A’s shutout Royals 1-0 in 11 innings

Photo credit: @Athletics

Kansas City: 0 | 4 | 1

Oakland: 1 | 5 | 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND — Last night’s thrilling come-from-behind win over Kansas City, starting with Olson’s astounding home run blast in the seventh and culminating in Hendrik’s electrifying revindication of Mondaly’s debacle in the ninth, nudged the A’s an inch or two further towards a play off berth. They entered this afternoon contest against the pesky Kansas City Royals two full games ahead of Tampa Bay, who lost last night to the Dodgers, for the home field advantage and two and a half games in front of Cleveland, whose elimination number from wild card competition stands at 11 with just that many games left to play. At game time Oakland had 10 to go. Any combination of Oakland wins and Cleveland losses of 11 or more in those 21 contests would put the A’s in the postseason, if only for a single encounter. After the game was over, they’d picked up a half a game on Cleveland, who now have an elimination number of 10 with 11 games remaining on their schedule.

Danny Duffy, the Royals’ starting pitcher is a reminder that Kansas City’s most recent glory days are not that far back in the team’s past; he pitched a half a dozen innings in the 2014 and 2015 World Series for them. So far this year, his record had been a mediocre 6-6, 4.55 ERA, and he had yet to throw a pitch against the A’s. The Oakland hitter with the best record against him was Robbie Grossman at six for 17 (.353). The A’s switch-hitter outfielder was not in the A’s opening lineup, probably owing to his .180 batting average against lefties this year.

Oakland’s starting pitcher, Homer Bailey, has ties to a less glorious time in Kansas City baseball history. He had gone 7-6, 4.80 ERA for the Royals this season when they dealt him to the A’s on July 14. Between then and the time the A’s took the verdant, recently rained upon field after a 28-minute delay caused by same light rain that had refreshed the playing surface, the veteran right hander had gone 6-2 with an ERA of 4.70, sometimes pitching very well, other times, not.

Looking at the starters’ records, you wouldn’t have anticipated how well they would perform. The once and future Royal hurlers traded shutout innings until they both had left the game. Their successors did the same until there were two men down in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Oakland threatened in their half of the fourth when Semien opened the frame with a two bagger to right center, but the A’s fell victim to the curse of the lead off double when Duffy struck out Chapman and Canha, with Olson’s fly out to deep right sandwiched between the two Ks.

It was Kansas City’s chance to threaten in the top of the seventh. With one out, Jorge Soler smacked a double to left for the Royals’ third hit. A strikeout and an intentional walk later, Ryan O’Hearn hit a sinking fly to left. Chad Pinder made a spectacular diving grab of the ball to preserve the tie.

Bailey finally left the game after the A’s went down in the seventh. He had pitched seven complete innings and yielded only three hits and an intentional walk. His strike out total was a personal season-high 11. 66 of his 95 pitches were strikes. His replacement was Yusmeiro Petit, making his league leading 76th appearance.

When Scott Barlow took over for Duffy to pitch the Oakland eighth, the Royals’ starter had gotten through seven innings, allowing just two hits and a walk on 103 pitches, 67 of which were strikes. He struck out six Oakland batters.

Barlow lasted until he yielded a two out walk to Chapman in the bottom of the ninth. Those two outs had come about on strikeouts of a pinch hitting Jurickson Profar, followed by another against Semien. It took left-handed sidearmer Tim Hill one pitch to retire Olson on a pop to short.

Jake Diekman, another ex-Royal, replaced Petit to pitch the 10th.

He stuck out the two men he faced. Then Cheslor Cuthbert was announced as a pinch hitter for Ryan O’Hearn, which brought in JB Wendelken to strike Cuthbert out on five pitches. Ah, the intricacies of lefty-righty match ups!

Monday night’s winning pitcher, Kevin McCarthy gave up two quick singles to Canha and Laureano but bounced back to fan Khris Davis and get Sean Murphy to get Laureano out at on a bounder up the middle that second base man Merrifield made a good catch of and flipped to short stop Mondesí for the force. It was cold comfort that Canha advanced to third because he died there when Grossman, facing the latest Royal reliever, grounded out short to first.

