Mark McGwire doubled, singled and drove in four runs, leading the Oakland Athletics over host Kansas City, 6-4, last night and stopping the Royals' five-game winning streak.

Rickey Henderson homered, had three hits and stole a base as Oakland won the first meeting this season between AL West rivals. The victory in the opener of the four-game series put the division-leading Athletics 12 games ahead of Kansas City.

"It was a tough game on both sides, a game that showed that men are not machines," Oakland Manager Tony La Russa said. "We know the Royals are a good ballclub, so we wanted to be ready to play the first game" in the series.

Bob Welch (7-2) took a three-hitter and 5-0 lead into the sixth, but the Royals loaded the bases and got three runs, two on Bo Jackson's first inside-the-park home run.

Welch was pulled with two out and two on, and Gene Nelson retired Rey Palacios on a forceout. Rick Honeycutt took over to start the eighth, but left after Jim Eisenreich's two-out RBI single. Dennis Eckersley got four outs for his 15th save in 15 chances.

Carney Lansford walked with one out in the first and scored on McGwire's double.

Twins 3, White Sox 2:

In Chicago, Kirby Puckett and Gary Gaetti hit run-scoring doubles and Minnesota finished its best May ever.

The Twins stopped Chicago's five-game winning streak. Minnesota won for the seventh time in eight games and finished 21-7 in May.

Mark Guthrie (2-0) gave up two runs on eight hits in five innings. Juan Berenguer, John Candelaria and Rick Aguilera (14th save) finished with scoreless relief.

"Our bullpen has been super," Puckett said. "You can't ask for anything more than they've given us. . . . they're working on all cylinders."

Puckett and Gaetti got their RBI doubles in the first inning off rookie Jerry Kutzler (2-1).