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2 Astros Ejected in First Inning

July 9, 2001

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Astros starter Scott Elarton and manager Larry Dierker were ejected in the first inning of Houston’s 14-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

That inning included three hit batters and another player taken to the hospital _ Royals second baseman Donnie Sadler, who was woozy after being upended by a sliding runner.

The game opened with Royals pitcher Chad Durbin hitting Craig Biggio and Julio Lugo. Plate umpire Jeff Nelson issued a warning to both dugouts after Lugo was hit.

Jeff Bagwell’s slide into second forced Sadler to leave the game with blurred vision and dizziness. Sadler was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for observation. Rey Sanchez, the Royals’ regular shortstop who was supposed to get the day off, replaced Sadler in the lineup, but he, too, went to the hospital after fouling a pitch off his left foot in the fifth inning.

Dave McCarty took Sanchez’s spot in the batting order when he left, and Royals manager Tony Muser moved around several players in the field.

When Elarton hit Royals leadoff hitter Sanchez with his fifth pitch in the bottom of the inning, Nelson ejected Elarton and Dierker.

Left-hander Ron Villone, who had made six starts this season, replaced Elarton and worked five innings. Vallone (2-3) allowed one run on three hits to pick up his first victory for the Astros since being acquired in a June 27 trade with Colorado.

Both Biggio, who was hit later in the game again and has been hit by a major league-leading 19 pitches this season, and Lugo scored in the first inning, which lasted 36 minutes.

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