Switch-hitter Hudson finally gets it right


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- With one swing, Orlando Hudson put an end to more than a year of frustration.

With another, he showed the first time wasn't a fluke.

The Toronto Blue Jays' switch-hitting second baseman had never
homered from the right side before Monday night -- when he did it
twice in a 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

"Last year was a big struggle for me from that side, but lately
things have been going a lot better," said Hudson, who went
3-for-5 and drove in a career-high four runs. "I worked hard in
the offseason with Mike Barnett, the hitting coach, and tonight
everything worked for me."

Reed Johnson went 3-for-5 with a homer for Toronto, which won
its sixth straight and extended its winning streak at Kauffman
Stadium to eight games.

"Right now, all the aspects of our game are kicking in," said
Pat Hentgen (2-2), who went 6 1-3 innings with a season-high five
strikeouts for the victory. "We're pitching pretty good, we're
hitting pretty well and we're playing good defense. You do that,
you're going to win games."

The Royals (9-21) are off to their worst start after 30 games
since the 1992 team went 8-22.

"The worst thing you can do is start hanging your head,
tripping over your lower lip and feeling sorry for yourself," said
left-hander Brian Anderson, who gave up eight runs and lost his
fourth straight start. "You do that, you might as well go home.
That's not the kind of approach I'm going to have, and I don't
think any of my teammates are."

Juan Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Hentgen in the seventh for
Kansas City, giving him 1,400 career RBI.

Hentgen gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and went
longer than five innings for only the third time in seven starts.

"I think he's going to be one of those guys that the more he
gets out there, the more he's going to be able to carry it into the
eighth inning," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.

Hudson's three-run shot with two outs capped a six-run first
inning, and he added a solo shot in the third to make it 7-0. He
singled and scored in the sixth.

"I didn't see either of them go out," he said. "I just had my
head down, running."

Hudson has 18 career homers -- five this season -- in 227 games,
but his two off Anderson were his first from the right side of the

Anderson (1-4) was yanked after giving up four singles to open
the sixth inning. The fourth, Frank Catalanotto's blooper to right,
dropped out of Gonzalez's glove for an 8-0 lead.

Four of the eight runs charged to Anderson were unearned because
of a fielding error by third baseman Joe Randa in the first inning.
He gave up 13 hits, walked one and struck out two.

"I've been in the league now for 10 years and have never --
never -- experienced a stretch like this," Anderson said. "But I'm
not about to let it beat me. If I'm going to go, I'm going to go
down kicking and screaming and I'm going to go down fighting."

Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado each hit RBI singles in the
first inning, and Josh Phelps' sacrifice fly made it 3-0 before
Hudson homered into the left-field fountain.

"I gotta be honest -- six runs in the first inning, that's a
heck of a luxury for a starting pitcher," Hentgen said. "It just
right away puts you in a more aggressive mode, knowing that one
swing of the bat can't take a lead from you."

After Micheal Nakamura relieved Hentgen with one out in the
seventh, Benito Santiago had an RBI single to cut Toronto's lead to

Johnson's solo homer in the eighth off Mike MacDougal made it
9-2, but Carlos Beltran answered with a leadoff homer off Nakamura
in the bottom half.

Catalanotto and Wells also had three hits each for Toronto.
^Notes:@ Royals infielder Tony Graffanino flashed a thumbs-up when
asked about the condition of his left knee but gave no timetable
for his return. "I'm at the mercy of the trainer," said
Graffanino, who went on the disabled list May 1 with torn
cartilage. ... Seven of Hentgen's 13 strikeouts this season have
come against Kansas City. ... Kansas City dropped to 5-19 against
right-handed starters. ... Toronto has two six-run innings against
Anderson this year. The Blue Jays scored six runs in the second
inning of their 10-3 victory on May 5.