Mulder takes no-hitter into seventh inning


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Before taking the mound in the eighth
inning, Mark Mulder told catcher Damian Miller he had to throw six
pitches to stay under 100 and guarantee himself a shot at finishing
the game.

Mulder got out of the inning in five.

He carried a no-hitter into the seventh and pitched his third
straight complete game, and Bobby Crosby backed him with a pair of
homers Friday night in the Oakland Athletics' 7-0 win over the
Kansas City Royals.

Mulder pitched a three-hitter for his eighth career shutout, his
first since blanking the Chicago White Sox on May 6 last year.

Mulder has thrown three straight complete games for the third
time in his career.

"I like throwing complete games," he said. "I want to finish
what I started."

Mike Sweeney singled through the hole at shortstop leading off
the seventh for Kansas City's first hit, and Wilton Guerrero
followed with another single. Joe Randa then hit into a double play
and Ken Harvey struck out.

At 13-26, the Royals are off to the worst start in club history
after 39 games.

Mulder worked in his typical quick fashion, making only 20
pitches through the first two innings. He retired the first seven
batters and 15 out of 17 to start the game, hitting Kelly Stinnett
with a pitch in the third and then plunking reigning AL Rookie of
the Year Angel Berroa two batters later. Mulder retired the next
seven before hitting Mendy Lopez with a pitch leading off the

"Obviously, I feel strong going into each start," Mulder said.

The left-hander struck out six and walked none, improving to 8-0
with a 1.72 ERA in nine starts against Kansas City. He finished
with 108 pitches.

"There's no question he was unbelievable today," said Royals
manager Tony Pena, whose team lost 3-1 to Mulder last weekend.
"Not only did he have really good movement on his fastball, but he
also has a great slider, making it tough for hitters."

Oakland has won three straight and nine of its last 11 to move a
season-high five games over .500.

The A's beat the Royals for the eighth straight time, their
longest streak against Kansas City. Oakland swept the Royals in
Kansas City last weekend and looked good against them again,
pounding 12 hits and jumping out to an early lead.

Crosby and Marco Scutaro homered in back-to-back at-bats in the

Crosby connected for a two-run homer -- the sixth of the season
for the rookie shortstop -- on a 1-0 pitch from Brian Anderson (1-6)
with two outs, sending the ball into the left-field seats. Scutaro
followed with his first homer of the year, a solo shot to center on

Crosby homered again in the fifth, also to left, for his seventh
homer that gave him his first career multihomer game. They were his
first two home runs in Oakland this year.

"The road trip is when I really started feeling good," Crosby
said. "It seems this whole year I haven't performed too well at
home, so it's nice to have a good game here. I had five home runs
coming into today and none were here. So after I hit the first one,
the weight was off."

Eric Byrnes, batting leadoff for the third straight day, doubled
twice, singled and scored a run, and Scutaro finished 3-for-4 with
two runs scored.

Anderson lasted just three innings in his career-worst sixth
straight loss. He has a 7.64 ERA during the losing streak.

The A's took a 2-0 lead in the first on consecutive RBI singles
by Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye, then loaded the bases when
Anderson walked Scott Hatteberg.

But Eric Karros struck out looking and Damian Miller hit into a
double play that ended the threat.

Royals right fielder Juan Gonzalez hurt his back running out a
ground ball in the fourth and was listed as day to day.

Game notes
The Royals purchased the contract of OF Brandon Berger from
Double-A Wichita and designated OF Adrian Brown for assignment. ...
The A's hit back-to-back homers for the second time this season.
Scott Hatteberg and Erubiel Durazo did it April 24 vs. Anaheim. ...
Oakland's three-game winning streak was its third, matching its
longest this season. ... Mulder's three hit batters tied an Oakland
record. Mulder became the fifth pitcher to do it and the first
since Tim Hudson on April 21 this year at Seattle. ... Anderson
hasn't won since beating the Indians 15-5 in Cleveland on April 20.