|04-07-2003, 01:40 AM||Topic Starter|
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Royals report: Royals not concerned about momentum slowing
Could Sunday's rainout throw a nail under the tire of the Royals' race car?
"No way," said first baseman Mike Sweeney. "If anything, it'll continue to help us. On a day like this, I don't think many people want to risk getting hurt or slipping and pulling a muscle. So we're going to go out to Detroit and carry the momentum we've created."
Most teams, when hot, like to keep going lest the buzz of victory fade away. The Royals also have a scheduled open date today.
But, in this case, with more rain forecast and the cool temperatures, the Royals accepted the verdict readily.
"Baseball players don't like the cold," infielder Desi Relaford said. "I don't know if anybody's heart was broken. We've got a little something going here, but I don't think an extra day matters."
The Royals also will be switching to the road, where they were a miserable 25-56 last season. That included a 3-7 record in Detroit.
"People are saying, `They played well at home, let's see how they do on the road,' " manager Tony Pena said. "It's not going to be a factor. You just have to go play the game."
It better not be a factor. Just 16 of the Royals' next 45 games will be played in Kansas City.
There was a footnote to the rainout: It assured the Royals of their first undefeated home stand since June 2-8, 1988, when they were 4-0 against the Seattle Mariners and 3-0 against the Oakland Athletics.
It also was just the third perfect home stand in club history. The 1985 club swept eight games on Sept. 2-8, going 3-0 against the White Sox and 5-0 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Beltran to travel
Injured center fielder Carlos Beltran will accompany the Royals to Detroit as he continues his recovery from a strained muscle in his left side.
Although it's likely to be cold at Comerica Park, Pena indicated that Beltran would not necessarily be restricted to swinging in an indoor cage.
"I'd like to see Carlos hit outside, on the field, but I don't know what we're going to do," Pena said.
Once the medical staff thinks Beltran is ready, he'll be sent to play games, probably in extended spring training at Surprise, Ariz.
"I don't want to put any date on it," Pena said. "If we rush it and he's injured again, it's going to be worse."
It's been noted that the Royals were the first major-league team to have a 5-0 start after a 100-loss season.
They were among four teams to go 4-0 after losing 100. The others: 1952 St. Louis Browns (52-102), 1906 Boston Beaneaters (51-103) and the 1899 St. Louis Perfectos (43-111).
• Relaford was scheduled to give Angel Berroa a break Sunday, playing shortstop. Relaford already has started games at second base, third and right field.
• Sweeney, who was the designated hitter on Saturday after taking a foul shot off his left leg on Friday night, is ready to return to first base. "I've watched my buddy Tony Richardson (of the Chiefs) across the street play with a lot worse, so I'm going to keep playing, no matter what," Sweeney said.
• The Royals have won nine of their last 12 games against Cleveland in KC.
The Royals have an open date today. They'll open a three-game series on Tuesday night in Detroit. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, 0-0, 3.18 ERA, will oppose Tigers rookie right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, 0-1, 13.50 ERA.