A lopsided win was pretty easy for the A’s, as they exploded early with 10 runs in the first 3 innings. Keeping their pace the A’s continued to add on at least one run in every subsequent inning, finishing it off 19-4. Every Athletic that started in the lineup accounted for at least one hit and one run, and Semien, Chapman, Profar, and Davis all hit homers to add to the rout.
Marcus Semien was the first out of the game as he grounded out up through the infield. Robbie Grossman popped up to right field two pitches into his AB, giving Royals pitcher Brad Keller and advantage to the inning. Things ended with Matt Chapman hitting a cruising fly ball to Alex Gordon in left field.
Homer Bailey got ahead of Whit Merrifield 0-2, but on a tapper up the middle he was able to beat out a throw to first by Semien. Marcus did a good job tagging the ball down, but the time it took to transfer and line up the throw was enough for Merrifield to get on base. Jorge Soler hit a deep fly to right, but Grossman snagged it, barely having to move from his spot. Hunter Dozier hit a high liner to right-centre, and Canha took care of the second fly out of the inning. Homer took care of the rest of the inning by striking out Alex Gordon on 4 pitches. Aside from Merrifield hustling to first, Bailey looked strong through his first inning of work.
Matt Olson reached a full count, but struck out swinging at a low and slow slider. Canha’s hot streak continued, getting a single up the middle. That led the way for Seth Brown to have his first major league at-bat, and he earned his first hit with a nice 72mph bloop single near the foul line in left field. With two runners on, things looked prime for Khris Davis to make an impact, but Keller did not give him a chance with a 5 pitch walk, and the only strike being called on the edge on the zone. Keller ran into more trouble with Profar up and the bases loaded, the count hit 3-0. Two pitches later came another ball, and the A’s were up 1-0 with the bases still loaded off of Profar’s walk. With Phegley up, Keller did it again, issuing a pass to Josh and padding the A’s lead with another run. Tired of waiting for balls, Marcus took the reins and drove in 3 runs with a triple deep to right-centre.
With enough damage done already, the Royals brought out
George Jorge Lopez looking to take control of the inning. While Grossman came close to getting a walk on his full count, Lopez’s arcing curve hit the top of the zone enough for it to be called a strikeout. Chapman then grounded his first pitch up the middle, but he was unable to beat out Merrifield’s throw, and after batting through the lineup the A’s scored 5 runs and knocked the Royals starter from the game.
Ryan O’Hearn drilled the ball right up the line and right to Matt Olson for a speedy first out. The same sort of play happened again with Meibrys Viloria getting out on a grounder, but this time rolled up to Semien at short. Bubba Starling was able to break the cycle by hitting a bloop up to no mans land in centre field. With what looked off the bat like a ball that would die early, instead carried to the far right corner and Brett Philips managed to hit a homer that bounced a couple of feet behind the foul pole. After that bit of poor luck, Nicky Lopez hit straight to Matt Olson and ended the inning.
Picking up where the last inning left off, Matt Olson led off with a deep single, hitting it to the outfield fence, but unable to take extra bases off of the fly. Mark Canha kept rallying, drilling a single through the gap in left. Seth Brown got his first MLB hit in AB #1, and he got his first MLB RBI on AB #2, lining the ball to left and scoring Olson. Khris struck out swinging on 3 pitches, and while Profar was able to move up Canha and Brown, he didn't get to stay on base as the Royals barely beat him to first off of what was initially a misplay. Phegley got a run on a misplay, tapping the ball just into the grass, both pitcher Jorge Lopez and catcher Melbrys reached for the ball and neither picked it up, letting Canha score and granting Phegley a hit. Marcus had a big hit when he came up in the second, and look, he did it again in the 3rd! Marcus mashed an absolute blast to deep left centre for a three run homer and RBIs 4, 5, and 6 on the night.
Robbie Grossman struck out on a called strike to end another dominant half inning for the A’s.
Matt Chapman put away Whit Merrifield with a good scoop to start off the bottom of the third. Jorge Soler managed to get a hit into left centre to give the Royals a chance. Canha caught a deep fly from Dozier right at the wall to get a second out, and Profar secured the third out by running down a ball just past Olson
Ned Yost called on Kyle Zimmer to pitch starting with the 4th, and Chapman grounded out due to a great turn by Merrifield. Olson? He walked, watching balls on a very patient at bat. Canha’s reign of terror continued, getting his third hit of the game, lined into right-centre. Seth Brown swung on a low slider and earned another first, his first MLB strikeout. Khris tapped a low pitch through the gap in right, and grabbed an RBI single. Profar came close to extending the inning further batting the ball right back to Zimmer, it bounced off Zimmer’s chest and rolled away but the Royals pitcher was able to corral it and beat out Jurickson as he boogied down to first.
Homer Bailey kept cruising through the game, as O’Hearn lined out to Canha, and Viloria batted up the middle right to Marcus for another out. While Homer started Bubba Starling off with a 3-0 count he got out of the inning due to Mark Canha’s heroics. Catching a deep line drive on a jump at the top of the wall in dead centre, Mark made it look easy.
The hits kept on coming for the A’s as Phegley hit a bloop to right. Marcus popped up and was retired by Merrifield. joining the hit column Robbie Grossman lined a single to shallow left. While Chapman was at bat a very wild pitch moved Phegley to third, and just in time as the next pitch was hit way right up the line for an RBI double. Matt Olson belted a fastball in the middle of the zone just barely shy of the left field fence, hitting a bases clearing double and earning 2 RBI. That was it for Zimmer, and Josh Staumont was called in for relief, getting Canha swinging for a strikeout. Brown grounded out to finish off the A’s attempts in the 5th, but they managed to continue to add on runs.
