Today in Royals History: April 5

Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Runelvys Hernandez picks up his second win of the season as the Royals make baseball history.

The 2002 season was not a good one for the Royals. Tony Muser lasted only 23 games before he was mercifully guillotined and was eventually replaced with Tony Pena. That team sputtered throughout the year and finished with a record of 62-100, the first time in franchise history the team hit triple digits in the loss column.

What does that have to do with April 5, 2003?

Well, on this date 10 years ago, the Royals defeated the Cleveland Indians by a score of 3 to 1 at Kauffman Stadium. It was their fifth win of the season in five games. And it marked the first time in baseball history a team that lost 100 or more games the previous year, opened the season with a five game winning streak.

The star of this game was Runelvys Hernandez who outdueled CC Sabathia. Hernandez allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out three in seven innings of work. The two hits were back to back doubles in the fifth by John McDonald and Milton Bradley which led to the Indians only run.

The Royals scored in the first on a Michael Tucker leadoff double, followed by a Desi Relaford bunt to move him to third. Do you remember the Twitter explosion from that day? A bunt with no one out in the first inning? Who does that? Tucker scored on a Mike Sweeney sac fly. Serious productive outs. Serious.

When Indians tied the score with their doubles, the Royals quickly retook the lead on a Tucker triple and a throwing error on shortstop Omar Vizquel allowed the Royals center fielder to score. They added an insurance run for closer Mike MacDougal in the eighth with a Ken Harvey walk, a Brandon Berger single and an Angel Berroa groundout. Serious productive outs. Serious.

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS Pit Str WPA aLI WPA+ WPA- RE24 PO A
Michael Tucker CF-RF 4 2 2 0 1 0 .190 .625 22 11 0.136 0.99 0.197 -0.061 0.7 1 0 3B,2B
Desi Relaford 3B 3 0 2 0 0 0 .222 .639 8 7 -0.029 1.14 0.061 -0.090 -0.3 0 2 SB,SH,GDP
Mike Sweeney DH 2 0 0 1 1 1 .357 1.188 18 7 -0.045 1.31 0.032 -0.077 -0.6 SF,IW
Raul Ibanez LF 3 0 1 0 0 0 .421 1.033 15 8 -0.055 0.89 0.011 -0.066 -0.7 1 0 HBP
Ken Harvey 1B 3 1 0 0 1 0 .333 .929 15 6 -0.078 0.92 0.016 -0.094 -0.8 11 2
Brandon Berger RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 .200 .629 13 8 0.042 0.73 0.076 -0.034 0.7 2 0
Rontrez Johnson PR-CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 0.000 0.00 0.000 0.000 0.0 0 0
Angel Berroa SS 4 0 0 1 0 1 .211 .513 17 13 -0.088 0.98 0.022 -0.110 -1.3 4 4 GDP
Brent Mayne C 4 0 3 0 0 0 .600 1.363 20 12 0.030 0.44 0.041 -0.011 0.5 7 0
Carlos Febles 2B 4 0 3 0 0 0 .333 .842 8 8 -0.014 0.86 0.037 -0.050 0.2 0 3 2B
Runelvys Hernandez P 1 1
Jason Grimsley P 0 1
Mike MacDougal P 0 1
Team Totals 30 3 12 2 4 2 .400 1.006 136 80 -0.101 0.93 0.493 -0.593 -1.7 27 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2013.

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Runelvys Hernandez, W (2-0) 7 2 1 1 1 3 0 0.69 24 85 50 28 9 13 12 7 2 0 71 0.387 1.04 3.1
Jason Grimsley, H (3) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 3 15 10 6 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.130 1.62 0.6
Mike MacDougal, S (3) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 3 14 10 6 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.086 1.07 0.6
Team Totals 9 2 1 1 1 7 0 1.00 30 114 70 40 12 18 14 7 2 0 71 0 0 0.603 0.93 4.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2013.

It was Hernandez's second best Game Score of '03, just behind his Opening Day mark of 72.

The Royals would push their winning streak to nine games. The magic of 2003.

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