Royals beat Big Unit

KANSAS CITY — Joe Torre thinks the Yankees need some of the spirit Kansas City is playing with.

Energized by the arrival of a new manager, the resurgent Royals beat old nemesis Randy Johnson 3-1 on Wednesday night, handing the Yankees their fourth straight loss and prompting Torre to call an angry closed-door team meeting.

Cardinals outhit Rockies

DENVER — Mark Grudzie-lanek had four hits and two RBIs, and Matt Morris fought through six shaky innings to remain unbeaten in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-6 victory against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Some of the Mile High air had been taken out of Coors Field, with just 21 runs scored the previous four games at the hitter-friendly park.

Families on the run at annual 5K

Columbia’s Rod Stevens had just enough time after completing the 10th annual Boone Hospital Center WELLAWARE 5K Run/Walk Monday to catch his breath and get a drink of water before running in the Kids on Track race with his two children, ages 5 and 3.

Stevens’ 3-year-old son ran a quarter of the Kids on Track mile race before being placed on his dad’s shoulders to finish.

Healthy Tekotte key for Kewpies

Blake Tekotte had reason for high hopes entering his senior year.

As a junior quarterback, he set a school record for passing yards and led the Hickman Kewpies to a District 6 football title. In the spring he led the baseball team in batting average, home runs, RBIs and runs scored.

Columbia bike club rides easy

When Bob and Jane Smith moved from Omaha to Columbia four years ago, they brought their love for recreational bicycling with them.

The Smiths had been members of the Omaha Bicycling Club, but there was no group for recreational riders in the Columbia Bicycling Club, even though the club was divided into groups based on the style and speed of riding.

Royals top Yankees

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the New York Yankees for the second time in 10 tries, and run-starved Zack Greinke (1-6) went five innings for his first win in 15 starts.

It was also the Royals’ first win under new manager Buddy Bell.

Bell hiring resonates with K.C.

KANSAS CITY — Buddy Bell faces a daunting rebuilding project with a team that could be headed for record losses, and he’s promising no quick turnaround for the Kansas City Royals.

The team’s new manager started on Tuesday, with his first game against the New York Yankees. He was given a contract through 2007, even though returning the Royals (13-37) to respectability could take longer.

Rockies stop Cards, Mulder

DENVER — Jason Jennings became the winningest pitcher in Coors Field history on Tuesday night, allowing one run in seven innings to help the Colorado Rockies snap a four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dustan Mohr and Todd Greene hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth to give Jennings (3-6) the runs he needed to win his 25th game at Coors, passing Pedro Astacio. With the win, the Rockies snapped Mark Mulder’s seven-game winning streak.

Morris finding familiar success

ST. LOUIS — With every appearance, Matt Morris puts distance between an injury-plagued year and the shoulder injury that forced a late beginning to his season.

Morris, who won 15 games with a career-worst 4.72 ERA last year, began this year as the fifth starter. But with a 5-0 record and rotation-best 3.38 ERA heading into today’sstart at Colorado, he’s been closer to the staff ace who had 39 victories in 2001-02.

Summer can wait

Missouri fans used to seeing Keyon Dooling back in Columbia this time of year will have to be understanding.

The former Tiger guard can’t help it if he plays for one of the best teams in the NBA.

Crewmen salute American pastime

Machinist mate Trevor Johnson of the United States Navy is from Oklahoma City and based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a member of the USS Columbia submarine crew.

He knows little about the Mid-Missouri Mavericks and their history of futility, which is entering its third year.

Pujols powers Cards to victory

DENVER — Albert Pujols hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning Monday night to add to the Colorado bullpen’s misery and lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Rockies.

Pujols put a 1-2 pitch from Jay Witasick (0-2) barely over the left-field wall for a 4-3 lead. The home run halted Witasick’s 10-game streak without allowing an earned run and marked the major league-high 11th blown save of the season for Colorado’s beleaguered relievers.

Missouri earns spot in regional play

The Missouri baseball team will make its third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will face Arizona in regional play at 6 p.m. Friday in Fullerton, Calif.

It is the first time the Tigers made the tournament three straight years, and Missouri joins Texas as the only Big 12 Conference teams to make the tournament in each of the past three seasons. This will be Missouri’s 17th trip to the tournament.

Royals replace hitting coach

KANSAS CITY — Hitting coach Jeff Pentland was fired Monday by the struggling Kansas City Royals, who have lost six straight games and whose 13-37 record is the worst in the major leagues.

Kansas City’s team batting average of .246 is the fourth-worst in baseball, and the Royals’ on-base percentage of .309 is the second-worst in the majors.

Event a hit for softball players

For the players in the Diamond Council’s Memorial Day fast-pitch softball tournament, the weekend represented more than just the beginning of the summer; it marked the beginning of the season.

Twenty-six teams of enthusiastic teenage girls from all over the state gathered at Rainbow Fields in Cosmopolitan Park.

Too early for Metheny to focus on batting stats

He had heard the good news for the first time about an hour before Sunday night’s game.

But it didn’t faze Brent Metheny either way.

Kewps prevail again

Hickman first baseman Andrew Mueller stepped into the batter’s box Saturday and stared down Joplin’s relief pitcher Kyle Veazey. The Kewpies stood two runs away from ending the quarterfinal game 12-2 in the fifth and there was only one out left.

“I felt like I had to make up for the last game when I didn’t do so good,” Mueller said. “I kept up my confidence and decided I was going to get it done today.”

Tigers collapse against Cornhuskers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Three home runs couldn’t save the Tigers men’s baseball team Saturday night in its 17-9 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska advances to the championship game that will be played today at 1 p.m. at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City and broadcast on Fox Sports Network.

The loss followed a 5-4 loss to Nebraska in the early game Saturday and, for Missouri, marked the end of the Big 12 Conference season.

5K run/walk fundraiser targets youth athletes

The 10th annual Boone Hospital Center 5K Run/Walk will begin at 9 a.m. Memorial Day at Twin Lakes Recreation Area 2500 Chapel Hill Road as a fundraiser for the Columbia Youth Track Club’s Columbia Colts program.

Interested runners or walkers with any range of ability can register the day of the race at Twin Lakes from 7 to 8:30 a.m. for $20. All proceeds go to the Columbia Colts program.

Kewpies’ Cornell defends title

Runners and fans from around the state gathered at Dwight T. Reed Stadium at Lincoln University in Jefferson City on Friday and Saturday for the 2005 MSHSAA Track and Field Championships.

For most of the runners Friday was the day to win their heat and make it to the finals, but for Hickman senior Tim Cornell it was the last race of his high school career.