Sogard: I didn't get a tunnel; they were all shocked I hit one out
Josh Reddick is 5-for-12 with seven RBI and five runs scored over his last three games. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The A's seemed to take some of their All-Star snub frustrations out on Kansas City Sunday, beating the Royals, 10-4, to win the rubber game of the three-game series.
Oakland rode a five-run second inning -- it was the 19th time the A's sent at least 10 batters to the plate in an inning this year after doing it 22 times last season -- and pounded out 15 hits.
The A's (52-37) remained in first place in the American League West over Texas with six games to go before the All-Star break.
"We just (have to) continue taking it day-by-day," second baseman Eric Sogard said on A's Postgame Live, "and just play each day our best and hopefully we can continue to finish strong and have a nice break there."
Starting pitching report
Two starts ago, A.J. Griffin authored a two-hit shutout. In his last outing, the right-hander was shelled for seven runs in 5 2/3 innings. So which Griffin would show up this time? It was somewhere in the middle. Griffin labored to get through five innings, needing 105 pitches to do so, but only gave up two runs, a pair of two-out solo home runs. Griffin surrendered five hits while walking one and striking out four and saw his record improve to 7-6 and his ERA dip to 3.94.
A day after walking the first batter he faced on four pitches and then giving up a game-tying sacrifice fly, left-hander Jerry Blevins experienced more trouble. He gave up a single, a double and a walk before being pulled and ended up getting charged with two runs without registering an out. Jesse Chavez made like he did against the New York Yankees last month. He earned a four-inning save, the first of his career, in giving up three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
At the plate
The A's hit three home runs, a two-run shot by Josh Reddick (his fourth) in the third inning, a solo homer by Jed Lowrie (his sixth, though his first from the right side) in the sixth, and a two-run blast by Eric Sogard (his first) in the seventh. It was Sogard's first home run since April 27, 2012. Every A's batter reached base on the day, though Chris Young, who walked, was the only Oakland player without a hit. Lowrie, meanwhile, was 3-for-5.
In the field
With two out in the sixth, the bases loaded with Royals, Miguel Tejada at the plate and Chavez on the mound, Tejada hit a bouncer between first and second that was fielded by first baseman Brandon Moss. Chavez got a late break on the ball and was near first as he took Moss' throw on the run. It was a bang-bang play as Chavez and the headfirst-sliding Tejada appeared to reach the bag at the same time, but umpire Eric Cooper called Tejada safe and a run scored for the Royals, who pulled to within 8-4. A freeze frame replay, though, from behind home plate showed Chavez' foot hitting the bag a hair before Tejada's hand reached it.
The Royals announced a crowd of 17,804 at Kauffman Stadium.
Tweet o' da game
Is there anyway A's fans can contact Jim Leyland and voice our disgust? -- @Taran_the_Human
The A's return to interleague play with a three-game set at Pittsburgh in what many underdog fans hope is a World Series preview. Fresh from his third career All-Star selection, Bartolo Colon (11-3, 2.78 ERA) is looking to rebound from having his career high-tying eight-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday. Colon is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates, 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in Pittsburgh. Left-hander Jeff Locke (8-1, 2.12) will start for the Pirates. He has the second-lowest ERA in the National League and has never faced the A's.