An emotionally spent Buddy Bell returned to his duties as manager of the Royals yesterday after attending burial services at Arlington National Cemetery for his nephew, who was a Marine.

Lance Cpl. Tim Bell Jr. was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb earlier this month.

The Kansas City manager had never been to Arlington before.

"It was unbelievable," Bell said. "When you drive in there, there are just grave after grave after grave. After being there, I'm kind of ashamed that I was never there before to pay tribute to all the people who have lost their lives."

Bell got back to Seattle from Tuesday's services at Arlington about 30 minutes after his team's game with the Mariners started, but he didn't go to Safeco Field.

"I wasn't prepared to do anything," he said.

The Royals lost the first two games at Seattle to extend their club-record losing streak to 17 games; they lost their 18th straight yesterday.

"We've just kind of got to regroup here and get after this and move forward," Bell said. "We've had a few shots."

The Royals will open a series tonight in Oakland before hosting a three-game set against Boston on Tuesday.

* UNUSUAL SPOT: Rangers 2B Alfonso Soriano batted fourth for the first time in 759 career games. The only other time he appeared on a lineup card in the No. 4 hole was when he pinch-ran for the Yankees in 1999 against Tampa Bay. Soriano's hitting streak was stopped at 15.

* HIT MAN: Tampa Bay's Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch four times in the team's series against New York. He scored the Devil Rays' second run after being plunked by Al Leiter.

-- From News Services

"After being there, I'm kind of ashamed that I was never there before to pay tribute to all the people who have lost their lives," Royals Manager Buddy Bell says of Arlington National Cemetery.