The Oakland Athletics began their highly-anticipated home series against the Royals on Friday night with a 5-2 loss. They almost made it an entire game without any incidents, but Stephen Vogt was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning by Kansas City reliever Franklin Morales. Jesse Hahn did not pitch particularly well, allowing five runs – three earned – on nine hits and a walk, with just five strikeouts throughout six innings. Meanwhile, Edinson Volquez gave up just one run in seven innings, as the A’s managed only three hits and a walk against the Royals’ right=hander, despite striking out just three times.
The scoring got started in the second inning, when designated hitter Kendrys Morales hit a one-out, solo home run over the left field wall. The Royals increased their lead the next inning. Alex Rios led off the top of the third with a single to left field, and Alcides Escobar tacked on a one-out single of his own.
With runners at the corners, Mike Moustakas struck out, and it looked like Hahn might escape with no damage. But Lorenzo Cain chopped a single over the head of the pitcher and into center field to put a stop to that notion, as the Royals picked up their second run of the game. Escobar and Cain each advanced a base when Vogt allowed a passed ball, and it set the stage for first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hosmer hit a groundball, and A’s first baseman Ike Davis scooped it up and fired to first, past the glove of Hahn, who was covering. Two runs scored, giving the Royals a 4-0 lead.
The A’s tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the third inning, when Davis singled to right field. He was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice out, off of the bat of Marcus Semien, but Semien was able to score when Sam Fuld hit a line drive to center field for a double. It wasn’t enough to defeat the pesky Royals, who scored yet again with two outs in the sixth inning – this time, on a solo shot by Alex Gordon.
The final run for the Athletics came in the ninth inning, when Vogt was hit by the pitch from Morales. He was removed from the game and replaced by Josh Phegley, who scored when Ben Zobrist doubled over the head of Gordon, the left fielder.
More from White Cleat Beat
- San Francisco Giants showing Oakland A’s offseason could be worse
- Lucas Luetge what Oakland A’s need in bullpen
- Oakland A’s bring Deolis Guerra back on minor league deal
- How much will Oakland A’s improvements matter in 2023?
- Oakland A’s giving Drew Rucinski a chance to prove himself
The offense was very quiet, with just four hits and a walk throughout the game. Part of that can be attributed to an outstanding Royals’ bullpen, but it just wasn’t a very productive night at the plate for the Oakland Athletics.
– The x-rays taken on Vogt’s wrist were negative, so it’s likely that he won’t miss much – if any – time. How the at-bat will affect the remainder of the series is a question that both teams will have to consider going forward. While it didn’t seem intentional, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t, or that it won’t be perceived as such. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
– The A’s have made 14 errors in their last 12 games, despite playing much better lately than they had to start the season.
Scott Kazmir will get the start for the Athletics on Saturday, as he seeks his fifth win of the season. Kazmir is 4-4, with a 2.70 ERA, and he’s struck out 79 batters in just over 83 innings. Meanwhile, Chris Young will represent the Royals on the mound. Young is 6-3, with a 2.83 era and 41 punchouts in 63.2 innings, so it should be an exciting game.