Series: Game 4 of 4

Oakland won 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, July 4
Kansas City 2Final
Oakland 3
Game 2: Friday, July 5
Kansas City 3Final
Oakland 4
Game 3: Saturday, July 6
Kansas City 4Final
in 10
Oakland 3
Game 4: Sunday, July 7
Kansas City 2Final
Oakland 3

Royals 2

(33-52, 14-33 away)

Athletics 3

(50-38, 29-19 home)

    4:05 PM ET, July 7, 2002 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000000200 2 - -
    OAK 00011100 - 3 - -

    W: B. Zito (11-3)

    L: P. Byrd (11-6)

    S: B. Koch (20)

    Zito first A's pitcher with 11 wins at break since '90

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Barry Zito turned five more minutes of exercise into yet another victory before the All-Star break.

    "I rode the bike inside a little extra to tire myself out. I thought it would help me,'' Zito said after allowing two runs in 7 2-3 innings and earning his 11th win of the season Sunday in the Oakland Athletics' 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

    Barry Zito

    Barry Zito isn't cool just because he wears No. 75: he also has a mean curveball and led the AL with 23 wins.

    Zito (11-3) scattered nine hits to become the first A's pitcher with 11 wins at the All-Star break since Dave Stewart (11) and Bob Welch (13) did it in 1990. Zito, along with shortstop Miguel Tejada, will be in the All-Star game for the first time.

    "I want to pitch in the All-Star Game,'' Zito said. "I have to consider what effect it will have on my next start, but it does fall when I would normally throw on the side.''

    Eric Byrnes homered and drove in two runs as Oakland won its fourth in six games. The A's are 4-3 in their last seven, all one-run games.

    "To string together two starts in a row, I was joking it was a small miracle,'' Byrnes said. "It's just nice to see Art (manager Art Howe) has the confidence in me.''

    Tejada went 0-for-4 to snap an 11-game hitting streak.

    The A's (50-38) have their best record at the All-Star break since starting 51-36 in 1992.

    Zito, who struck out nine and walked one, tied an Oakland record with his 15th consecutive home victory, matching Kenny Rogers. He hasn't lost a regular-season game in Oakland since last June 2 -- 24 starts ago.

    Billy Koch pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 24 opportunities.

    Neifi Perez had three hits for the Royals, who lost for the fifth time in seven games.

    Royals starter Paul Byrd (11-6) had his three-game winning streak snapped after lasting 5 2-3 innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He was attempting to become the first Royals pitcher to win 12 games before the All-Star break since David Cone did it in 1994.

    "I can't explain today,'' Byrd said. "It played like Colorado with flares falling and groundballs not coming. It was pretty strange.''

    The A's got some help in taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth. With two outs, Eric Chavez hit a towering fly near the fence that Kansas City right fielder Brandon Berger lost in the sun, and it fell for a triple. John Mabry, who had three hits, followed with a single.

    "It was a tough ball to pick up,'' Berger said. "I couldn't pick it up off the bat. I saw it once, then lost it. You can't do that in a close game.''

    Byrnes led off the fifth with his second home run, and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

    "It's a whole lot more fun when you get a chance to play,'' Byrnes said. "Whatever opportunities I can get is an advantage for me.''

    With two outs in the seventh, Perez singled and Berger followed with his fourth home run. Zito retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters before Perez's single. He had not allowed an earned run to the Royals in 19 previous innings.

    Game notes

    Mike Sweeney was back in the Royals lineup after missing three games with a cut finger, resulting from being hit by a pitch from Seattle's Joel Piniero on Wednesday. ... A's RHP Mike Fyhrie was optioned to Sacramento of the PCL to make room for LHP Ted Lilly, acquired Friday as part of a three-team trade with Detroit and the New York Yankees. ... Byrd threw 30 pitches in the first two innings, 27 for strikes. ... Howe announced that RHP Aaron Harang would move to the bullpen as Lilly joined the starting rotation. ... A's OF Jermaine Dye was given the day off. ... Royals' starters have a 2.09 ERA (8 runs in 38 2-3 innings) over the past six games. ... Kansas City OF Carlos Beltran went 0-for-4, stretching his slump to 2-for-24.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press