Oakland A's Manager Billy Martin figured his slumping club needed something to loosen it up yesterday, so he had center fielder Dwayne Murphy pick the lineup by selecting names out of a hat.

However, the ploy didn't have the desired results as the anemic-hitting A's managed only four hits off Kansas City's Larry Gura and dropped their eighth game in the last nine, losing at home to the Royals, 1-0.

"This is the fourth time I've done this in my managing career," said Martin. "It's the first time it didn't work. We'll just go back to our regular lineup the next time. It was just something to try and snap the team out of it."

Rickey Henderson, normally the leadoff hitter, batted eighth, while cleanup man Tony Armas hit second.

The last time Martin went to a hat for his lineup, he was managing the New York Yankees in 1977. Reggie Jackson made those selections.

"We did it then for a different reason," Martin said. "All the guys were complaining about the positions in which they were hitting. I just wanted to prove to them that it's not the spot they're hitting in, it's the swinging. That's sounds like something Mae West would have said."

Gura (8-3) and Brian Kingman (0-3) matched scoreless innings until the Royals broke through on U.L. Washington's bouncing RBI single with two out in the ninth.