Wendelkin survived a hairy top of the 10th. Bubba Starling began it with a single to right. Meibris Viloria sacrificed him to second. Brian Phillips was out on a hard line drive to Canha in center. Mondesí walked to load the bases with two out. Then Wendelkin got Jorge Soler to swing and miss on a 1-2 slider.

Jesse Hahn was on the mound when the A’s came to bat in the bottom of the eleventh. Profar worked him for a walk. Semien went down swinging, but Profar swiped second on the strike out pitch, so the play was a functional sacrifice. Chapman took a called third strike. Now, with Olson at the plate, it was time for Kansas City to grant an intentional walk. Mark Canha, whose Hometown Hero t-shirt was the afternoon’s give away, sent a 1-2 offering from Hahn down the right field line for a walk off double.

The hard earned win went to Wendelken, bringing his season’s totals to 3-1, 3.66 ERA for his 1 1/3 innings of work. Hahn was saddled with the loss.

11 innings of excitement, played in three hours and seven minutes, under clear skies in warm weather. This is how a play off chase should be conducted.

The A’s have a day of rest tomorrow. I won’t; I’ll be writing a discussion of the state of the race for the postseason. The team returns to the Coliseum on Friday, where Mike Fiers (14-4, 4.09 ERA) will face Mike Minor (13-9, 3.33 ERA) and the Texas Rangers at 7:07 p.m.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Roethlisberger heartbroken over season-ending injury; Brees seeks second opinion on torn thumb; plus more

Photo credit: cbssports.com

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow and will need surgery and said after last Sunday’s game that it was heartbreaking to be out on an injury. The injury knocked Roethlisberger out for the rest of the season and Roethlisberger said he looks forward to coming back next season.

#2 New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees torn thumb will need surgery. Brees sought a second opinion in Houston, and after being looked at in Los Angeles, Brees will miss six to eight weeks of the football season, which would put him at Week 10 at the latest that he can return.

#3 The Oakland A’s continue to believe in miracles. They got a huge win past the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. The A’s, who lost the first game of the series Monday night to the Royals 6-5, who came back on them, came back on the Royals on Tuesday night after being down 1-0 scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the 2-1 win. The A’s lead second place Tampa Bay by two games.

#4 What happen to the Raiders after having a 10-0 lead on Sunday? The visiting Kansas City Chiefs took over in the second quarter scoring four touchdowns and won it 28-10 and the Raiders couldn’t score in the second half.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes, who have lost three of their last five games battled against one of the MLS’ best NYC FC, on Saturday losing 2-1. The Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski continues to find the back of the net with the Quakes’ only goal — his 14th of the season.

Join London for Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s get back into the win column by beating the Royals 2-1 on Tuesday night

Graphic: @Athletics

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

Photo: @Athletics
  • 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.

Up next

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.

Royals escape with 6-5 win in 9th inning

Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics

By Lewis Rubman

Kansas City: 6 | 11 | 0

Oakland: 5 | 10 | 1

OAKLAND–The A’s sent right-hander Tanner Roark to the fifty yard line—excuse me, the pitcher’s mound—to face the Kansas City Royals at the Coliseum this evening. Roark had pitched against them most recently on August 28, four weeks after Oakland obtained his services from Cincinnati in a trade deadline deal. In that game, he gave up four runs (all earned) in six innings of work in Kaufman Stadium. The A’s went on to lose the contest 6-4, but Roark wound up with a no-decision. He had gone 6-7, 4.24 ERA for the Reds and entered tonight 4-1, 3.40 ERA in his seven starts for the green and gold.

The Royals lost no time in jumping all over the A’s starter. Whit Merrifield led off with a single to left. The next batter, Adalberto Mondesí (AKA Raúl Mondesí, Jr.) brought him home with a ringing triple to left center. Mondesí would have come home on Jorge Soler’s fly to right if anyone other than Ramón Laureano had been playing that position. With one out, the Royals shortstop started to advance when Laureano caught Hunter Dozier’s fly, but stopped and turned back as soon as he saw the laser that Laser Ramón unleashed to Sean Murphy at the plate. Roark then struck out Alex Gordon to end the inning.

