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Lima, Astros Shutout Royals

Jose Lima is at his best when he's tired.

Lima pitched a five-hitter for his first career shutout and Craig Biggio hit a two-run homer Saturday night, leading the Houston Astros to a 6-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

"That's something we've learned with him," Astros manager Larry Dierker said. "He gets so pumped up coming out of the bullpen (to start the game), he needs to get a little calmed down."

Lima (7-2) walked one, struck out seven and got his first career complete game in his 134th start. The right-hander, who had never gone beyond 7 1-3 innings, didn't allow a runner to reach third until the fifth inning when Jermaine Dye reached on an infield hit and went to third on Lima's wild pickoff off throw to first.

But Lima struck out Sal Fasano and got Luis Rivera on a groundout to end the threat. Jeff King hit a leadoff double in the seventh before Lima struck out the next two and retired pinch-hitter Larry Sutton on a groundout.

"Yeah, when I get a little tired it makes me concentrate more, because I know what I have to do," Lima said. "When I let that guy hit (King) in the seventh, it made me concentrate harder."

Lima also struck out Dean Palmer for the final out in the ninth inning.

"We talked about it early in the season that we needed a few guys to come through on the pitching staff," Biggio said. "Lima and Sean Bergman have really given us that. He's having to go from being a reliever to a starter and you never know how that's going to do. But he's really come through."

Lima recalled pitching poorly in spring training against the Royals.

"This was a payback because I was so embarrassed giving up nine runs in three innings against them in the spring," Lima said.

Jose Rosado (1-5) was charged with six runs five earned and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. His only victory this season came in his last start, a complete-game win over Anaheim on May 27.

Rosado walked Lima with one out in the third and Biggio followed by hitting his eighth homer.

"Even though it was a home run, that was a good pitch (to Biggio)," Rosado said. "It was a fast ball down and in. It's not like I hung a curve ball. What upset me was walking Lima before that. That wasn't very smart."

Royals manager Tony Muser saw improvement in Rosado, but the mistakes cost them the game.

"I think Rosie had really good stuff, but the base on balls killed him, especially the one to Lima," Muser said. "Two careless walks and defensive lapses really got him."

Biggio's two-out RBI single in the fifth made it 3-0, and Carl Everett highlighted a three-run Houston sixth with a two-run single.

"We didn't hit, we didn't catch and we didn't throw strikes when we neded to," Muser said. "Lima pitched a heck of a game and Biggio got the big hit and that was the ball game."

Notes: The loss snapped a four-game road winning streak for the Royals, who are 8-23 at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors. ... Jeff Montgomery has a string of nine consecutive saves for the Royals.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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