The Oakland A’s (40-27) won three out of four against the Kansas City Royals as both Matt Chapman and Matt Olson led the offense in the series.
Game One: Kansas City 6, Oakland A’s 1
In what was a pitcher’s duel for six innings, the Athletics clung to a 1-0 lead behind Frankie Montas.
On the mound, Montas carved up the Royals’ order as he surrendered two hits, no runs, and seven K’s through six innings. But he soon unraveled in the top of the seventh as Kansas City led off with a single. A quick strikeout did not help a ton as the next batter reached due to catcher interference. With an RBI double followed by a two-run single— Kansas City claimed a late 3-1 lead.
In the top of the eighth, a two-out solo homer, followed by a double, and a proceeding homer added another three runs for KC as the lead ballooned to 6-1, which was the eventual final in Thursday’s opener.
Game Two: Oakland A’s 4, Kansas City 3
Elvis Andrus walked it off 4-3 for the Athletics as the team evened the series 1-1 Friday night.
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In the bottom of the fourth, Oakland used a pair of one-out doubles from Mitch Moreland and Matt Chapman to break the game open 1-0. With Chapman on second, Seth Brown launched his ninth homer of the season to give the A’s a 3-0 lead.
But Kansas City chipped away in the top of the seventh as they led off with a homer before adding another run to make it a 3-2 contest. With another solo homer, Kansas City tied it up in the top of the eighth.
Oakland started the bottom of the ninth with a groundout but gained momentum when Chapman laced another one-out double. The Royals chose to intentionally walk Brown, which set up runners on first and second for Elvis Andrus. With a 2-2 count, Andrus fouled off a 79-mile-per-hour curveball and a slider. Andrus hit the next pitch into shallow left field. Chapman rounded third and steamed ahead toward home hoping to beat the throw, and with a dive toward home, he got his hand in to give the A’s the win.
Game Three: Oakland A’s 11, Kansas City 2
In Saturday’s contest, Oakland collected 11 runs on 14 in the offensive assault on the Royals pitching staff to claim the series lead.
With one run in the bottom of the first via a Moreland sac fly, Oakland established a 1-0 lead. The bats stayed hot in the bottom of the second as a one-out double from Chapman added another two runs. Matt Olson followed that with a double as well that swelled the lead to 4-0 for the A’s.
While the offense started on fire for Oakland so did starting pitcher James Kaprielian who kept Kansas City off the scoreboard while surrendering two hits and four walks in five innings of work.
In the bottom of the fifth, a two-out single from Brown followed by a walk from Chad Pinder gave the A’s another chance to score— Elvis Andrus capitalized as he hit an RBI single that made it 5-0. Oakland added another run in the next inning as Chapman hit his sixth homer of the season— a solo shot to center field.
The Royals put two runs on the board in the top of the eighth with a two-out homer that shrunk the lead 6-2, but failed to push any more in. It was in the bottom of the eighth where the A’s broke away. With a Skye Bolt home run, his first career homer, to start the inning Oakland got another homer from Olson, a three run bomb, and a sac fly from Pinder that drove in the fifth run for the A’s. The lead was now 11-2, which was the final score on Saturday.
Game Four: Oakland A’s 6, Kansas City 3
The offense surged behind Mark Canha and Chapman as they won the series finale 6-3 as both players hit a combined 4-for-8 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
Chapman laced a solo homer in the bottom of the first that gave the A’s the 1-0 lead, but quickly relinquished it in the top of the second as KC tied it 1-1.
A leadoff double from Pinder in the top of the second led to another run scored for the Athletics as Andrus hit a two-out double that made it 2-1. Tony Kemp followed with a walk, Canha followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 3-1. Kansas City responded with a solo round tripper that shrunk the lead to 3-2. Olson hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third that extended the lead to 4-2. The Athletics tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth as Olson hit another solo homer.
Kemp led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and Canha again knocked him in with a double that made the lead 6-2. While Kansas City got a run back in the top of the seventh that made it 6-3, Oakland hung on to win their third game of the series.
Chapman went 7-for-16 with six runs scored, five RBIs and two homeruns in the four games while Olson hit 7-for-15 with three runs scored, six RBIs and three homers.
With a crucial series win, and a tight division race in the AL West, Oakland gained another game on the second-place Astros. With the Athletics hosting the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series the team has another opportunity to extend their lead.
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