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Published: Thursday, 9/10/2009

Royal pain Lowly K.C. upends Tigers again

ASSOCIATED PRESS

KANSAS CITY - Robinson Tejeda tossed six shutout innings to outpitch Justin Verlander, Billy Butler hit three doubles and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 5-1 last night for their first three-game winning streak since July.

Butler picked up his club-record fourth three-double game of the season and fifth consecutive multihit game. The first baseman's emergence has been one of the few bright spots in Kansas City's otherwise dismal season.

Tejeda (2-1) matched his career high with eight strikeouts and allowed just three hits. The right-hander, who was in the bullpen all year until making an emergency start last week, has struck out 25 during a 19-inning scoreless streak.

RODNEY/SUSPENSION: Tigers closer Fernando Rodney was suspended Tuesday for three games and fined for throwing a ball toward the stands following a game last week. He is appealing the ruling and pitched last night.

The penalty, announced by baseball vice president for discipline Bob Watson, comes after Rodney threw a ball toward the seats and into the press box at

Tropicana Field following Detroit's 4-3 win at Tampa Bay on Friday night. No one was hit by the ball and Rodney said afterward that he was throwing it to the fans.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Rodney clearly didn't have any intent to injure anyone and will appeal the suspension.

"I cannot condone what Fernando did. That was inappropriate - you're not supposed to throw the ball into the stands like that and the players know that," he said. "Fortunately, no one got hit, but beyond that it's not like he was upset at anyone other than himself. He wasn't throwing it anyone, he wasn't throwing it in the press box on purpose. He just threw the ball."

Rodney's heave came after he allowed two runs in the ninth inning before closing out his 32nd save. Once it was over, he grabbed the game ball from teammate Miguel Cabrera and hurled it over the screen into the press box, where it crashed off the front row into the back.

Rodney said Tuesday he wasn't trying to hit anyone and thought the suspension was too severe.

"That's surprising. I think if I hit [intentionally] somebody with the ball, then I need to pay the penalty," Rodney said. "I know it's not a good idea to throw the ball into the stands, but it's an emotional time. It's an emotional thing to do."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't see Rodney throw the ball into the stands, but Dombrowski did and called him into the manager's office after the game to tell him his behavior was inappropriate. Dombrowski said Rodney apologized and said he was mad at himself and had let his emotions got the best of him.

Dombrowski also said the length of the suspension was due, in part, to a letter sent to Major League Baseball by the president of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Dombrowski said he was told that the letter from Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, which he has a copy of, was a "strong" factor in MLB's decision to suspend Rodney.

"What bothers me - and, again, I don't condone what happened - was that a lot of it was driven by the letter," Dombrowski said. "He didn't think that Rodney was at all sorry or remorseful. I know Fernando and I know he was remorseful when I spoke to him. He was very, very sorry and it's a shame. He wrote the letter and I wish he would have spoken to me beforehand.

"I do know that without the letter being written, the suspension wouldn't been strong and I don't know that there would be a suspension."

Topkin said he was only following procedure as president of the BBWAA chapter.

"The e-mail was sent to inform MLB media relations officials of what occurred, Rodney throwing the ball into the press box and what he said afterward, as is common practice for a BBWAA chapter chairman when something unusual happens involving the media," Topkin said. "I did not advocate any discipline. This was a decision by MLB officials, and obviously they felt this was a serious matter."

CHICAGO - Jake Peavy threw a bullpen session but is still unsure if he will make a start for the Chicago White Sox this season.

"I have no idea what the plans are," he said. "I did what I was asked to do today and I was excited to do that. Who knows what the future holds, I wish I can tell you."

Peavy was acquired from San Diego at the July 31 trade deadline. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a strained tendon in his right ankle and was struck on his pitching elbow during a rehab game on Aug. 24.

The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner threw between 50 and 60 pitches during his intense bullpen session before Chicago hosted the Oakland Athletics.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was pleased with the session but didn't go as far as setting a date when Peavy will throw in a game.

"There is no date, I'm not going to give you one, he's not going to give you one. All I know is that it went pretty well and we will continue to map out a plan," Cooper said. "He is feeling better. Is he in top form, top shape? No. We got him a little gassed out there today, we wanted to give him a nice workout and we got that done and we will see what happens."

A big indication of Peavy's next step will be based on how he feels on Thursday.

"I think so. From what I'm gathering," Peavy said. "I'm on a daily basis with Cooper. I was told a few a days I was going to do this and I'm excited to do this. I told Coop, I feel like I'm ready to go. When these guys think I'm ready to go, obviously they are the ones watching me and making the decisions. I think tomorrow coming in, get some treatment see how I feel and I hope we make a decision one way or the other."

Peavy's last rehab start was with Triple-A Charlotte on Aug. 29, when he left after 3 1-3 innings because of elbow tightness.

AP-CS-09-09-09 2025EDT



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