By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland A’s got back into the win column on Tuesday night as they downed the Kansas City Royals 2-1 at the Coliseum. The A’s were down 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning when they bit back at the upstart Royals.
Matt Olson hit a 450-foot home run into the center-field stands off a 2-1 pitch from the Royals starting pitcher Jorge Lopez. Lopez then had the most logical response to Olson’s home run — he hit Mark Canha with a pitch. No, Canha was not pleased.
With Canha at first, Seth Brown doubled to left-center field and drove Canha home to score what would prove to be the winning run of the game. Brown, who has been “clutch” for Oakland since being called up to the majors, made Lopez pay for his stupidity of hitting the next batter after Olson hit his home run. Lopez should have been ejected from the contest.
Focus on the A’s
- Oakland is now 24-8 (.750) versus the AL Central Division this season.
- Liam Hendriks, who picked up his 23rd save of the season, has struck out 116 batters as a relief pitcher to set a franchise record. The old record was 115 and was set by Rollie Fingers in 1975.
- A.J. Puk earned his second career win in this game. He has pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in each of his last outings. He gave up one hit and struck out two batters on Tuesday night.
- Matt Olson now leads the A’s and American League first basemen with 35 home runs (that is after missing the first six weeks of the season due to injury).
- Mark Canha has now been hit by a pitch 17 times this season. That ties him with Shin-soo Choo for the most HBP in the American League.
- Relief pitcher Joakim Soria has not allowed a run in his last five appearances.
- The A’s are now in Wild Card Slot #1 with a two-game lead over Tampa Bay, who is in Wild Card Slot #2. Cleveland is 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card spot.
Spotlight on the Royals
- Royals starting pitcher Jorge Lopez has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last three starts.
- Cheslor Cuthbert recorded his first multi-hit game since August 8th in Detroit. He is hitting .341 with three doubles and one HR versus AL West teams this season.
- Hunter Dozier is batting .345 with four doubles, a triple and seven RBI in the month of September.
The Royals and A’s meet in a getaway day game tomorrow that will get underway at 12:37 PM PDT. The Royals will send LHP Danny Duffy to the mound. He has a 6-6 record on the season with a 4.55 ERA. He had a no-decision in his last start in Houston.
The A’s will start RHP Homer Bailey, who they obtained from the Royals, on Wednesday afternoon. Bailey is 13-8 on the year with a 4.76 ERA. He won his last start versus the Astros in Houston.