A's 13-game streak their longest since '88

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Cory Lidle managed to regroup in time
after his scoreless inning streak was snapped after 32 innings
because of an unearned run.

David Justice's error helped end Lidle's streak, but the Oakland
Athletics still managed to win their 13th straight game, beating
the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Monday night.

"I lost my composure a little bit and I started overthrowing,''
Lidle said. "I didn't handle it very well.''

Ramon Hernandez had three hits and drove in three runs as the
A's extended the longest streak in the majors this season. The
winning streak is their longest since they set an Oakland record
with a 14-game string in 1988.

Hernandez had a two-run single in the Oakland's four-run sixth.
Jermaine Dye, who played with the Royals from 1997-2001 before
being dealt to Oakland last July, and Ray Durham each added RBI
singles. Dye, who had three hits, doubled home Miguel Tejada in the
ninth for the final run.

The second inning unearned run off Lidle (8-9) was the first he
had allowed since the sixth inning on July 31 at Cleveland.

"You never know how it is going to effect a pitcher when he has
a streak going and it ends,'' A's manager Art Howe said. "I was a
little concerned. It was important to get out of that inning with
just one run scoring.''

Michael Tucker opened the Kansas City second with a fly to left
that glanced off Justice's glove for a two-base error. Tucker
advanced to third on Brent Mayne's groundout, but was out in a
rundown when he tried to score on Neifi Perez's grounder to first
baseman Scott Hatteberg.

Perez went to second during the rundown and scored on Luis
Ordaz's single. Lidle's scoreless inning streak is the second
longest for a starter in Oakland history, surpassed only by Mike
Torrez's 37 shutout innings in 1976.

"Ordaz hit a curveball,'' Lidle said. "We didn't have any
information on him. We didn't have any film.''

Lidle, who has thrown a pair of one-hitters this season, limited
the Royals to three singles over seven innings. He did not allow a
hit after Raul Ibanez's one-out single in the third. Lidle is 5-0
in August and has not allowed an earned run in 38 innings.

"This is one of the best starting pitching groups we're going
to see the whole year,'' Royals manager Tony Pena said. "They know
how to pitch. Lidle threw the ball well. Tomorrow we face (Mark)
Mulder and the next day (Barry) Zito.''

The A's tied the score in the fifth, which Terrence Long led off
with a double and scored on Hernandez' single.

Darrell May (3-9) allowed four runs and eight hits in five-plus
innings and acknowledged he was getting tired in the sixth.

"I don't like to admit, but going back and forth, bullpen,
starting, your pitch count doesn't stay up there,'' May said.
"Maybe that had something to do with it. I didn't realize it until
after the game. I looked and I had 90-something pitches.''

The Royals scored two runs in the eighth off the A's bullpen.
Mike Sweeney had an RBI single and Joe Randa hit a sacrifice fly.

Billy Koch worked the ninth for his 34th save in 39

"It got a little close in the eighth inning, but (Ricardo)
Rincon came to the rescue and Billy did a good job in the ninth,''
Howe said.

Game notes
Sweeney went 1-for-3, keeping his AL-leading average to
.352. Bernie Williams, who had three hits Monday for the New York
Yankees, is second at .345. ... The A's improved to 23-8 against AL
Central teams. ... Royals rookie reliever Ryan Bukvich allowed a
run in the sixth, ending the Royals' bullpen scoreless streak at 10