KANSAS CITY -- The downward spiral started with a walk. With one out in the second, Luke Hudson provided a free pass to Dan Johnson that opened the floodgates for a complete collapse by the Royals' pitching staff on Thursday afternoon. Hudson, who was making his first start of the season because of shoulder problems, retired the first four hitters before the walk to Johnson yielded a five-run second inning. The Athletics tacked on 12 more and beat the Royals, 17-3, in a blowout at Kauffman Stadium. It was most runs allowed and the largest margin of defeat since Kansas City lost 21-6 to the Angels on Aug. 25, 2004. "It was a bad day," manager Buddy Bell said. "It was one of those days that I am not even going to think about. I am going to throw it away." More importantly, it gave the Royals a 3-7 record on their longest homestand of the year and dropped the team to 11-24 -- one win better than they had at the same point last season. The Royals have only won one series this year and have captured back-to-back wins twice.