Roark’s counterpart, Glenn Sparkman, entered the game with a record of 4-11, 5.94 ERA (0-1, with four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings pitched) also had a shaky start. Marcus Semien led off with a single to center. With number two hitter Laureano at the plate, Sparkman unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Semien to advance to second. A blink of the eye later, a balk sent Semien to third. There was a brief pause in the action when Chapman popped out to second, but Olson soon ended that by slicing a double to left, driving in both runners. In spite of another wild pitch, which allowed Olson to advance to third while Canha was at bat, and a walk to Canha, the A’s had to settle for a pair of runs after Seth Brown popped out to third and Khris Davis flew out to medium deep right field.

Jefferson Profar, batting lefty (his low average, high power side) opened the home second by sending a 1-2, 94 mph four seam fastball over the left field fence only to have Alex Gordon leap over the Ring Central sign to capture the flying pellet. Sean Murphy, followed Profar’s shot with a two bagger off the left field fence. His stay at second was a brief one. Semien got the green light on an 3-0 count. He also got the same pitch that had been served to Profar, but the A’s shortstop sent this one over the fence in center, and no one in uniform caught it. Oakland now was up, 4-1 DH Jorge Soler’s 45th home run of the season, leading off the fourth, landed in the center field seats, 451 feet from home, and narrowed the A’s advantage to 4-2. Dozier followed that with a double to left, and after Roark hit Gordon with a pitch, the potential tying run was at the plate in the person of Bubba Starling. He walked on a 3-2 count, and now the tying runs were on the three bases with nobody out. And Yusmeiro Petit was warming up in the A’s bullpen. Ryan O’Hearn worked the count to 3-2 before striking out on a 92 mph two-seamer. Meibrys Viloria also went down swinging on a 3-2 offering, another two-seam, 92 mph fast ball.

The count also was 3-2 on Brett Phillips when he went to down on strikes, but Phillips didn’t swing on his 92 mph two-seam fast ball. (Roark had struck out all the three of those batters in their previous plate appearances of the night).

Roark found himself in trouble in the fifth as well. He surrendered a single to to Whit Merrifield, struck out Mondesí, and found himself with the potential tying runs in scoring position when Soler doubled to left center. Roark stayed in the game long enough to retire Dozier on a pop up to Profar and then was lifted so that the left-handed Jake Diekman could face the left handed hitting Alex Gordon. The move backfired; Gordon singled to right, driving in the two Royals baserunners. Bubba Sterling, up next, broke his bat on a grounder to Semien, whose throw to Olson looked on time to first base umpire Ryan Addition, but not to the reviewing umpires in New York, who reversed his call on appeal. The leading run now was on second in the person of Gordon. But Diekman struck out Ryan McBroom, batting for O’Hearn and remaining in the game to play first.

Roark’s final line was 4 1/3 innings pitched, four runs, all earned, on seven hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, one home run, and one hit batter. He threw 110 pitches, 67 strikes. He wouldn’t figure in the decision.

After Laureano had singled and Chapman struck out to start the A’s half of the fifth, lefty Tim Hill came in to face the A’s left-handed slugger, Matt Olson. Hill was successful, getting Olson to fly out to just short of the right field warning track. With the count 2-2 on Canha, Laureano put the possible tie breaking run in scoring position by stealing second, uncontested. But Canha grounded out to third, and the threat was dead.

Sparkman, like Roark, left with a record of 4 1/3 innings pitched, four runs (all earned) and one home run. His other figures were three walks and a strikeout, two wild pitches, and a balk. Of his 78 pitches, 40 were strikes. He, too, would not be credited or charged with a decision.

The score still was knotted at four-all when Yusmeiro Petit relieved Diekman in the top of the sixth with one out and one on to face the top of the KC order. It turned out he needed only one pitch to retire the side on an around the horn DP.

