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A’s bury Royals late in 5-1 loss

The 2015 bullpen is a long, long way in the past.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone else miss that 2015 bullpen? I do. Boy, I do.

The A’s got three runs off the Royals bullpen in the eighth inning to turn a borderline blowout, leading to a 5-1 victory and an ultimate series win.

Jake Junis was really, really good, too. He ultimately was left in for too long, a mistake that Ned Yost has made a hundred times in his Royals career. But in Ned Yost’s defense, when Burch Smith is the alternative solution, I might ride Junis until his pitch count is in the 200s.

Both teams scored one run apiece in the third inning. For the Royals, it was a Jon Jay solo home run to right field, his first of the season, that gave the team its only offense.

The contest remained deadlocked until the eighth inning. Junis was nearing 100 pitches. He had only allowed six baserunners in seven innings, and he was sitting on nine strikeouts, but it was a very long leash on a young pitcher. Dustin Fowler led off with a single, and then following a lineout, Junis surrendered a go-ahead RBI single to Jed Lowrie. Yost pulled Junis for Burch Smith at this point, but Smith promptly gave up a three-run homer to Matt Olson. Ned Yost had a very good left-handed specialist available in Tim Hill, but yet he left the inferior Smith out there for a matchup disadvantage. That is the definition of a #Yosted. At that point, it was 5-1, A’s, and the game was effectively over.

Junis’ final line: 7.1 innings, six hits, three runs, and nine strikeouts. He used 106 pitches. He was charged with the loss; he is 5-5.

Some scrub named Daniel Gossett started for the A’s. He entered with a 6.05 ERA and then held the hapless Royals to one run in five innings before being removed with an injury. Then the Royals did nothing against the bullpen either. Whatever.

The Royals are 21-38. It’s another lost series. The A’s scored 19 more runs than the Royals did in this series. Somehow, they only managed to win two of three.

Up next: a seven-game road trip to the west coast. Get ready for 9:00 pm times! Three against the Angels and four against these A’s in Oakland are on the horizon. Danny Duffy gets the ball for tomorrow’s game in Anaheim.