Palmeiro gets mixed reactions in return to lineup

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2005

BALTIMORE — Rafael Palmeiro went 0-for-4 in his first game since returning from a 10-day suspension for using steroids, making the final out with two runners on Sunday in the Baltimore Orioles' 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Orioles supporters welcomed back Palmeiro with a mixed response, but many of those remaining in the crowd of 30,954 began chanting ''Raffy! Raffy!'' as he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning.

Facing closer Miguel Batista, Palmeiro sent a routine fly to right field, the only time all afternoon he hit the ball out of the infield.

Palmeiro returned to the Orioles on Thursday, but interim manager Sam Perlozzo waited until Sunday to finally put him in the lineup. Batting sixth as the designated hitter, Palmeiro drew a walk in his first plate appearance but followed with three grounders before his climactic at-bat in the ninth.

Many stood and cheered as he walked to the plate in the first inning, but others booed loudly. The pattern continued for each of his at-bats.

Tigers 8, Royals 7

Tigers 1, Royals 0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mike Maroth came within one out of a shutout to help Detroit complete a doubleheader sweep and send the Royals to their franchise-record 15th straight loss.

Kansas City's losing streak is the longest in the major leagues since Tampa Bay also dropped 15 consecutive games in 2002. The only AL team to have a longer skid in the last 30 years was the 1988 Baltimore Orioles, who lost a league-record 21 in a row.

Yankees 10, Rangers 3

NEW YORK — Hideki Matsui beat a rainstorm with a three-run homer that gave New York the lead, Alex Rodriguez hit his fifth home run in eight days and the Yankees completed a four-game sweep of Texas.

In a game delayed twice by rain, the Rangers lost their seventh straight.

Shawn Chacon (1-1), one of the emergency starters the Yankees have added to a patchwork pitching staff, earned the victory, allowing three runs in five innings. It was his fourth start as a Yankee and it ended a personal eight-game losing streak that began when he was with Colorado. He had not won in his previous 12 starts dating to April 23 when he beat the Dodgers for the Rockies.

Twins 2, Athletics 1

OAKLAND, Calif. — Joe Mauer doubled and scored on Matthew LeCroy's single in the ninth inning, leading Minnesota over Oakland.

Rich Harden struck out nine while allowing one hit in eight innings, but left without a decision because the A's managed just one run against Carlos Silva. Minnesota's only hit off Harden was Michael Ryan's long homer in the third.

Devil Rays 1, Indians 0

CLEVELAND — Pinch-hitter Travis Lee homered off Bob Wickman with one out in the ninth inning, sending Tampa Bay to its first series sweep in Cleveland.

The Devil Rays had lost four straight when they arrived in Cleveland, where they were 7-21 all-time. But they completed their 12-game road trip with a three-game sweep and hurt the Indians' wild-card chances.

The Indians entered the series on a six-game winning streak — all on the road. But Cleveland, which is 11 games over .500 on the road, dropped to 27-30 at Jacobs Field.

Joe Borowski (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings and Danys Baez worked the ninth for his 25th save.

Angels 7, Mariners 6

SEATTLE — Darin Erstad drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single, and Los Angeles beat Seattle to complete a three-game sweep and move back into sole possession of first place in the AL West.

Vladimir Guerrero added to his impressive series with a three-run homer in the fifth, when the Angels scored five times and chased starter Gil Meche.

Guerrero was 8-for-14 in the series with three home runs and seven RBIs. For the season, he has 17 hits in 48 at-bats (.354) with seven home runs and 13 RBIs against the Mariners.

Brendan Donnelly (8-3) got the win after making an error that allowed Seattle to tie the game.

Francisco Rodriguez finished for his 27th save in 31 chances.

George Sherrill (1-1) was the loser.

Casey Kotchman hit his fourth homer for the Angels, who have won eight straight in Seattle, dating to last Sept. 16.

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