Scott Barlow was on the mound for the Royals when Profar, batting left-handed, bounced a triple off the center field fence in the bottom of the sixth. But there also were two outs, and Murphy’s nubber in front the plate ended the short-lived threat.

Petit would pitch one more frame, a 1-2-3 seventh, before giving way to Joakim Soria, who came in as Oakland’s set up man. He performed that role excellenty, getting the Royals to dance the conga (1, 2, 3, kick) in the eighth.

Olson greeted rookie reliever Gabe Speier with a majestic double off the right field wall. It was “hello, good-bye,” because Kevin McCarthy promptly relieved the reliever. Canha hit a sharp bounder to the mound, and Franklin Barreto, running for Olson, was caught between second and third. Before being put out, he prolonged the rundown long enough to allow Canha to reach second. When the count on Grossman had reached 3-0, the Royals elected to concede the fourth ball to him, putting runners on first and second with one down. Khris Davis came through with an RBI single to center, and once more the A’s were ahead. The run was charged to Speier.

Liam Hendriks came in to pitch the Kansas City ninth. That was no surprise. What were surprises were Meibrys Viloria’s game tying home run with one out, followed by Brett Phillips’ fly to the center field warning track that Laureano, now playing center, dropped for a two-base error. By this time, Merrifileld’s two-base hit, which brought in Phillips with the leading run, was almost expected. Somehow, the unusually vulnerable Hendriks avoided further trouble by closing down Kansas City on a fly to the right field warning track by Mondesí and a pop out to Murphy by Soler.

Ian Kennedy, the Royals closer, who had earned his 29th save on Thursday, came in to try for his 30th. Semien led off with a weak grounder to third that Dozier couldn’t come up with cleanly and which went for a hit. Laureano then flew out to shallow right, and Chapman went down swinging. Because Olson had been removed for a pinch runner, Chad Pinder, who was playing first in Olson’s stead, was all the stood between the A’s and a disappointing loss. He didn’t stand there long. Kennedy struck him out on a 95 mph fast ball.

McCarthy–now 4-2, 5.00 ERA–got the win, and Kennedy earned his 30th save. The usually impermeable Hendriks suffered his third loss and sixth blown safe.

Oakland now is eight games behind Houston, whose magic number to clinch the division title also is eight. The A’s, however, lead Tampa Bay by one game in the race to be home team in play-in game and are a game and a half ahead of Cleveland to reach that game. The Indians’ elimination number is 11. The A’s are one and two games ahead of the Rays and the Tribe, respectively, in the loss column.

Brett Anderson (12-9, 4.07 ERA) will go against Jorge López (4-7, 6.09 ERA) at 7:07 p.m. tomorrow evening.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s open homestand Tuesday night against LA hoping to hang onto wild card hopes; Panda gets ready for Tommy John surgery after send off; plus more

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 The Kansas City Royals challenged the A’s when they were at Kaufman Stadium and so did the New York Yankees to conclude the road trip. Even through the pit falls, the A’s are only a 1/2 game out for a wild card berth. This thing could go right down to the end of the season?

#2 Pablo Sandoval, the man that San Francisco fans call the Panda, took a curtain call hitting for as a pinch-hitter on Sunday in the seventh inning in what can be considered the Panda’s last game in San Francisco. Sandoval played numerous positions for the Giants and will be having Tommy John surgery.

#3 The Houston Astros continued to prove their a force to be reckoned with after their starter Justin Verlander threw his third career no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. It was the second time that Verlander threw a no-hitter at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

#4. The Oakland Raiders get to open the season at the Coliseum against the Denver Broncos for Monday Night Football. The Raiders had a successful preseason and head coach Jon Gruden is confident about the team going into week 1.

