Athletics 10, Royals 0

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Four runs usually is enough for Tim Hudson.

Given a big early lead Tuesday, Hudson allowed one hit in seven innings to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Kansas City Royals 10-0.

In 77 career starts, Hudson is 58-2 when Oakland scores four or more runs.

“I’ve never had a problem pitching with a big lead,” said Hudson, who gave Oakland its second straight strong pitching performance. “It’s nice to be able to go out there and pitch with a six-spot on the scoreboard.”

Hudson (8-4) struck out eight and walked one. Erubiel Durazo hit two homers and drove in three runs for Oakland, which handed Kansas City only its second shutout loss this year.

“If you try to hit home runs, it’s not going to happen,” Durazo said. “You just have to take a good approach and get a good pitch. Then the home runs are going to come.”

Eric Chavez homered and drove in three runs for the Athletics, and Adam Piatt and Ramon Hernandez hit solo homers. The A’s had 13 hits, including 10 for extra bases.

Oakland has won two straight following a four-game losing streak and took the season series from the Royals 6-3. On Monday, Rich Harden pitched seven sharp innings in his major league debut.

On Tuesday, Hudson and John Halama combined on a three-hitter. Only three batters reached against Hudson, who lowered his ERA from 2.82 to 2.69. His 61st win since the start of the 2000 season tied him with teammate Mark Mulder for the AL lead in that category.

Michael Tucker singled in the second, Aaron Guiel walked in the sixth and Desi Relaford was hit by a pitch in the sixth.

“I think that’s the happiest I’ve ever been with a walk,” Guiel said. “He was throwing good pitches, but they weren’t pitches you could hit.”

Oakland’s early lead helped Hudson by making the Royals press at the plate, according to Guiel.

“When you get down like that, you have to get on base,” he said. “You need guys to go up there and be patient, and we had guys up there hacking early in the count.”

In Hudson’s previous outing at Kansas City, he allowed nine runs—six earned—and 10 hits in an 11-6 loss, lasting 3 2-3 innings.

Kansas City, the AL Central leader, is 3-3 since the All-Star break. Its division lead was cut to five games.

Kris Wilson (5-1) lost for the first time in 34 appearances since Sept. 7, 2001, allowing six runs—five earned—and six hits in five innings.

“His ball was flat today,” Chavez said. “It wasn’t really so much what we were doing, except that we were ready to hit it.”

Wilson hit two batters in the first—no warnings were issued by plate umpire Andy Fletcher—and Durazo hit a two-run homer.

Billy McMillon, who scored on Durazo’s homer after being hit in the helmet by a Wilson pitch, was replaced by Piatt after the top of the first.

“I could have gone out and played, but I got vetoed,” said McMillon, who briefly complained of wobbly knees after being hit. “Anything that happened wasn’t the result of being hit. It’s like when you’re almost in a car accident—you just need a little time.”

Piatt and Durazo hit consecutive homers in the third for a 4-0 lead, and the Athletics made it 6-0 in the fourth on Hernandez’s leadoff homer and Chris Singleton’s RBI grounder.

“You give them two in the first, two in the third and two in the fourth, it’s tough to ask your team to come back,” Wilson said. “But I’m not going to hang my head. I never do.”

Reliever Brad Voyles gave up three runs in the seventh on Chavez’s two-rundouble and Hernandez’s RBI single. Chavez homered off Voyles in the ninth.

Notes

3B umpire Derryl Cousins left in the third with a torn calf muscle. It was not clear when he got hurt. … The A’s agreed to a contract with their first-round draft pick, RHP Brad Sullivan of the University of Houston. … Kansas City’s Carlos Beltran went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at eight games. … Royals manager Tony Pena said 3B Joe Randa could be activated Wednesday from the disabled list. Randa has been on the DL since July 8 with astrained oblique muscle.

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