Mulder throws second straight complete game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Mulder gave Oakland's bullpen the
night off -- again.

Mulder threw a four-hitter Saturday night for his second
straight complete game and 19th of his career, outdueling Kansas
City's Darrell May in the Athletics' 3-1 victory over the Royals.

Eric Chavez hit a two-run homer for Oakland, which won for the
seventh time in nine games.

Mulder (4-2) gave up four hits and had a season-high seven
strikeouts while improving to 7-0 against Kansas City. That
followed his 8-4 win at Minnesota last Sunday.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm not going to say after seven,
'OK, I'm done. I don't want to hurt myself.' That's not going to

Kansas City lost its sixth straight to Oakland, all at home, and
lost a chance to win back-to-back series for the first time this

May (1-5) retired the last 11 batters he faced in his first
complete game of the season, and gave up five hits -- but one of
those was Chavez's homer that gave the A's a 3-0 lead in the sixth

After Bobby Kielty doubled to left with one out, Chavez bounced
an 0-2 pitch off the top of the wall in left center for his 10th

The pitch was so far out of the strike zone that May never
expected Chavez to swing at it.

"I went back and looked at the video later, and it looked like
a great pitch -- a hard slider, down and away," May said. "If I
had to do it all over again, I'd throw the same pitch."

And if Chavez had to do it again, he'd probably swing.

"He threw me a couple of fastballs down the middle today, and I
didn't pull the trigger for one reason or another," Chavez said.
"His 0-1 slider was actually a better pitch than the 0-2 slider,
but for some reason I hit better out of the zone than I do in the

The A's went hitless through 3 1-3 innings before Chavez singled
and scored on Scott Hatteberg's double for a 1-0 lead in the

Joe Randa finally put Kansas City on the board with a leadoff
homer in the seventh.

May had six strikeouts and one walk in his first complete game
since shutting out Texas 9-0 on Aug. 27, 2003, but couldn't keep
the Royals' staff from falling to 1-10 against the Athletics.

"May did a great job today, but we couldn't get to Mulder,"
said Carlos Beltran, who was 0-for-4 with a strikeout for the
Royals. "We had opportunities, but we weren't able to get hits."

Kansas City manager Tony Pena shuffled his lineup, dropping
shortstop Angel Berroa from the leadoff spot to No. 8. Second
baseman Desi Relaford took Berroa's leadoff spot.

"He has not been swinging the bat well, and he has been chasing
a lot of pitches," Pena said of Berroa, last season's AL Rookie of
the Year in 2003. "We're going to get him out of there until he
gets settled down."

Neither did much in the revamped order, though. Berroa was
0-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt, and Relaford was 0-for-3 and struck
out twice.

Game notes
May retired the A's in order in the first, the first time
Kansas City had recorded a perfect opening inning since May did it
against Boston on Sunday. ... All but two strikeouts came on called
third strikes. Beltran struck out swinging to end the Royals' third
inning, and Oakland's Jermaine Dye whiffed in the ninth. ... Kansas
City lost to a left-handed starter at home for the first time in
six decisions. ... Adrian Brown started in left field and batted
ninth for Kansas City, his first start since being called up from
Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. He was 1-for-3 with a strikeout.