Bailey got his first out of the inning quickly, with Phillips grounding out. Nicky Lopez got a hit through the right gap, and while Lopez managed to get to second on Merrifield’s ground out, Jurickson Profar did a great job to hold on to the ball and get at least one out. Jorge Soler hit a grounder 107mph past a diving Chapman for a single, scoring Lopez for the Royals’ third run. Profar caught a Dozier pop-up to end the inning and keep Bailey out of any more trouble.
Staumont was back out for the 6th, and Khris hit a solid liner, but unfortunately it was right at centre fielder Brett Phillips. Jurickson hadn’t had enough of runs, so he decided to drive one out to the right field corner for a solo shot.
Phegley struck out on a called high curveball, and Semien struck out swinging on a wide curveball, but the A’s still managed to sneak a run in.
After an extended at bat against Alex Gordon, Bailey got the out by receiving the ball from Matt Olson who made a great grab off a hop to keep the ball out of the outfield. Bailey got his second strikeout of the night off of Ryan O’Hearn catching him swinging after a fastball. Viloria got a single up the middle off of an 0-2 count. When it looked like Homer had gotten ahead of Bubba Starling and the inning was almost over, Bubba managed to get a hit through the gap in left and kept the inning alive. Right after this at bat, home plate umpire Chris Guccione removed himself from the game, as he had earlier in the game been tapped in the head by Canha’s backswing. After about a 10 minute delay due to the change in umps Bailey took the count from 0-2 to 3-2 and then to a strike out swinging, ending the inning and his appearance for the night in time for a quality start off of 105 pitches.
Always a treat, a position player was put in to save an arm for the Royals, with Alex Gordon making his first pitching appearance. He managed to get Grossman to make soft contact for a ground out. Matt Chapman though. Matt Chapman saw a pitch come in at 68mph, an the hit it out of the park going 105mph for his 30th home run on the season.
Olson hit a bouncing grounder, but a rushed throw a little off-base resulted in his third hit of the night. Canha and brown both popped out to Nicky Lopez to finish the top of the 7th,
A.J. Puk received a prime opportunity to face some batters with his call to pitch in the 7th, also coming on this inning was Corban Joseph replacing Matt Chapman at third. Starting off against Nicky Lopez, Puk earned his first MLB strikeout off of a swing at a high fastball.
Merrifield connected with a 98mph slider, but it ended as a fly out in left field. Puk caught Soler swinging for his second K.
Well the Royals are getting their money’s worth out of Alex Gordon pitching, and Khris Davis was happy to see it hitting a grounder for a single. Profar did the same, and as his ball rolled through the right infield gap, Khris made it over to third base. Josh Phegley bounded a ball deep to left field for an RBI single, also moving Profar to third. Marcus gets an RBI fielder’s choice off a ground ball up the middle where the Royals couldn't turn the double play. Grossman walked, and Ned Yost swapped out one pitching position player for another bringing in Humberto Arteaga, Corban Joseph grounded into a fielders choice, and then the new sub Chris Herrmann flew out to a running Brett Philips in centre field.
Puk was back out for the 8th, with Brown moving to first and Herrmann being placed in left. Puk walked Dozier, and then Arteaga hit a grounder up the middle for a single (Royals sacrificed the DH with all the position player pitching shenanigans). Brown caught pinch hitter Cheslor Cuthbert’s pop up in foul territory for the first out, and outs 2 and 3 came quick after with a 4-6-3 double play.
Arteaga was back out for the Royals trying to just get the game over with, as Canha flew out to right field. Seth Brown hit a fly out to left for out number 2. Khris Davis nailed his 19th homer 411ft to left off of a weak slider, bringing the A’s a run shy of 20. Profar took a walk and Phegley moved him to second with a liner single. Chad Pinder came in, pinch hitting for Semien, and flew out to centre field, leaving the A’s 3 outs from a lopsided win.
Lou Trivino was brought in to complete the game, and Bubba Starling hit a liner to left for a leadoff single. After starting 3-0 against Phillps, Trevino turned the at bat around with three straight strikes for a called strikeout. Lopez nailed a ball down to the right field corner for a double, putting two runners into scoring position. Merrifield lined it right to Brown at first, but Starling scored while Brown ran to first. Soler waited through a couple wide pitches by Lou, getting a walk. Trivino finished off the game by striking out Hunter Dozier, and putting an end to the misery for the Royals.
When a team goes for 22 hits, you know some damage has happened. Every starter aside from Grossman ended up with a multi-hit game, and Marcus Semien drove in 7 runs. Seth Brown also got off to a quick start getting 2 hits and an RBI in his MLB debut.
Homer Bailey had a solid start, pitching through 6 complete innings, including a few long breaks due to the A’s offence as well as the umpires swapping duties. While he allowed three runs, two of them came off of Phillips homer that just seemed to sneak out of the park.
The Athletics hit the season-high mark for both runs and hits, and Marcus Semien hit a personal single-game RBI record.
With today's win the Athletics move to 75 and 55, and are tied with Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card. Tomorrow the A’s face the Royals again with a battle of the Mikes, as Fiers takes on Montgomery.