It was clear early on to his teammates that Vin Mazzaro was loose out on the mound today. Facing his former club, Mazzaro had his way with the Athletics--inasmuch as Mazzaro can have his way with an opposing team. In between innings, Mazzaro regaled teammates with his childhood, growing up next door to his best friend who happened to be a teenage doctor. He'd scurry up his friend Doogie's tree, a skill he still possesses today, and climb in the window while his friend was writing in his computer diary. They'd talk. Vinnie, as he was known then, would impress his friend with his combination of social comfortability and base horniness. His teammates looked on as Vin told more and more tales, never quite sure if this Doogie Howser fella actually existed, though no one was old enough to remember a program of the same name.
Mazzaro's looseness (and his possible pathological lying) on the mound led to an outing in which he allowed seven baserunners in six innings, three via the walk. He struck out three en route to six shutout innings, putting the Royals two-thirds of the way to their second shutout of Oakland in the weekend. Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, and Jonathan Sanchez each worked around hits to pitch scoreless frames, Holland's in spite of a Yuniesky Betancourt error on a routine grounder after having been moved over to second, defensively replacing Johnny Giavotella after he himself had been replaced by Mike Moustakas at third.
Mazzaro was the pitcher of record thanks in large part to Eric Hosmer, who hung a most delightful dong to a spot just left of straightaway center field in the home-half of the second inning. Hosmer reached all three times he came to the plate, but one of the three was on a Kila Ka'aihue error at first that Hosmer hustled down the line to questionably beat out the throw. Johnny Giavotella drove in the other Royal run, plating Jarrod Dyson, who had stolen second base earlier in the at-bat. Alex Gordon did his own job of protecting the lead in the form of a dynamic double play that saw him run down a Josh Reddick fly-ball in shallow foul territory and then gun down Adam Rosales (who had foolishly tagged up at third) with an off-balance but completely on-target throw that will surely be a top play on those networks that do such things as show sports highlights.