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Davis Homers From Both Sides of Plate

June 08, 1997|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For pitchers, a perfect game is the ultimate. For Chili Davis, it's home runs from both sides of the plate.

Davis accomplished the feat for the 10th time in his career, moving within one of Eddie Murray's major league record, as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Texas Rangers, 10-4, on Saturday.

"For me as a switch-hitter, that is the most exciting feat," Davis said.

Davis, who drove in five runs, first homered from both sides as a second-year player for San Francisco on June 5, 1983.

"It was very exciting the first time I ever did it. And it hasn't lost its impact. It's still exciting," he said. "You rarely get a chance to do it, and when you do get a chance, you're hardly ever going to do it."

Royal Manager Bob Boone came to the ballpark thinking he might give Davis the day off.

"It was a day game following a night game," Boone said. "But I changed my mind."

Batting right-handed against left-hander Darren Oliver (3-7), Davis hit a three-run homer in the fifth for a 5-1 lead. He then hit a two-run drive off Matt Whiteside in the sixth to make it 7-3.

Davis has 306 homers, including eight this year. He last homered from both sides May 11, 1994, playing for the Angels at Texas.

U.L. Washington and Willie Wilson are the only other Royals to do it--both in 1979. Matching Murray's record would give Davis mixed feelings.

"I'm not going to do it anymore. Eddie's my favorite player," Davis said . "I don't idolize anybody. But . . . if I had a guy I looked up to the most as a hitter and player, it would be him."

Jim Pittsley (1-4), a highly touted 1992 first-round draft choice whose career was stalled because of elbow surgery, went seven innings for his first major league victory in eight tries.

The right-hander, who had not struck out more than two batters in his first seven major league starts, struck out six and walked two. He gave up three runs and four hits, including Juan Gonzalez's 10th homer.

"That's the best curveball I've had in a long, long time," Pittsley said.

Said Texas Manager Johnny Oates: "He threw a lot of curveballs today. He was a much better pitcher than the first time we saw him. Hopefully, some of the good swings we took late will carry over."

Oliver gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings.

Domingo Cedeno's run-scoring triple put Texas ahead in the third. Kansas City took a 5-1 lead in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Bip Roberts and Jeff King, and Davis' first homer.

Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the sixth. The Royals made it 10-3 in the bottom half on Davis' second homer, Craig Paquette's run-scoring single and Jose Offerman's two-run triple.

Next Series for Angels

Who: Kansas City Royals

Where: at Kansas City


Monday: 5 p.m.

Tuesday: 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m.

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