OAKLAND – Mounting a comeback against the Royals’ bullpen generally isn’t the ideal route to victory.
Leave it to the A’s, who looked feeble offensively most of Sunday, to rally off the majors’ most vaunted relief corps and ring up a crowd-pleasing 3-2 victory over Kansas City at the Coliseum.
With the win, the A’s captured the three-game series from the defending World Series champs and finished a six-game homestand strong after it began with an 0-4 start.
The A’s tied the game on Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI single off Kelvin Herrera in the seventh. Then Billy Burns sparked the go-ahead rally in the eighth. Facing Joakim Soria, he shot a leadoff triple down the right-field line, his helmet flying off as he burned around second. Josh Reddick brought him home with a sacrifice fly and then Ryan Madson stranded the tying run on second in the ninth to clinch it.
Starting pitching report
Chris Bassitt delivered a stellar outing, holding the Royals to two runs over seven innings. The right-hander threw a career-high 114 pitches, as A’s manager Bob Melvin extended his starter for the second day in a row to help ease the burden on his bullpen. Bassitt gave up a run in the second when Eric Hosmer doubled and came around to score on Alex Gordon’s one-out single. In the third, Mike Moustakas hit a 2-1 fastball over the wall in right-center to put Kansas City up 2-0.
John Axford handled a scoreless eighth, and then Madson closed it out against his former team for his fourth save. With pinch runner Terrance Gore on second, Madson got Raymond Fuentes on a liner right at first baseman Yonder Alonso to end it.
At the plate
Lowrie came off the bench to deliver an terrific at-bat on his game-tying single off Herrera. Before that, A’s pinch hitters were a combined 0-for-12 on the season. The A’s got their first run when Coco Crisp sped home on a strike-three passed ball with Chris Coghlan hitting in the fourth.
In the field
Crisp made a very difficult catch in left field, battling the sun on Kendrys Morales’ fly ball and making the catch while sprawled out on the turf.
The announced turnout was 29,668.
The A’s embark on a 10-game road trip beginning with three at Yankee Stadium starting Tuesday. Eric Surkamp (0-1, 4.00) takes the ball in the 4:05 p.m. opener, matching up with Michael Pineda (1-1, 6.55). Wednesday – Kendall Graveman (0-1, 2.38) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 6.94), 4:05 p.m. Thursday – Rich Hill (1-2, 4.15) vs. Luis Severino (0-2, 5.91), 4:05 p.m. All three games will air on CSN California.