Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
The Oakland A’s scored one run on six hits, and it wasn’t enough to win. The final result was a 3-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a road series at Kauffman Stadium.
The A’s have now dropped 22 of their past 26 games. In half of those losses, they scored either zero or one run. In 13 of the losses, they managed six or fewer hits. They’ve totaled 64 runs during this span, an average of 2.46 per game, dating back four weeks to the end of May.
Tonight was the same old story. Oakland scratched together a quick rally in the 4th inning for a run, but otherwise they were retired in order in five of the first six frames, giving the Royals enough time to build a lead. The A’s got a runner into scoring position in each of the 8th and 9th innings, but both times they were stranded.
Oakland did at least earn their lone run with some aggressive play. Tony Kemp led off the 4th with a single and then stole second base, and Seth Brown lined a single to drive him home.
But that was all they could muster against Kansas City starter Zack Greinke. The aging star delivered a vintage performance, sailing through six dominant innings. They got on base a few times against the bullpen, and Kemp continued trying small-ball by sac bunting a runner to second in the 8th, but nothing seemed to work.
The Royals didn’t get a whole lot more done at the plate, but the difference came in the power department. Cole Irvin retired six of his first seven batters, but the eighth man up, right fielder Edward Olivares, went deep for a solo homer. Irvin made it through the lineup unscathed again, until Olivares led off the 5th inning with another solo dinger. Kansas City almost homered again in the 6th, settling for a double that one-hopped over the wall, and then they singled that runner home.
- Irvin: 5⅓ ip, 3 runs, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 2 HR, 7 hits, 66 pitches
Olivares had been activated from the injured list earlier today, after missing more than a month to a pulled leg. This was his 86th career game, and he entered with eight career dingers. This was his first multi-homer game.
Oakland’s bullpen kept things close, recording the final eight outs without further incident, but all that did was buy time for a comeback that never materialized.
The A’s are going to keep losing until they figure out how to start scoring runs on any consistent basis. It’s not immediately apparent which hitters will step up to help them do that, nor whether any of those hitters are already on the roster or still waiting to get here. Until then, it’ll be more of the same.
In the meantime, enjoy this excellent defensive play by rookie Jonah Bride! They also got an outfield assist from Kemp earlier in the game, when he threw out a runner from left field.