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Cole Ragans, Bobby Witt Jr. lift Royals to 4-0 shutout win over Athletics

Ragans is throwing fire!

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Cole Ragans pitched perhaps his best MLB game, tossing six shutout innings while Bobby Witt Jr. went 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run as the Royals shut the Athletics out 4-0 to salvage the series in Oakland.

The Royals got on the board in the third inning off A’s starter Adrian Martinez when Dairon Blanco hit a solo home run, the first of his MLB career. The Royals looked poised for a big inning when Maikel Garcia was hit by a pitch and stole second, but he was caught at third, depriving Witt of an RBI opportunity when he later singled. Drew Waters would get that run back in the fourth with an RBI triple, later scoring on a sacrifice fly by Maikel Garcia to make it 3-0.

Bobby continued his hot hitting with a 389-foot blast, his 26th home run of the year. Since July 3, only Matt Olson of the Braves has more home runs than the 14 bombs Bobby has hit in that time.

But the big story was how Cole Ragans continued to dominate. The tall lefty had some of his best stuff, regularly hitting the high-90s even in the sixth inning. He allowed just two baserunners over six innings - one of which was an infield hit. He struck out 11 with zero walks, with 18 swing-and-misses over his 99 pitches. Since the start of August, Ragans leads all of baseball with 44 strikeouts.

After Taylor Clarke pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, Jackson Kowar ran into trouble in the eighth, walking the bases loaded and sending up the game-tying run to the plate. But Carlos Hernandez was able to escape the jam, and pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save.

The Royals improve to 41-88 and have an off day before they head to Seattle to begin a weekend series against the Mariners on Friday, with Brady Singer scheduled to face Bobby Miller.