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Hudson's winning percentage second all-time

5/15/2004

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.