#5 This is the Raiders’ last season at the Coliseum. Gruden certainly wants it to be a great send off for the Raiders and wants to drive them to a postseason that could get them to the AFC Championship to the finally the Super Bowl. He would love to bring a trophy to Oakland for the final year there.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish play-by-play announcer heard on KIQI 1010 San Francisco. Also, join Amaury for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: Angels order full investigation as to who supplied Skaggs with painkillers; Muncy out at least 10 days with wrist fracture; plus more

Photo credit: tmz.com

On the MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs who passed away at age 27 the autopsy showed that Skaggs took “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents” according to a statement released by the Angels. Skaggs choked on his own vomit when the Angels were in Arlington in preparation to play the Texas Rangers, but on the day Skaggs passed away, the game was canceled due to his death.

#2 The Angels released a statement saying that the team will not rest until it gets a full investigation as to who supplied Skaggs with the painkillers and alcohol. The Skaggs family along with the Angels said that the team has hired Texas attorney Rusty Hardin to help with the investigation.

#3 The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed Max Muncy on the 10-day IL due to a wrist fracture. Muncy hopes not to miss more than 10 days and has 33 home runs and 87 RBIs this season. Muncy took a pitch on the wrist as he prepared to swing the pitch was expected to break away but jammed him.

#4 San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey hit in the five-hole for the first time this season on Thursday night. Giants manager Bruce Bochy made the move stating that Posey hitting .246 with six home runs and 35 RBIs was a “change of scenery move.” Posey went 1-4 on Thursday night against San Diego and hit fifth again on Friday night.

#5 Hurricane Dorian was upgraded to a category four and is headed for Miami. The Miami Marlins reportedly will leave three panels of the roof of their park open to avoid giving lift to the roof. The hatches are baton down, but the question remains what condition the park will be in after the storm and what impact will Dorian have on the community in order for the Marlins to continue play. The Fish are scheduled to host the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Matt Harrington does the MLB The Show podcast each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s win 9-8 in KC, take 3 of 4 from Royals

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Jurickson Profar homered and drove in three runs, leading a potent offensive charge on getaway day as Oakland held off Kansas City 9-8 Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Everyone in the A’s starting lineup had a hit or drove in a run. Oakland, which took three of the four games in Kansas City, remains in the second American League Wild Card berth, leading Tampa Bay by one game – up two in the loss column.

Neither starting pitcher lasted past the fifth inning. A’s starter Chris Bassitt worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits. Whit Merrifield led off with a hit off Bassitt in the first, preceding a Jorge Soler home run, his 37th of the season.

Royals starter Glenn Sparkman (3-10) allowed seven runs on nine hits and a walk, plus two batters hit-by-pitch. One of those hit batters – Profar – drove in Oakland’s first run of the game.

Yusmeiro Petit (4-3) picked up the win in relief after Oakland relievers Jake Diekman and Liam Hendriks surrendered back-to-back run-scoring singles by Nick Dini and Nicky Lopez in the eighth inning, then Hendriks gave up a two-out RBI single to Ryan O’Hearn in the ninth.

Hendriks then struck out Bubba Starling and collected his 17th save.

Profar’s home run and an RBI single from Josh Phegley sparked Oakland’s three-run fourth inning. The A’s added three more runs in the fifth off Sparkman, taking a 7-2 lead.

Bassitt struggled with the big lead, hitting a batter, giving up a hit, and walking the bases loaded. Cheslor Cuthbert followed with a two-run double, pulling the Royals within 7-5.

Oakland took an 8-6 lead in the eighth before Kansas City closed the gap to 8-7 in the bottom of the eighth.

The A’s added what became the winning run in the top of the ninth when, with runners on second and third, Corban Joseph fouled out to third baseman Cuthbert, who made the catch while falling into the third base dugout. By rule, both runners are allowed to advance one base in that situation, allowing Seth Brown to score from third.

Off the field, the A’s called up infielder Sheldon Neuse from Triple-A Las Vegas. He replaces Khris Davis, who is on paternity leave. Also, Matt Chapman, who took a pitch off his helmet on Wednesday, was not in the starting lineup, but served as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Oakland’s road trip continues Friday, when the A’s visit the New York Yankees for a three-game series. On Friday, Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.08 ERA) is on the hill for the A’s, while the Bronx Bombers counter with CC Sabathia (5-8, 4.99 ERA).

