KANSAS CITY – The A’s coasted to the kind of low-stress victory Wednesday that every major league manager should get to savor once in a while.
They established season highs in runs and hits as they hammered the Royals 8-3 to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The victory was the A's eighth in a row over the Royals.
Eight of the nine hitters in Oakland’s starting lineup had at least one hit. The lone player who didn’t, leadoff man Marcus Semien, walked twice, scored two runs and had a stolen base.
That made it an easy night for skipper Bob Melvin, who made a minor lineup tweak as he dropped Ryon Healy down to the sixth spot and moved Jed Lowrie into the ‘3’ hole. The switch paid dividends, as Lowrie notched a team-high three RBI, and Healy — who entered the night 5-for-32 — had a single and a double.
A team that’s done most of its damage with the long ball this season, the A’s (5-4) instead bunched together singles and doubles Wednesday, knocking former Athletic Jason Hammel (0-1) from the game after 4 2/3 innings.
The beneficiary was right-hander Andrew Triggs (2-0), who has yet to allow an earned run through his first two starts, spanning 11 2/3 innings.
The A’s will go for the sweep in Thursday night’s road trip finale against the Royals, who fell to 2-6 and have scored the second-fewest runs in the American League (24).
Starting pitching report
Triggs held the Royals to four hits over six innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Kansas City put the leadoff hitter aboard in three of the first four innings, but Triggs bore down with men on base. He stranded six runners total.
Ryan Dull, Liam Hendriks and Frankie Montas handled the final three innings, with the Royals scoring two runs off Hendriks in the eighth on the strength of three hits and a walk. It was Hendriks’ third appearance, but his first in six days.
At the plate
Good stuff up and down the box score for the A’s. Lowrie’s two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth that turned a 4-0 game into 8-0. Rajai Davis got the A’s on the board with a double that scored Trevor Plouffe all the way from first in a the third inning. Three singles, including Yonder Alonso’s run-scoring hit to left-center, and a sacrifice fly from Plouffe made it 3-0 in the fourth. The next inning, Semien walked and stole his fourth base of the season to help set up Lowrie’s sacrifice fly, as the A’s came through with good situational hitting with runners in scoring position.
In the field
Rajai Davis made a key early play in center field. His diving catch to rob Alcides Escobar saved a run in the second and got Triggs out of that inning. Right fielder Matt Joyce also had a terrific catch in the ninth, making a running grab as he crashed into the wall on Cheslor Cuthbert’s deep drive.
The announced crowd was 24,380.
After a quick promotion from the minors and an encouraging long-relief outing against Texas, Jesse Hahn (0-0, 3.00) makes his first start of the season Thursday. Lefty Jason Vargas (1-0, 5.40) goes for the Royals. First pitch is 5:15 p.m.