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Davis Powers O's Past Royals

Sidney Ponson can say, "I'm a poised young pitcher" in five languages, which is why Baltimore manager Ray Miller believes he's such a poised young pitcher.

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  • Baltimore's 21-year-old rookie right-hander went seven innings and struck out six -- both career highs -- in leading the Orioles past Kansas City 9-2 Sunday.

    It was his fourth straight winning decision and a good tipoff as to why the native of the Caribbean island of Aruba is the Orioles' most sought-after young player in trade talks.

    "Any organization we talked to in the last two weeks, that's the first name that came up," said Miller. "That is a very talented kid."

    Miller pointed out that Ponson (5-6) grew up speaking several languages.

    "I Really think it's the Aruba background," said Miller. "It's a tourist place. The young kids learn to speak 3-4 languages, so you're dealing with different people all the time. I think that puts you ahead of everybody in just life in general."

    Ponson, who speaks English, Spanish, Dutch, French and the native language of the island, does feel he can "communicate with almost anyone."

    "I feel like I can speak to anybody -- a Spanish-speaking person, an English user," he said. "I don't see any people speaking Dutch in here."

    "After a few months you expect him to be 29 years old," said Miller. "But he's jut 21. A very talented kid."

    Eric Davis had a two-run double that stretched his hitting streak to 20 games and Jeffrey Hammonds homered, had two doubles and drove in two runs as the Orioles avoided a three-game sweep. Rafael Palmeiro also had two doubles and two RBIs as every Baltimore starter hit safely and the Orioles improved their record to 18-5 since the All-Star break.

    Jose Offerman extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a bunt single that led to Miller's ejection. Miller was tossed by home plate umpire Rocky Roe for arguing that Offerman had stepped out of the batter's box.

    "Out of it? Three steps and a jump," Miller said. "The worst part is he drug his foot five feet in front of home plate. Rocky got me again."

    Said Offerman, "It's hard for me to say. I was concentrating on the ball. I just did it and ran to the base."

    Glendon Rusch (6-14) gave up seven runs and nine hits in four innings as he lost his fifth straight, dropping to 0-4 lifetime against Baltimore. He now has more losses than any other pitcher in the league.

    "It's not fun for me, and not fun for the team," he said."I have to keep battling my way through it and hope it can turn around for me."

    Davis, who had 30 RBIs in July as the Orioles started the second half 17-3 before losing their first two games in Kansas City, made it 7-0 in the fourth with his double. He has hit safely in 33 of his last 36 games.

    Hammonds' solo home run, his sixth, made it 1-0 in the first and his RBI double keyed a four-run third. Palmeiro followed with a two-run double and Cal Ripken had an RBI single.

    "I just had one of those days. You have good days and bad days," Hammonds said.

    Larry Sutton and Dean Palmer each drove in one run in the fifth for Kansas City. In the three-game series, Palmer had three home runs and nine RBIs.


  • Davis' 20-game streak ties for third best for Baltimore. Palmeiro holds the club record with 24 in 1994.
  • Offerman's streak ties for third best in Royals' history. George Brett's 30-game streak in 1980 is the franchise best.
  • The Royals last had a sweep of at least three games in 1996 when they won four straight against the Angels.
  • The Royals ended their longest homestand of the year 6-7 and still have the major leagues' worst home record at 21-37.
  • Scott Leius , called up by Kansas City from Triple-A on Friday, played third base in his first major league start since July 2, 1996 at Cleveland.
  • It was Hammonds' fourth career two-double game.
  • Ripken's double tied him with Robin Yount for 26th on the career extra-base hits list with 960.

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