KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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.”