Royals rout Rays to stay in first placePosted: Sunday August 10, 2003 4:12 PM
Updated: Sunday August 10, 2003 10:39 PM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- An angry Tony Pena vowed revenge against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He won't have a chance to get it until next season.
The Royals manager was steamed after Tampa Bay reliever Jesus Colome threw behind Aaron Guiel in the ninth inning of Kansas City's 7-3 victory Sunday.
"If they're going to keep doing this, somebody is going to get hurt and going to get hurt bad," Pena said. "I want you to know I won't forget about this one ... somebody's going to get it."
Just not the Devil Rays -- at least not this season. The last-place Devil Rays almost certainly won't make the playoffs, and the teams aren't scheduled to meet again until next year.
Pena pointed toward his bullpen immediately after the pitch. The umpires got together and warned both benches. Colome and Guiel were ejected.
Guiel started walking toward the mound and both dugouts emptied. There was pushing and shoving before order was restored.
Pena said there was "no question" Colome's pitch was deliberate.
"He can say whatever he wants, I don't want to hit anybody," Colome said.
Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella also said there was no intent.
"It's not like our pitchers have pinpoint control," Piniella said. "We are leading the majors in hit batters. And that's not intentional, believe me. The only time that we haven't hit a batter this year is when I ordered it ... for retaliation."
Both teams were also warned Saturday. Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano, who leads the AL in hit batsman, hit Mike Sweeney with a pitch in the third. Marlon Anderson was plunked by Jimmy Gobble's pitch in the bottom half.
Guiel also took out second baseman Antonio Perez with a hard slide in the sixth inning Saturday.
"They were unhappy with the slide and that's fine," Guiel said. "I went hard, probably a little late, but it was clean. There was no intention to hurt the guy. They objected to that, and that's why they did it. They waited until my last at-bat when we don't play them again.
"I hear them talking about it, murmuring with a bunch of guys before the game. If they wanted to make a statement, that's fine if they're standing up for their player. The thing is, he threw 10 feet behind me. If you've got any guts at all, just hit me and let's do what has to be done."
Julius Matos homered and drove in three runs for the AL Central-leading Royals.
Matos had a two-run single during a five-run first inning against Jorge Sosa (4-9) and hit his second homer of the season in the fourth. Kansas City has won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
Aubrey Huff drove in three runs for the Devil Rays, who are 13-11 since the All-Star break.
The Royals signed Matos as a minor league free agent during the offseason and called him up from Triple-A Omaha for the second time this year on Aug. 5.
Matos' father, who flew in from Puerto Rico, also saw his son hit his first career homer and drive in four runs in San Diego's 9-6 win at Tampa Bay last season.
"That's the two times he's seen me play in the big leagues," Matos said. "He's seen half my big league homers. How about that?"
Matos also made a great defensive play at third base in the fourth. He leaped to grab a high-hopper by Rocco Baldelli, then threw out the speedy rookie while falling to the ground.
Royals center fielder Carlos Beltran was scratched from the starting lineup due to a hyperextended left elbow. He was hurt in Saturday's 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay and is listed as day-to-day.
Kansas City first baseman Ken Harvey was also out of the lineup. He strained his left pectoral muscle swinging a bat Saturday.
Sosa lasted just one-third of an inning. Raul Ibanez opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly. Desi Relaford's RBI single and a run-scoring double by Mike DiFelice put the Royals up by three. A two-run single by Matos ended Sosa's day.
Sosa gave up five runs and six hits. In his 13 starts, he has allowed 18 runs in the first inning.
Chad Gaudin replaced Sosa and retired eight straight batters until Matos homered leading off the fourth. Ibanez added an RBI single to make it 7-0.
Huff hit a run-scoring double in the fourth and a two-run double in the sixth.
Notes: The Royals haven't been in first place this late in the season since they won the AL West and the World Series in 1985. ... Kansas City won the season series 4-3. ... Devil Rays LF Carl Crawford was back in the starting lineup one day after spraining his right ankle running after a fly ball during batting practice.