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Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2004 6:14 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
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KANSAS CITY 10, ATLANTA 4
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Kansas City Royals scored 10 or more runs in back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three years. They can thank the bullpen of the Atlanta Braves for that.

Desi Relaford homered and drove in three runs and Carlos Beltran added a two-run homer to lead the Royals to a 10-4 victory over the Braves in the rubber game of their interleague series.

The Royals won by the identical score here on Wednesday after scoring nine runs off Atlanta relievers in the last two innings. They followed that up with six runs off Braves starter John Thomson (5-5) and four more against the bullpen. Kevin Gryboski was charged with two runs in one-third of an inning and C.J. Nitkowski yielded the home run to Beltran in the eighth.

"We've really made some bad pitches the last few days," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It's location more than anything else."

The loss dropped the Braves to 3-6 in interleague play, one more loss than last season when they went 10-5 against the American League. Atlanta has allowed 10 or more runs in four of its last nine games.

Relaford, a veteran utility player, and two other reserves - outfielder Dee Brown and catcher Kelly Stinnett - did most of the damage, combining for seven hits and six RBI.

"We threw some fresh bodies on the field and they responded real well," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "Today, I went back to my old formula of letting everybody play and it worked out."

Relaford, who went 3-for-5, hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Brown drove in a run with a two-out RBI single in the sixth to stake the Royals to a 3-1 lead before they erupted for five runs in the seventh.

"I got a hitter's count on a 3-1 pitch and was looking fastball and that's what I got," Relaford said of his first home run of the year.

Joe Randa , who went 4-for-5 in Wednesday's win, highlighted the inning with a two-run double off Thomson. Relaford, Stinnett and Brown added run-scoring hits off Gryboski.

"It's been a couple of days since I've played so I was just trying to get some good swings," said Brown, who had his contract purchased from Double AA Wichita on Sunday.

After the Braves responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, Beltran hit his 13th home run of the year in the eighth after Tony Graffanino reached on a bunt single.

It gave the Royals 10 runs in consecutive games for the first time since June 30-July 1, 2001.

Former Brave Darrell May (4-8) pitched five innings and allowed one run and five hits to earn the win. He did not return after a rain delay of 33 minutes.

Originally a 46th-round draft pick of the Braves in 1992, May appeared in just two games for them in 1995 before being claimed on waivers by Pittsburgh. He also spent four years in Japan before signing with Kansas City and went 10-8 last season.

"It's the first time I've pitched against them," May said. "I remember when I was released by them, it really crushed me. They have a great organization and it's a thrill for us to get two out of three from them."


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