Nick Allen’s two-run single in the seventh inning proved to be the difference in the Oakland Athletics’ 5-3 win over the host Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Allen’s hit enabled Oakland to take the rubber match of the three-game series, giving the A’s their first series win since taking two of three games in Seattle from May 23-25.
The Royals, who had taken two of three games when the teams met in Oakland last weekend, haven’t won a series at home since taking two of three contests against the Minnesota Twins from April 19-21.
Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on Stephen Vogt’s single before extending its advantage to 2-0 in the sixth on Seth Brown’s solo homer.
After Oakland starter James Kaprielian held the Royals to just one hit through five innings, Kansas City got to him in the sixth.
After Nicky Lopez led off with a triple to right and Whit Merrifield grounded out, Kaprielan loaded the bases with consecutive walks to Andrew Benintendi and Bobby Witt Jr.
Sam Moll relieved Kaprielian, and he struck out MJ Melendez for the second out. But Moll followed by allowing a two-run single to Carlos Santana and a run-scoring single to Edward Olivares that gave the Royals a 3-2 lead. Olivares was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Kaprielian allowed three runs on two hits with two strikeouts and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
But the A’s took the lead back in their next at-bat. After Chad Pinder’s single and Cristian Pache’s double with two outs, Allen cleared the bases with a single to center, giving Oakland a 4-3 lead.
Oakland pushed its lead to 5-3 in the ninth on Pache’s single off reliever Scott Barlow that scored Sheldon Neuse, who had singled, stolen second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Domingo Acevedo (1-1) picked up the win by relieving Moll and pitching a scoreless seventh before Zach Jackson blanked the Royals in the eighth.
Lou Trivino picked up his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth, striking out Lopez with runners at second and third to end the game.
Kansas City right-hander Brady Singer (3-3), who lasted a career-high 8 1/3 innings, took the loss by allowing five our runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
–Field Level Media