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Game #110: Royals flush A's three aces in series loss - Athletics 2, Royals 4

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Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics dropped the series finale to the Kansas City Royals by the final of 4-2. Scott Kazmir struggled through a four-run fifth inning from Kansas City, but benefitted from several nifty plays behind him involving Alberto Callaspo and Josh Reddick. For the offense, the A's could not get a base runner until Josh Reddick ran around all four of them to lead off the sixth inning.

Nothing doing early

The two teams traded zeroes for the first four frames. The A's for the third consecutive game found themselves unable to buy a baserunner for the first three innings, and for the first four innings for the second consecutive game.

Scott Kazmir also performed well in the first four innings. Despite allowing five singles, he faced just three over the minimum thanks to two double plays.

Good glove Alberto Callaspo

Alberto Callaspo took on second base duties today with Nick Punto on the disabled list and performed admirably. His contributions to the scorecard include (1) starting a good 4-6-3 double play in the first, (2) completing the turn on a 5-4-3 double play in the second, (3) recognizing that he could the lead runner on a slow-roller in the fourth because Billy Butler was lumbering to second, (4) starting another 4-6-3 double play in the fifth, and (5) making a nifty stop in the sixth.

Nary an error, this was a good afternoon for Callaspo.

Doubles and 200-foot singles all over the place

The trouble began for Scott Kazmir with a lead-off double to Christian Colon, the sixth hit Kazmir allowed in the afternoon. After Kazmir struck out Jarrod Dyson and walked Alcides Escobar, the Royals scattered the ball all over the place, just over the heads of jumping infielders or short of running outfielders: (1) Nori Aoki singled and got to second, scoring Christian Colon; (2) Omar Infante doubled scoring Escobar and Aoki; (3) Salvador Perez singled scoring Infante; and (4) Billy Butler singled moving Perez to third.

After four runs, Kazmir escaped the 30-pitch inning by forcing Alex Gordon to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

Josh Reddick have an afternoon

The A's were looking quite hapless against James Shields through five innings. Though they had only struck out once, everything was going right to outfielders and infielders, shifts were working brilliantly. Josh Donaldson gave Shields a ride in the first inning, but even that fell short:

And then to lead off the sixth, Josh Reddick crushed this shot to right:

Then, in the seventh, Josh Reddick reminded us he has a Gold Glove:

Wow.

And finally, Reddick poked one more shot on Shields to give the A's hope that the A's would pull off the comeback they've done so frequently:

Ultimately, James Shields flummoxes the Green and Gold

Unfortunately, the Athletics could do no right outside of Reddick's performance. The balls kept finding infield and outfield gloves. Alberto Callaspo reached on a single after Reddick's home run, but was doubled off on a 3-2 hit-and-run that went directly into Omar Infante's second base glove. Stephen Vogt hit a hard hit line drive to right that went right at Lorenzo Cain. My goodness, John Jaso had a sure double stopped by Billy Butler. Billy Butler! Augh.

Perspective

Apologies for the headline. Sunday is usually Nico's day, however, so it could've been much worse.

Something something, Royals are a good team, something something, good teams like the A's sometimes lose short series something something.

At least the Royals kept pace with the Tigers in the AL Central.

Tomorrow

Night baseball returns at 7:05 pm as the Tampa Bay Rays come to town. The A's will send their third consecutive All-Star to the mound in Jeff Samardzija, and the Rays will put up Alex Cobb.