Appier allows only three hits in six innings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Ten years seemed to melt away right

before Kevin Appier's eyes.

It was 1993 again. He was the young ace of the Kansas City

staff, on his way to winning 18 games. Kauffman Stadium was full.

The Royals were in a pennant race and quite handily beating the New

York Yankees.

He's not young anymore, and this is 2003. But all the rest was

the same Wednesday night. Appier reintroduced himself to Kansas

City by pitching six shutout innings as the Royals routed New York

11-0 for their first home series victory over the Yankees in 10


"It's pretty awesome," said Appier, the longtime Royals

pitcher who was traded away in 1999.

"Every win is huge," he added, "but coming back here and

being able to help these guys in a pennant race -- it feels really

good. It feels tremendous."

Mike Sweeney drove in four runs and Brent Mayne had four hits

and two RBI for the Royals, whose $41 million payroll is less than

one-quarter of the $180 million carried by the Yankee franchise

that has dominated them for almost a decade.

"This means we can play with anybody," manager Tony Pena said.

By taking two of the three games, the surprise leaders in the AL

Central won their first home series from the Yankees since Sept.

10-12, 1993.

Until this week, New York hadn't lost a game in Kansas City

since 2000 and hadn't dropped the season series at Kauffman in nine


The Yankees have lost four of five. This was their most lopsided

loss of the year.

"We have to turn the page and fix what went wrong tonight,"

Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We have to win in Baltimore and

make sure this game doesn't carry over."

Appier (8-8) walked one and struck out two in his first home

start since the Royals picked him up on Aug. 6.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who has kept his home in Kansas

City, had been released on July 30 by Anaheim after the Yankees, of

all teams, roughed him up for five hits and four runs in just

two-thirds of an inning.

"I didn't get out of the first inning. That was ugly," Appier


To make sure Appier got a curtain call, Pena let him warm up for

the seventh inning before going out to the mound and bringing in

Jeremy Affeldt. The crowd of nearly 35,596 stood and cheered.

"It was an incredibly generous ovation," Appier said. "I

genuinely appreciate it. That's Tony. It made me feel really


Appier retired 11 in a row after Aaron Boone's two-out single in

the second. Affeldt pitched two innings and then Curtis Leskanic

finished the shutout.

Sweeney had a two-run single and Dee Brown a sacrifice fly as

the Royals jumped on Jeff Weaver (6-9) for three runs in the first.

Weaver went 6 1-3 innings and was charged with nine runs and 13

hits. He walked two and had five strikeouts.

"I've got no one to blame but myself," Weaver said.

Angel Berroa made it 4-0 in the fourth with an RBI single that

traveled only about 10 feet.

The ball bounced just in front of the plate and appeared to be

rolling foul. But while catcher Jorge Posada stood over it and

waited for the ball to cross the white line, it came to rest in the

grass as Mayne sped home from third.

Mayne's second double scored Dee Brown and Ken Harvey and put

the Royals on top 6-0 in the fifth.

In the seventh, Aaron Guiel had an RBI single and Sweeney hit a

two-run single off Bret Prinz, who also gave up a two-run homer to

Mendy Lopez in the eighth.

Game notes
New York LHP David Wells underwent an MRI exam and doctors

said he will miss one start. Sterling Hitchcock will fill in for

him on Saturday night against Baltimore. ... Guiel has been hit by

a pitch 11 times. He was playing center field for just the third

time in his major league career. ... The three-game series drew

113,822. ... It was Lopez's first home run since July 8, 2001, when

he was with Houston.