Tucker loses homer, but a single does trick


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Michael Tucker hit a 405-foot single.

Tucker's 10th inning homer turned into a base hit because of a
baserunning mistake, but it still gave the Kansas City Royals a
4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Joe Randa singled to left to lead off the 10th off Billy Koch
(5-1). An out later, Tucker's hit sailed over the fence in dead
center, but he passed pinch-runner Mike Caruso between first and
second base.

Caruso thought the ball was caught by A's center fielder
Terrence Long, who made a leaping grab and momentarily looked like
he had it, but lost it when he hit the wall.

Tucker got an RBI single, was out on the way to second and only
one run scored.

"I wasn't sure about Long catching it, but Caruso caught me,''
Tucker said. "That was a long single, a 405-foot single.''

Caruso said he first thought Long made the catch.

"I didn't really head back, I just took a couple of steps,'' he
said. "I was looking out at Long, Tucker was looking at Long, and
the first base coach was looking at the umpire to see if he called
it a home run. I was passing Tucker and he was passing me. We were
going in different directions.

"I felt bad for Tucker, because he hits a home run and doesn't
get any credit for it.''

Scott Mullen (1-2) pitched the ninth for his first big league
win as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak. Brad Voyles
pitched the 10th for his first major league save.

"I think I've seen it all, then today, wow!'' Royals manager
Tony Pena said.

Long said he had the ball, but it fell out of his glove when he
hit the wall. He was confused as everybody else about what happened
next, and was looking in toward the field when the homer was ruled
an RBI single.

"I still don't know what happened,'' Long said. "So what

The strange play gave A's manager Art Howe hope Oakland could
pull it off in the bottom of the 10th. With six straight one-run
games, the A's have won three times with bottom-of-the-ninth plays.

"Something told me, we might just win this one because of what
happened,'' Howe said. "But we didn't have a miracle today.''

With the A's down 3-2 in the eighth, Miguel Tejada doubled off
Kris Wilson to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, then scored
on David Justice's single to shallow right to tie it.

That spoiled a fine outing by Darrell May, who allowed two runs
on five hits over six innings. He was vying for his first victory
since a rain-shortened 6-0 shutout in Florida on June 11, five
starts ago.

May struck out the side in the sixth and finished with a
career-high nine strikeouts.

A's rookie right-hander Aaron Harang opened well, striking out
the first three batters he faced. The A's gave him support, going
up 1-0 in the bottom of the first on Eric Byrnes' RBI single.

But Harang spent the next two innings getting out of trouble.

Neifi Perez hit an RBI single to tie it in the second before
Harang loaded the bases with just one out. He escaped by striking
out Brent Mayne and Carlos Febles.

In the third, Harang loaded the bases with two outs before
striking out Perez. Harang threw 40 pitches in the inning.

The A's retook the lead in the bottom half on Tejada's
double-play grounder off May with the bases loaded.

Aaron Guiel tied it back up for the Royals in the fourth with an
RBI grounder, and Carlos Beltran added a go-ahead run-scoring
double before Harang was pulled.

Harang allowed three runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings with
six strikeouts.

Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney, headed to his third
straight All-Star Game, was out of the lineup for the third
consecutive game.

Sweeney had two stitches in his right ring finger after getting
hit by a pitch from Seattle's Joel Pineiro on Wednesday. Sweeney is
listed as day-to-day.

Game notes
Left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly, acquired by the A's in a
three-team trade between the Yankees and Detroit early Saturday,
was expected to join the team on Sunday. A's manager Art Howe said
Lilly would be in the bullpen for the series finale against the
Royals, before joining the starting rotation. ... The A's did not
immediately make a corresponding roster move to make way for Lilly.
... Right-hander Paul Byrd (11-5), Kansas City's starter on Sunday,
is vying to become the first Royals pitcher to win 12 games before
the All-Star break since David Cone, who went 12-4 in 1994.