Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 3

Oakland won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 23
Kansas City1Final
Game 2: Saturday, May 24
Kansas City3Final
Game 3: Sunday, May 25
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in 10

Royals 3

(26-22, 13-15 away)

Athletics 4

(29-20, 19-8 home)

    4:05 PM ET, May 25, 2003 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

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    KC 0120000000 3 8 1
    OAK 0000001021 4 7 1

    W: K. Foulke (3-0)

    L: D. Carrasco (3-3)

    Durazo, Ellis spark Athletics in victory

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Darrell May was one pitch away from an impressive complete game. Unfortunately, that one pitch was just terrible.

    Erubiel Durazo hit a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and Mark Ellis hit a bases-loaded single in the 10th as the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Sunday.

    Durazo's two-run homer spoiled a brilliant start by May, who came agonizingly close to a five-hitter and his third career complete game. With a 3-1 lead and a 1-2 count on Durazo, May threw a sinker that didn't sink -- and Durazo ruined his afternoon.

    "The only thing I can tell myself is to look at the positive,'' May said. "I threw nine innings, and I threw the ball well. It just goes to show you how important all 27 outs are.''

    May, in his second season with Kansas City after pitching in Japan for four years, didn't walk a batter and retired nine straight at one point as the A's flailed at his assortment of off-speed pitches.

    His sinker began to fade in the late innings, but he kept getting outs -- until he allowed a two-out double by Miguel Tejada in the ninth. After a conference at the mound, Kansas City manager Tony Pena didn't make a change.

    "I wanted to find out how he felt,'' Pena said. "He said, 'Fine,' so I said, 'OK, it's your ballgame.' I did not go to the mound to take him out. He was throwing the ball so well. ... One bad pitch, and that was about it.''

    May got two strikes before Durazo clubbed that belt-high pitch. At first, May thought it was a fly ball -- but it carried, clearing the right-field scoreboard by inches.

    The large Coliseum crowd, nearly lulled to sleep by Oakland's struggles, roared as Durazo pumped his fist while rounding the bases with his eighth homer of the season.

    "He threw me two (sinkers) in a row, and then he threw the third, and I hit it,'' Durazo said. "I was just trying to do my job.''

    In the 10th, shortstop Angel Berroa's throwing error on a routine grounder allowed Terrence Long to reach second base. After two walks by D.J. Carrasco (3-3), Ellis punched a single over the drawn-in infield. Ellis, hitless in his first four at-bats, was mobbed by his teammates in the infield.

    "We're on the edge of our seat every game,'' Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "Even the games we lose are tight games. We're just biting nails every day. ... It's not like we're in a tailspin or a slump. Sure, we're not hitting, but we're finding other ways to win some of these games.''

    Keith Foulke (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings in an unlikely victory for the A's, whose offense struggled mightily during their 3-3 homestand.

    The A's wasted another outstanding start by Tim Hudson, failing to get a runner past second base until Ramon Hernandez's two-out homer in the seventh. Hudson allowed just five hits and two earned runs over seven innings, but he was hurt once again by poor run support.

    "Eventually, we're going to start hitting again,'' Hudson said. "Nothing changes about the way I do my job. The guys have picked me up plenty of times before. It's just a matter of time, I think.''

    Michael Tucker and Raul Ibanez had early run-scoring doubles for the Royals, who have lost nine of 12.

    Kansas City got its first run in the second inning when Durazo comically fumbled Hudson's soft toss to first base after the pitcher fielded Carlos Beltran's grounder.

    Beltran advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Tucker's double. Durazo, usually a designated hitter, also failed to catch Brent Mayne's liner later in the inning, but Ellis grabbed the deflection.

    The Royals added two runs in the third on hits by Ibanez and Beltran. Hudson didn't allow another hit, retiring nine straight batters at one point.

    It was the seventh straight no-decision for May since losing his first start of the season.

    "It seems like a long time since my last win,'' said May, who hasn't won since last Sept. 11.

    Game notes

    Eric Byrnes extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a leadoff single in the first. ... May struck out a career-high nine batters at the Coliseum last July 6. ... A bit of help might be on the way for Oakland's struggling offense: OF Jermaine Dye, out since April 24 with torn cartilage in his knee, homered in his first at-bat to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. Dye probably will rejoin the A's in Kansas City next weekend.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press