The A's haven't scored a run since Tuesday. The reintroduction of their clean-up hitter Yoenis Cespedes wasn't enough to save them. The Royals won the game 2-0, handing the A's their ninth straight loss. The A's offense has now been shutout 10 times this season, which is the most in Major League Baseball. How bad has the offense gotten? They have been shutout six times in their last sixteen games. The A's have the lowest team batting average (.208) in the majors by a wide margin. They also have the lowest slugging percentage (.332) and second lowest on-base percentage (.288) in all of baseball.Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon throws 88 percent fastballs. Every hitter in the league knows it. With the guess work out of the equation, hitters are gripping it and ripping it against him.Colon ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing two runs. After walking leadoff hitter Alex Gordon, Colon gave up an RBI double to Yuniesky Betancourt. Mike Moustakas followed with an RBI single.
In the third inning, Colon pitched out of a one-out bases-loaded jam. From there, Colon settled down and retired ten straight hitters. He ended up with seven innings pitched, scattering eight hits, walking two and striking out three.
At the PlateWith Cespedes the A's are 15-14. Without him they are 7-15. During his absence A's cleanup hitters batted .185. On Friday Cespedes was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Not the impact the team had hoped for.A's hitters were retired in order in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings on Friday.Things looked promising when Weeks started the game with a lead-off double, which extended his hitting streak to eight games. The A's weren't able to capitalize. Seth Smith struck out looking, Josh Reddick flew out the center field, and Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging.In the third inning, Weeks started a two-out rally with an infield single. After Smith walked, Weeks made a curious decision to attempt to steal third. He was caught stealing with Reddick at the plate.Bullpen ReportAndrew Carignan entered the game in the eighth inning and pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking one and striking out one. He was relieved by Jerry Blevins who came in to retire the left-handed hitting Eric Hosmer.In the FieldIn the bottom of the first, Coco Crisp tracked a hard-hit ball by Jeff Francouer into the gap in left-center field, crashing into the electronic scoreboard and making the catch. He looked a little banged up after the play but he stayed in the game. Crisp looks motivated to keep his center field job now that the A's have moved Cespedes to left field.In the bottom of the third, the Royals had the bases loaded with no outs before Hosmer hit a week ball to Colon, who went home for the force out. Next Alcides Escobar hit a grounder up the middle, Cliff Pennington scooped it up, flipped it to Weeks, who caught the ball barehanded and fired to first -- just beating Escobar to the bag.Up NextBrandon McCarthy (3-3, 2.95 ERA) returns from the disabled list. McCarthy was shut down with irregular soreness in his right shoulder on May 19. At the time, he told me he was taking extra rest for precautionary measures, and that he doesn't have the same scapula pain in his shoulder that forced him to miss six weeks last season. This season he has averaged 90.8 MPH on his fastball, which is nearly identical to last season. McCarthy will be opposed by Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.19 ERA), who hasn't won a game since May 12.