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Despite Benintendi’s five-hit night, Royals lose 12-10

There’s no denying this team’s fight.

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

Following a dramatic win in comeback fashion on Tuesday night, the Royals came up short in a 12-10 loss on Wednesday. It was Kansas City’s 79th loss of the season.

Due to a pre-game shakeup of placing Mike Minor on the injured list, Carlos Hernandez got the ball one day ahead of his scheduled start. Hernandez, though, didn’t look like the same pitcher from the month of July. The command was not there and it hurt him. Through his first four innings, the big righty allowed five runs and Oakland opened up a 5-1 lead.

As they’d done the night before, the Royals refused to go down without a fight. In the bottom of the fourth, Kansas City rallied back with three runs on an RBI-groundout from Adalberto Mondesi and two-run single by Hanser Alberto.

Unfortunately for the Royals, that’s as close as it would get. The Athletics responded with three runs of their own in the top of the fifth to extend their lead back to four runs.

In the home half of the fifth, Salvador Perez — sporting No. 21 to honor Roberto Clemente — clubbed his 44th home run of the season to right-center field. The solo shot also gave him 110 RBIs, which leads all of baseball.

With a taxed bullpen, the game spiraled out of control in the later innings. Facing Kyle Zimmer, Oakland tacked on four more runs in the seventh to give them an even 12 on the night.

Despite holding a seven-run lead, the A’s still had to sweat it out — even with the Royals pulling key starters (Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana). In the bottom of the eighth, Andrew Benintendi collected his fifth hit of the night to drive in two runs and bring the tying run to the plate. Sebastian Rivero popped up to end the inning, but the Royals cut the deficit to three runs with one inning to go.

Scott Blewett worked two scoreless innings in his first outing of the season — giving the Royals an outside chance to tie or win it in the ninth. Kansas City managed to plate a run, but Ryan O’Hearn grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.

The Royals, 66-79, finish up their three-game series with Oakland tomorrow afternoon. Daniel Lynch squares off with Paul Blackburn. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.