Dave Stieb made only two mistakes against the Kansas City Royals last night in Toronto. The problem was, Charlie Leibrandt didn't make any.
Leibrandt pitched a five-hitter in outdueling Stieb and leading the Royals to a 2-0 success. The Royals' runs came on homers by Steve Balboni -- fresh off American League player-of-the-week laurels -- and Darryl Motley, fresh from beating Detroit a day earlier with a 13th-inning hit.
"In my eyes he pitched a one-hitter," said Kansas City Manager Dick Howser after watching Leibrandt stop the Blue Jays. "Five base hits and four of them off players' gloves. That's the closest you're going to see to a no-hitter. That's no-hit stuff."
Leibrandt wasn't willing to quibble over numbers.
"Whether it's a five-hitter or a one-hitter it's a shutout," said the 28-year-old left-hander. "That's the most important thing."
Leibrandt's performance overshadowed a solid outing by Stieb. Stieb yielded seven hits through nine innings.
"You make two mistakes and you lose a ball game," said Stieb (1-2). "Those things happen." Balboni connected on a 1-2 pitch in the fourth, Motley on an 0-2 delivery in the eighth.