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Navarro, White Sox Rip Royals


It felt like the good old days for Jamie Navarro.

After watching tapes of himself pitching in better times and making a few adjustments, the 31-year-old righthander threw a complete-game eight-hitter Thursday, leading the Chicago White Sox past Kansas City 7-1.

"My mechanics were perfect. I felt real comfortable, and threw strikes," said Navarro (5-6), who snapped a personal three-game losing streak as the White Sox won their 11th in a row in Kauffman Stadium.

"My fastball had pretty good life today, and (catcher Chad Kreuter) called a great game and I just hit the spots."

Pitching coach Nardi Contreras had been working with Navarro, who hadn't felt at the top of his game since the opening week of the season. Benefitting from four inning-ending double plays, he had just two walks and one strikeout in his first complete game since last July 20.

"I was having a long arm, throwing my arm (away from his body), and it gave a chance to show the hitter what I was doing," he said. "Today, I was throwing my short-arm, coming down windmill-style. We worked on it on the side for a couple of days, then worked on it in the bullpen. Today Nardi told me just throw the same way you were throwing in the bullpen. That's a big improvement."

Jeff Abbott hit a three-run home run and every White Sox had at least one hit as the Royals lost their four straight and fifth of their last six. Their major league-worst home record dropped to 8-23.

"I still love my job and I still love coming to work, but losing is tough," said Royals manager Tony Muser. "When you see similar mistakes day after day, it's tough because you have to repeat yourself, but you have to do it."

The White Sox have beaten the Royals 12 of their last 13 meetings and have won four straight series from their AL Central rivals.

Kreuter and Magglio Ordonez, who had a career-high four RBIs in Chicago's 10-5 victory the night before, had RBI singles in the second for the White Sox.

In the sixth, Wil Cordero hit his fourth double in two games and Ordonez walked ahead of Abbott's fifth home run, a 388-foot drive over the left-field fence on a 1-1 delivery from Glendon Rusch (3-8).

Rusch lost his fifth straight decision. going six innings and allowing 10 hits and five runs, with two walks and two strikeouts.

Albert Belle's sacrifice fly made it 6-0 in the seventh, then the Royals scored in the seventh on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly.

Ray Durham doubled home a run in the eighth.

Shortstop Mendy Lopez made his major league debut for Kansas City and got two hits, but the Royals said afterward that he would return to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Luis Rivera, who was acquired from the Houston organization. In a rarityall three of the Royals' outfielders had an assist.

Notes:

  • Belle's leadoff double in the second stretched his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Kreuter had an embarrassing lapse in the sixth after drawing a one-out walk. He kept running around second, apparently thinking there were two out, when Ray Durham hit a lazy fly ball to right field. He was easily doubled off first. "I've been around too long not to just check the outs. It was a bad example for the young guys out here," he said.
  • The Royals will hear on Friday what disciplinary action the American League is taking for the Tuesday night brawl with Anaheim.
  • The two straight wins matches Chicago's season high.
  • It was the second time this year the White Sox turned four double plays.
  • Frank Thomas snapped an 0-for-13 streak with a single in the third.

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

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