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Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2003 12:29 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Kansas City Royals
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
6 10 0
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 10 0
W Gobble (2-0)
L Zambrano (9-6)
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KANSAS CITY 6, TAMPA BAY 2
 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Carlos Beltran 's 100th career home run resulted in Jimmy Gobble 's second career victory.

Beltran homered in the eighth inning and drove in three runs and Gobble posted his second win in as many major league starts as the Kansas City Royals posted a 6-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays .

Beltran, who also threw out a runner at the plate in the fourth, continues to step up for the Royals, who snapped a four-game losing streak. He is batting .330 (33-for-100) with seven homers and 25 RBI in his last 26 games.

The Kansas City center fielder had an RBI single in the sixth and gave the Royals a 6-1 lead with his 18th homer - a two-run shot off All-Star reliever Lance Carter . Aaron Guiel added three hits for Kansas City, which has split six games with Tampa Bay this season.

"(Beltran) has been swing the bat so well," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. "He was hitting hits to center field then he finally pulled one and put it out of the park."

"I feel happy today because we won," Beltran said. "We had lost two to the Devil Rays and they are playing good ball right now. They are playing well, playing good defense."

Gobble (2-0), who made his major league debut Sunday against the Devil Rays , allowed a run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.

In his two outings against Tampa Bay, Gobble has allowed a run and 13 hits in 12 1/3 innings. He has walked just one over that span.

"What a great job he has done," Pena said. "I know he's only pitched here (in the major leagues) against Tampa Bay but I keep saying that he has mound presence. He pitches like a veteran and has been able to make his pitches."

"I'm basically living a dream," Gobble said. "We play great defense and hit the ball well, so it makes it easier. I got ahead well and hit my spots. I kept the ball down and made key pitches in tough spots."

Jason Grimsley got the final two outs in the seventh, Curtis Leskanic worked a scoreless eighth and closer Mike MacDougal gave up a run on two hits in the ninth.

Tampa Bay starter Victor Zambrano (9-6) was hurt by a lack of control. He surrendered four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The 29-year-old righthander walked six, hit a batter, commited a balk and uncorked three wild pitches. He leads the American League in walks and wild pitches.

All I can say is tomorrow is another day and I will be ready for the next start," Zambrano said. "I will continue working hard. ... I will just try to be more aggressive and throw more strikes."

Tampa Bay is 4-2 on its 10-game homestand.

After Kansas City left a runner at third in the opening inning, it scored twice in the second against Zambrano. Raul Ibanez opened the inning with a single and Joe Randa walked. One out later, Zambrano uncorked a pair of wild pitches that plated Ibanez. Brent Mayne followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.

Zambrano remained wild in the third, walking two batters and hitting another before Relaford gave Kansas City a three-run cushion with an RBI single.

Tampa Bay opened the fourth against Gobble with back-to-back base hits. Toby Hall and Travis Lee flied out but Rolls singled up the middle. Rookie Rocco Baldelli tried to score from second on the play but was thrown out at the plate on a strike from Beltran.

"I probably should have tried to sell it better," said Baldelli, who waited by the plate for the call. "Maybe if I went to the dugout I would have gotten the safe call."

Beltran's two-out single in the sixth scored Julius Matos for a 4-0 lead.

Rolls homered with one out in the seventh to end Gobble's shutout bid and Jared Sandberg followed with an infield hit. Grimsley came on for Gobble and allowed a single and groundout that moved both runners into scoring position. But pinch hitter Al Martin bounced out to end the threat.

"Gobble pitched well," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "I am glad we are not going to see him anymore. He changed speeds, pitched to both sides of the plate and mixed in some breaking balls. He certainly doesn't pitch like a rookie."


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