Royals use long ball to trip up A’s 6-4; Oakland still in Wild Card hunt

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-4 on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium, but the A’s still remain one game ahead of Tampa Bay in the American League Wild Card race.

Aside from the loss, there was a scary moment for the A’s when third baseman Matt Chapman took a pitch off his left ear. He left the game after lining out in the second inning.

Chapman was plunked by a 90.7 mph sinker from Royals pitcher Jakob Junis. The pitch knocked Chapman’s helmet off, but he briefly remained in the game.

If Chapman has concussion symptoms, the A’s can place him on the seven-day injured list. However, Chapman reportedly was able to avoid concussion protocol.

NBC Sports California reports that Oakland is prepared to call up third baseman Shelden Neuse. If Neuse is called up, the A’s need to make a corresponding move to place him on the 40-man roster.

After losing the first two games of the series, Kansas City won its first home game since Aug. 16. Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn each homered for the Royals, and teammates Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield each extended hitting streaks and scored a run.

The A’s will try to make it three out of four on Thursday.

During their win, the Royals took their first lead in the series after 24 innings. Kansas City scored a pair of runs off A’s reliever Blake Treinen to break a 4-4 tie. The Royals surged ahead on an RBI single by Dozier, followed by a bases-loaded ground ball that allowed Merrifield to score while the A’s turned a double play.

Kansas City’s left-handed reliever Tim Hill threw two scoreless innings to pick up the victory. Ian Kennedy pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save.

Oakland took an early 2-0 lead off Junis in the first inning on Marcus Semien’s leadoff home run and Seth Brown’s bases-loaded RBI groundout.

Mark Canha belted a two-run blast to center in the fifth inning (estimated 411 feet) that put the A’s back in front. Kansas City tied the game in the sixth.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.59 ERA) will start Thursday’s game for the A’s, while Kansas City counters with right-hander Glenn Sparkman (3-9, 5.52 ERA).

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: TMZ reports D. Cousins threatens to put bullet in head of ex-girlfriend; Cal hopes to work towards a bigger bowl game this year; plus more

Photo credit: sportsgossip.com

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 Former Golden State Warrior and now Los Angeles Laker DeMarcus Cousins threaten to put a bullet in the head of his ex-girlfriend Christy West. West filed a restraining order against Cousins. Cousins wanted their seven-year-old son to attend the wedding of his and his girlfriend, but West said she wouldn’t have it, which touched off the argument. Cousins is out for the season with a torn ACL.

#2 The Cal Bears’ Justin Wilcox preparing his team for this Saturday’s game against UC Davis. Wilcox led Cal to a 7-6, 4-5 record last season. They got in the Cheez-It Bowl last season, but are looking for a bigger bowl this season.

#3 Kansas City Royals owner David Glass is close to selling the Royals for $900 million. The deal for $1 billion would go to John Sherman, a Kansas City businessman. Under Glass, the Royals won the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets.

#4 The San Jose Earthquakes picked up a key win after going winless in four of five games they got the victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Quakes’ Judson, Chris Wondolowski, and Andres Rios all scored for San Jose for the 3-1 win.

#5 London has Orlando City at San Jose this Saturday night at Avaya Stadium. The Quakes are looking for their second straight win. Does playing at home give them that chance?

London does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s squeak by the Royals 2-1

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

What a difference a day makes. On Monday night the A’s routed the Kansas City Royals 19-4. The A’s pounded out 22 hits to trounce KC.  On Tuesday night, it was a different story. The A’s had just five hits, none after the second inning, and two runs. The A’s starter Mike Fiers went 5 1/3 innings and gave up only one run to earn his 13th win of the year and helped the A’s beat the Royals 2-1.

The late Joaquin Andujar had a saying; “You never know.” That is so true in baseball as one never knows what is going to happen in any particular game. You never know when you go to the park what you are going to see. One night it’s a blowout. The next night it’s a pitcher’s duel.”

