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Finally, It's Lima Time Again

June 21, 2003|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Jose Lima is confident the wait for his next victory won't be nearly long as this one.

"I'm back, I'm back," Lima said after earning his first major-league win since last August in the Kansas City Royals' 10-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

"I knew sooner or later I was going to get a phone call and I got it, and I'm not going to let it go," he said.

The Royals got four runs batted in from Ken Harvey in the first of six games in a 10-day span between the cross-state rivals that met in the 1985 World Series.

The Royals are 2-6 the last two seasons against the Cardinals but punished St. Louis ace Matt Morris (7-5) to even the series at 11-11 overall.

Raul Ibanez went three for four with three RBIs for the Royals, who rebounded from a 16-2 loss to the Twins and have won five of six overall. Desi Relaford homered on the second pitch of the game, and Harvey and Angel Berroa also connected.

Lima (1-0) gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings in his second start since his contract was purchased from triple-A Omaha on June 15. He struck out two and walked three to beat the Cardinals for the first time in five career decisions.

Lima's last big-league victory came with the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 19, 2002, against Seattle. He was released last Sept. 11 by Detroit and spent two months with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League this season, going 6-1 with a 2.33 earned-run average before signing a minor league deal with the Royals on June 11.

"I know I don't belong over there, but to prove to myself and to prove to other people I still can pitch I went there to humiliate myself," Lima said. "You know what, it paid off."

Morris has struggled since throwing consecutive shutouts in May, giving up 23 earned runs in 25 innings over five outings.

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