Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 5/14)

Game 1: Friday, May 14
Kansas City2
Game 2: Saturday, May 15
Kansas City1
Game 3: Sunday, May 16
Kansas City2

Athletics 6

(18-17, 11-9 away)

Royals 2

(11-22, 8-8 home)

    8:10 PM ET, May 14, 2004

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 401001000 6 11 0
    KC 010100000 2 6 1

    W: T. Hudson (4-1)

    L: J. Gobble (1-2)

    Hudson's winning percentage second all-time

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Someday, Tim Hudson might care where he stands on the career winning percentage list. At 28, he figures that career is a long way from over.

    "If I was at the tail end of my career, maybe," said Hudson, who moved into second place Friday night with the Oakland Athletics' 6-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. "But I'm hoping that I have a lot of years left, and a lot can happen between now and when I decide to end my career."

    Hudson (4-1), who went eight innings, improved to 84-34 with a .712 winning percentage, second only to Spud Chandler (.717) among pitchers with 50 or more wins. Boston's Pedro Martinez is at .711.

    Eric Karros and Scott Hatteberg each homered and drove in two runs for the Athletics (18-17), who have won six of their last eight to climb back over .500.

    Hudson gave up five hits, struck out two and walked two.

    "He's such a bulldog on the mound," said Kansas City's Joe Randa, who went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. "The later he gets in the game with a lead, the tougher he gets. He's one of those guys you've got to get early."

    Jim Mecir finished with a one-hit ninth. Oakland's bullpen has not allowed a run over 11 innings in the first four games of its trip.

    "I was fine with pitching eight innings, giving us a chance to win," said Hudson, who went nine innings but didn't get a decision in his last previous start. "I'm not a big complete-game guy. We've got some guys down in the pen who need some work."

    Karros, who entered with a .140 average, hit a two-run homer off Jimmy Gobble (1-2) to cap a four-run first, the A's biggest opening inning this year. Hatteberg's solo shot off Gobble made it 6-2 in the sixth.

    Gobble gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. After opening the season with a 2.61 ERA in his first five appearances, he has a 10.12 ERA in his last two starts -- both losses.

    "Mechanically, I wasn't as solid as I should have been," Gobble said. "I left some balls up, and they made me pay for it."

    Oakland went ahead when Eric Byrnes and Bobby Kielty opened with consecutive doubles, Jermaine Dye had an RBI single and Karros homered off the left-field foul pole.

    "I just haven't had a lot of luck up to this point," Karros said. "I feel like I've been swinging the bat well when I've had opportunities ... maybe things will turn for me now."

    Karros almost added a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but left fielder Matt Stairs threw out Dye out at the plate, one of three double plays by the Royals.

    Ken Harvey got an RBI on a fielder's choice in the second, but Hatteberg's RBI single made it 5-1 in the third.

    The Royals had just six singles, three by Stairs. It was only the second time this season they failed to get an extra-base hit.

    Game notes

    The 12 pitchers on Kansas City's staff have a combined 1-9 record against Oakland. ... Hudson evened his career record against the Royals to 3-3. Kansas City has turned seven double plays in its last two games. ... Karros' homer came on his first career at-bat against Gobble. ... Oakland manager Ken Macha gave OF Mark Kotsay (tendinitis) the night off because of rain that fell earlier Friday. Macha was worried that Kotsay would aggravate his sore right knee on the wet field. ... The Athletics have homered in 15 of their last 16 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press