Kansas City Royals

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

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MLB Network

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

All the Royals' reliever wanted to do was congratulate the A's balldude for making a nice play.

Instead, he got nothing but air.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday, A's outfielder Chad Pinder fouled a ball down the right field line. The young man in charge of protecting the opposing bullpen from foul balls made the catch just a few feet in front of the seated Royals relievers.

His first move was to go give the ball to a young fan. But he failed to notice one of the Royals relievers trying to give him some dap.

Here's the awkward sequence:

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as A's score six in eighth to beat KC

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as A's score six in eighth to beat KC

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — Why win a baseball game conventionally?

That was the A’s M.O. on Tuesday night, when they scored six times in the bottom of the eighth to register a come-from-behind 10-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Actually, the A’s had to fall from ahead before they could come from behind.

The Royals homered three times in the top of the eighth to erase the A’s 4-3 lead and go up 8-4, only to see the A’s storm back with an offensive barrage of their own that included four hits in a row to start the bottom of the eighth.

All told, the teams combined for 11 runs in the eighth inning alone.

Matt Joyce delivered the key hit in the winning rally, clearing the bases with a three-run double that put Oakland up for good, 9-8.

Fitting that these two teams would stage such a back-and-forth affair in the late going. The A’s and Royals entered the night tied for the major league lead with nine wins when trailing after the seventh inning.

BIG GAME AT THE TOP: Joyce led off the bottom of the first with a homer off Royals starter Jason Hammel, his fourth leadoff homer of the season. He finished with four RBI.

SMITH DENIED ‘W’ — AGAIN: For the second time since joining the A’s rotation, Chris Smith left a game in line for a victory only to have his bullpen cough up the lead. The 36-year-old veteran has registered just one victory in his major league career, and that came back in 2008. He has yet to win as a starter. He steadied himself after giving up three runs in the first before he recorded a single out. But Kansas City would get just one more hit off of him before he left the game after 5 1/3 innings.

THREE OF A KIND: The A’s commanded a 4-3 lead on the strength of a homer in each of the first three innings. Joyce’s blast was followed by Matt Olson’s in the second (his fourth homer in five games) and Khris Davis’ two-run shot in the third.

ADVENTURES OF SANTIAGO: Santiago Casilla had found a bit of a comfort zone since being demoted from the closer’s role. He entered Tuesday not having been charged with a run in seven consecutive outings. But he allowed Alex Gordon’s leadoff walk in the top of the eighth, then a two-run homer to No. 9 hitter Drew Butera that put the Royals ahead 5-4.

A’s closer Blake Treinen would enter with one out and give up Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer, then Mike Moustakas’ solo blast two batters later made it 8-4. But after the A’s rallied, Treinen came back to pitch a scoreless ninth to register the victory.

ANOTHER OPTION FOR THE ‘PEN: The A’s acquired right-handed reliever Chris Hatcher from the Dodgers for $500,000 in international bonus money. The 32-year-old has a 4.72 ERA in 193 career appearances, all out of the bullpen. The team made no announcement on whether Hatcher would join the big club or go to the minors.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 6-2 loss to Royals

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 6-2 loss to Royals

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — It was a night to remember for Cam Gallagher on Monday, with Jharel Cotton unwillingly contributing to the memories.

Gallagher, called up by the Royals a week ago after seven years spent in the minors, worked the count to full in the top of the sixth before unloading on a two-out grand slam off Cotton that told the story in Kansas City’s 6-2 victory over the A’s.

How fortunes can change on one pitch. Cotton (5-10) was piecing together a rather encouraging outing, settling in after allowing single runs in each of the first two innings. The rookie was trying to slam the door on the Royals in the sixth with two outs and the bases loaded.

Then Gallagher, the No. 9 hitter who came in just 1-for-7 in the three games he’s played, connected with a fastball on the inner half of the plate and gave himself the memory of a lifetime.

A’s starters are authoring too many such moments for opponents lately. Kendall Graveman delivered a strong effort Sunday to beat Baltimore, but Oakland’s rotation has combined for a 7.46 ERA over the past 17 games.

Gallagher’s blast turned a 2-1 A’s deficit into 6-1, and that was too much ground to make up with the way Oakland swung the bat in the opener of this three-game series. A day after homering three times and scoring nine runs, the A’s mustered just five hits in front of a paltry crowd of 9,848, their second smallest of the season.

Here’s five things you need to know as the A’s fell to 2-5 on this nine-game homestand:

A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: The A’s had a chance to jump right back into the game after Gallagher’s slam. They had Royals righty Jakob Junis on the ropes after he hit two batters in a row, the second one forcing in a run to cut it to 6-2. But with the bases still loaded and one out, Matt Olson fouled out and Chad Pinder struck out on a check swing.

STILL SEARCHING FOR HIS FORM: Cotton got through six innings but wound up charged with six runs thanks to the grand slam. He walked three, including one in that pivotal sixth-inning rally for the visitors. Cotton’s ERA rose from 5.72 to 5.92.

DOING HIS PART: Marcus Semien tripled in the first and scored on Ryon Healy’s groundout. He added an infield single in his next at-bat and finished 2-for-4.

FACTOID OF THE NIGHT: In Jason Hammel and Brandon Moss, the Royals have more members of the 2014 A’s squad on their roster than the A’s do. Oakland’s lone player from that Wild Card team is second baseman Jed Lowrie, and even he spent time with the Houston Astros before the A’s re-acquired him before the 2016 season.

WAHL SURGERY: Reliever Bobby Wahl underwent thoracic outlet surgery on his right shoulder Monday in Dallas, as expected. Dr. Greg Pearl performed the procedure, and Wahl will return to Oakland on Thursday to begin rehab. An approximate timetable for a pitcher’s recovery from such a procedure is four to six months.