that blows up in your face. Tonight was how it was supposed to work."

Kansas City had blown four of its last six save opportunities and over the previous 17 games, the bullpen had an earned-run average of 7.85.

Rusch (3-2), who last won on April 14, gave up eight hits over seven-plus innings.

In the second inning, the Rangers had runners on second and third with one out but Rusch struck out Henry Mercedes and Benji Gil flied out.

Rusch, who matched a career high with seven strikeouts, protected a one-run lead in the seventh by striking out Gil and retiring Mike Devereaux on a groundout with the tying run at second.

After Rusch gave up a leadoff single to Rusty Greer in the eighth, Boone brought in Veres. Juan Gonzalez flied out to deep center and Clark singled before Veres struck out Dean Palmer and got pinch-hitter Lee Stevens on a grounder.

Veres had not pitched for five days while he rested a groin injury, and he had to be sharp from the beginning when he came in to face Gonzalez.

"I got the ball away, where I wanted it," Veres said. "But even when he doesn't hit the ball on the meat of the bat, it still has a chance to go out, that's how strong he is."

Pichardo pitched a perfect ninth, including two strikeouts, for his eighth save.

"The way he was throwing tonight, they didn't have a chance against him," Rusch said.

Jose Offerman and Johnny Damon had two hits for the Royals, who had lost 10 of 12.

Bobby Witt (7-2) lost his second consecutive start despite pitching his second complete game. He gave up nine hits, struck out two and walked one.

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