June 15, 2011
KANSAS CITY (30-37) vs.
Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND (AP) -- Though Kansas City has not fared well away from home this season, it's off to a good start on a nine-game trip.
The Royals look for a season-high third consecutive road victory Wednesday night against the struggling Oakland Athletics, who try to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.
Kansas City (30-37) is 9-17 away from home, but took two of three against the Los Angeles Angels last weekend and won 7-4 at Oakland on Tuesday. It was just the Royals' third win in nine games at the Coliseum.
REWIND: Cahill floundering as A's drop opener to Royals
"It was big for us to be able to go down to L.A. and take two of three from a good Angels team," said rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer, who had two hits and an RBI. "If we can get out of here with a few more victories and head into St. Louis with some momentum, that will be big for us."
Alcides Escobar had three hits with two RBIs and Billy Butler drove in two for the Royals, who have scored 25 runs on the trip.
Escobar is batting .500 (13 for 26) during a season-high seven-game hitting streak, while Butler has hit .346 with nine RBIs his last seven. Butler has six RBIs his last five games versus Oakland.
The Royals look to continue their recent success at the plate behind scheduled starter Luke Hochevar (4-6, 5.04 ERA), who is 0-5 with a 7.26 ERA in six starts against the A's (28-40).
Most of Hochevar's struggles against the A's have come in Oakland where he's allowed 20 earned runs, 22 hits and walked nine in 12 innings to lose all three starts there. However, he allowed one run and four hits without a walk in seven innings of a 4-3 home win over the A's on May 7.
The right-hander recorded his first win in seven starts when he gave up two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 victory over Toronto on Thursday.
"You make quality pitches and you get guys out," Hochevar told the Royals' official website. "Then it makes it look like you kept your composure."
Oakland's starting pitchers have struggled to make quality pitches while posting a 7.30 ERA during the club's current stretch of 13 losses in 14 games.
After Trevor Cahill walked seven batters and lasted 4 1-3 innings in the opener, left-hander Josh Outman (1-1, 4.15) takes the mound after he allowed three runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss at Baltimore on Wednesday.
GUTIERREZ: A's Cahill in a galactically-bad funk
Making just his second home start in 2011, Outman faces the Royals for the first time since he limited them to a run and three hits in six innings of a 7-2 win May 13, 2009.
Hideki Matsui and Scott Sizemore each had two hits with a RBI on Tuesday as the A's dropped their season-high fourth straight home game.
"That's not what we were looking for our first game home," Bob Melvin said after managing his first home game for the A's since replacing the fired Bob Geren last week. "We will be back at it (Wednesday)."
Though Matsui is batting .185 with 11 RBIs his last 27 games, he's 6 for 18 with two homers and six RBIs his last five. He's batting .308 against the Royals this season.