Kansas City (26-21) at Oakland (28-20)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun May 25, 2003
  • TV: KMCI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With a combined 13 victories, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito rank among the major league leaders in victories.

Teammate Tim Hudson should be the leader.

The 27-year-old right-hander looks to win his fourth straight decision as the Oakland Athletics conclude their three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Network Associates Coliseum.

Hudson won for just the second time since April 16 with Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, surrendering just one run and five hits over eight innings. While striking out five without issuing a walk, Hudson allowed just one runner to reach third base and retired the final seven he faced.

After opening the season 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA, Hudson is 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA over his last seven starts. Poor run support is the only thing that has kept him from winning more games despite Oakland’s outstanding start.

“I’m happy he finally got a win after he’s been pitching so well for so long without getting anything,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “It’s more than a solid outing. It’s outstanding.”

Hudson has been particularly dominant over his last four outings, pitching eight innings each time and yielding a combined five runs, while striking out 17 and walking just four.

The Athletics’ seven-game winning streak against the Royals was snapped with Saturday’s 3-1 loss.

“There’s no question we struggled with this club last year,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “But we’re going to beat a lot of teams we haven’t beaten before.”

Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa hit home runs, and Michael Tucker added an RBI single in the seventh for the Royals, who won for just the third time in 11 games.

STANDINGS (through May 23): Royals - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, AL Central. Athletics - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL West.

ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Darrell May (0-1, 4.32 ERA). May has been shuffled between the starting rotation and the bullpen, going 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA over seven starts. The left-hander didn’t figure in the decision in Kansas City’s 7-4 loss to Seattle on Tuesday, allowing three runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings, with six strikeouts and just two walks. May is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA in five career appearances, including two starts, against Oakland.

ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Hudson (4-1, 2.69 ERA). Hudson has limited opponents to a .213 average and a .276 on-base percentage this season, while striking out 42 and walking 21 over 73 2-3 innings. He is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six career starts against Kansas City.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Desi Relaford, .299 avg.; Sweeney, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Beltran, 8 HRs; Sweeney, 28 RBIs; Ibanez, 30 runs; Relaford and Beltran, 6 SBs. Athletics - Ramon Hernandez, .290 avg.; Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada, 9 HRs; Erubiel Durazo, 34 RBIs and 29 runs; Chavez, 4 SBs.


STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - OF Beltran is batting .467 with a double and three RBIs in 15 career at-bats against RHP Hudson. … INF Sweeney has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games. … 3B Randa has played 56 consecutive errorless games. Athletics - The A’s trio of RHP Hudson, LHP Mulder and LHP Zito are a combined 17-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 30 starts this season. … OF Eric Byrnes went 2-for-5 Saturday to stretch his hitting streak to 15 games. He is batting .418 (23-for-55) with six doubles, three triples, two homers and 15 RBIs during the run. … After going 17-10 April, the A’s are just 11-10 in May. Oakland has not had a winning record in both April and May since 1991.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 13-14 on the road; Athletics - 18-8 at home.

INJURIES: Royals - RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Albie Lopez (groin), 15-day DL. Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye (knee), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

D. May CIN vs. T. Hudson SF
10-8 Record 16-7
3.77 ERA 2.70
115 K 162
53 BB 61
1.19 WHIP 1.08