The rotation boasted a 2.88 ERA on the season, good for 4th best in the American League, and seemed to be keeping a hapless offense and bullpen from complete collapse.
Unfortunately for Kansas City, Jason Hammel couldn’t continue the trend.
Hammel gave up four runs on seven hits, while failing to get through five innings, as the Royals dropped the second game of a three game set with the A’s 8-3.
On top of Hammel’s rough outing, the Royals offensive drought continued, carrying a 19-inning scoreless streak into the 8th inning.
The offense looked so bad, in fact, that they inspired this tweet from our old friend Andy McCullough, now with the Los Angeles Times:
I am in the Central Time Zone, so I feel compelled to say that the Royals offense may actually need to cancel Christmas.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) April 13, 2017
I wouldn’t worry, though. Royals beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan was there to cheer us up:
@McCulloughTimes They scored a few days ago, you know.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) April 13, 2017
As the Royals struggled to move baserunners by stranding leadoff doubles by Salvador Perez in the 2nd and Lorenzo Cain in the 4th, the A’s offense was busy continuing their recent trend of smacking the Royals around.
Oakland scored runs in four straight innings, and blew the game wide open in the 6th with four runs off of Travis Wood and Chris Young.
Over their last six games against the Royals, the A’s have scored just under nine runs per contest. They have also won their last eight games against Kansas City.
The Royals showed some life in the 8th, with Raul Mondesi leading off the inning with a walk (!!) and Mike Moustakas doubling him to third. Lorenzo Cain’s infield single drove in Mondesi, along with Eric Hosmer driving in Moustakas on a single of his own.
Cain’s RBI single snapped the Royals 19-inning scoreless streak, which dated back to Brandon Moss’ 9th inning game-tying home run in Houston on Sunday.
One positive note from tonight’s game was the debut of Jake Junis, who gave up a double and two walks, but managed to get out of the 9th inning without surrendering a run and keeping it an 8-2 game.
Another positive came in the Royals’ half of the 9th, with Mondesi hitting a mammoth, 436-foot home run over the second wall in center field.
This was without a doubt Mondesi’s best offensive game, with all three of his batted balls being at least 95 MPH off the bat and two of the three being over 100 MPH. He also drew that walk back in the 8th.
The loss gave the the A’s their first series win of the season, while the Royals drop their second series in three tries.
Up Next: Royals v. Athletics, 7:15 PM CDT at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Jason Vargas (1-0, 1.50 ERA) v. RHP Jesse Hahn (0-0, 3.00 ERA)