That was what happened in Kansas City Tuesday night. The A’s, fighting for a playoff berth, need to put as many games as possible in the win column. They entered the game tied for the second Wild Card with Tampa Bay. They trailed the Cleveland Indians by 1/2 game for the first Wild Card. The Indians trounced the Detroit Tigers 10-1, and the Houston Astros clobbered the Tampa Bay Rays 15-1. The A’s now lead the Rays by one game and trail the Indians by 1/2 game. The first Wild Card hosts the one-game playoff between the first and second Wild Cards.

The A’s scored a run in the top of the first. Marcus Semien reached on an infield single. Royals starter, lefty Mike Montgomery, who entered the game with a 3-6 record, struck out Matt Chapman and Matt Olson swinging. A’s center fielder Mark Canha reached on Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert’s fielding error. Khris Davis reached on an infield single to load the bases. Chad Pinder walked to drive in Semien with the A’s first run.

The A’s put another run on the board in the top of the second. With one out, A’s catcher Josh Phegley doubled to deep left center field. Marcus Semien followed his second hit of the night to drive in Phegley. Semien was caught stealing as he tried to advance to third base. That may have cost the A’s a run as Matt Chapman followed with a double. Matt Olson struck out to end the inning. The A’s led 2-0

Mike Fiers escaped jams in the second, third and fourth innings to keep the A’s ahead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Royals scored their only run of the game. Royals right fielder Hunter Dozier led off the sixth with a single. Left fielder Alex Gordon doubled to deep right-center field to drive in Dozier. Fiers retired Cuthbert for the first out. Fiers walked Ryan O’Hearn and that was the last batter he faced. A’s manager Bob Melvin went to the bullpen and brought in Yusmeiro Petit for the 66th time this year. Petit got Bubba Starling to fly out to center then struck out Meibrys Viloria looking for the third out, The A’s led 2-1.

There was no more scoring in the game. The A’s bullpen of Petite, Joakim Soria, and Liam Hendriks pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball and allowed one hit. The Royals’ bullpen did its job, too. Royals manager Ned Yost pulled Montgomery from the game with one out in the seventh. Kevin McCarthy, Scott Barlow, and Ian Kennedy did not allow a hit and kept the A’s scoreless. The A’s managed to hold on to win 2-1.

Game Notes: Mike Fiers won his 13th game of the year. It was a career-high for him. He started the season 2-3, but he has not lost since the beginning of May and has won his last 11 decisions. He is now 13-3.

Montgomery took the hard-luck loss, and his record drops to 3-7.

Fiers’ line was 5 1/3 innings of work, eight hits, and one run. Montgomery’s line was 6 1/3 innings, five hits, and two runs (one unearned).

Joakim Soria pitched in his 61st game this year. Soria was with the Royals from 2007 to 2011 and recorded 162 saves for Kansas City. He is third on the save list in Royals history.

The A’s scored runs in the first and second innings Tuesday night. They scored in the last eight innings Monday night. The 10 consecutive innings scoring a run set a new Oakland franchise record.

Mark Canha failed to get a hit, and his 10-game hitting streak came to an end.

The A’s sparkled on defense. Left fielder Seth Brown made two outstanding defensive play. Brown threw out Meibrys Viloria trying to score from second on a single by Whit Merrifield. He also made a great diving catch. He left his feet and threw out his glove to keep the ball from going to the wall for at least a double. Matt Chapman mad at least three sterling defensive gems to help out his team One of the plays was a bunt by Merrifield that went right down the line. Chapman barehanded the ball and threw to first to nail Merrifield. Merrifield, who has excellent speed, could not believe he was thrown out.

Up Next: Game three of the four-game series will be played Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The game will start at 5:15 pm PDT.

The A’s will have Tanner Roark handle the pitching chores. Roark is 8-8 with a 3.95 ERA. His opponent will be the Royal’s Jakob Junis. Junis is 8-12 with a 4.89 ERA. Junis labored in his last start against the Cleveland Indians last Friday. He threw 94 pitches in just four innings of work and allowed all four runs in the 4-1 loss to Cleveland.