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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

Royals get a scare in loss to Yanks

Royals get a scare in loss to Yanks

NEW YORK -- The Kansas City Royals thought they'd absorbed a hard hit when David Justice launched a grand slam.

Later, they barely avoided a real problem.

All-Star rightfielder Jermaine Dye and second baseman Carlos Febles left after a frightening collision Wednesday night in the Royals' 8-2 loss to the Yankees.

"People say we're lucky to be able to walk after what happened," Febles said.

Dye wound up with a mild concussion and a banged-up nose while Febles bruised his right knee. Royals manager Tony Muser said both "probably" could play today against the Yankees.

The trouble came in the sixth inning when Bernie Williams hit a soft fly down the rightfield line. Dye, Febles and first baseman Dave McCarty chased it at full speed.

As the ball fell, McCarty veered off. Dye and Febles kept going.

"I didn't call for it and I don't know if he did. With the fans yelling, you can't hear," Dye said. "When you get two bodies going as fast as we were going, you hope it doesn't come down to a collision. But most of the time, it does."

As Dye got ready to make an off-balance, basket catch, Febles ran right over him.

Febles' head and chest hit Dye in the head, and both players went flying. Dye held on to the ball for the second out, and handed it to McCarty before rolling back onto the ground.

"I don't know how I caught it. I just heard McCarty saying, 'Give me the ball,' " Dye said.

Muser and head trainer Nick Swartz bolted from the dugout, and several Yankees came out of the dugout to watch. Febles and Dye were down for a couple minutes before walking off.

"I was dazed. I knew I hit something and I hit the ground," Dye said.

Febles said, "I just felt myself down," and was dizzy for a moment.

"Boy, it was scary," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Andy Pettitte pitched the unbeaten Yankees to their second straight win. New York leftfielder Chuck Knoblauch picked up his first assist and first error at his new position.

Knoblauch fielded a carom in short leftfield and threw out Carlos Beltran as he tried to stretch a single in the fourth. In the eighth, Knoblauch misplayed Beltran's single.

"I was trying to hurry to get the ball back into the infield," Knoblauch said of the error.

RANGERS 7, ANGELS 3: Andres Galarraga hit his first AL home run and Darren Oliver pitched five shutout innings for host Texas.

Oliver, who was 2-9 last season and lost his last six decisions, won for the first time since May 31 at Detroit.

Galarraga's three-run homer off loser Pat Rapp in the bottom of the fifth put the Rangers ahead 6-0. In 15 NL seasons before joining the Rangers as a free agent, Galarraga had 360 homers.

INDIANS 8, WHITE SOX 4: Chuck Finley pitched into the seventh inning, and Russell Branyan homered for host Cleveland.

Finley was the AL's best pitcher in September, leading the league with six wins and twice winning on three days' rest. With six months off this time, the left-hander looked sharp in his first outing this season.

Roberto Alomar had three hits and Branyan connected for his second homer, a two-run shot into Chicago's bullpen in the fifth that chased Cal Eldred and put the Indians up 8-3.

Eldred, pitching with a 5-inch screw surgically implanted in his elbow, had an eight-game winning streak stopped and lost for the first time in 14 decisions.

MARINERS 10, ATHLETICS 2: Aaron Sele pitched six strong innings and host Seattle had a seven-run sixth inning to win two of three from the defending West champions. Edgar Martinez went 3-for-4, including a two-run single. He was 8-for-10 in the series with four walks and three RBI.

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