KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Oakland Athletics had the go-ahead run in the seventh inning thrown out at third base. Three walks in the eighth provided the Kansas City Royals with the eventual winner.
As far as Bob Melvin was concerned, that was only part of the misery.
The A’s twice squandered leads thanks to their three errors, and a balky bullpen and some poor base running contributed to a disheartening 4-3 defeat on Saturday.
“That was a very poor game,” the mild-mannered Oakland manager said afterward. “The way we started and the way we ended. A very bad game for us.”
Was there anything particularly bad?
“I wish it was one thing,” Melvin responded. “It was a very poor game.”
The Royals had rallied to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer in the seventh, and then loaded the bases on an error and a pair of walks by reliever Ryan Cook.
Jarrod Dyson, hardly known for his power, showed bunt on his first pitch from Cook (1-2) before hitting a grounder deep behind second base. Shortstop Adam Rosales fielded it cleanly but didn’t even bother with a throw as pinch runner Alcides Escobar scored the go-ahead run.
It was Rosales whose error allowed the inning to continue.
“It’s going to stick with me for a little while,” he said.
Aaron Crow (6-3) worked the eighth and Greg Holland handled the ninth for his 20th save, wrapping up Kansas City’s first win in five tries against Oakland this season.
“They’ve been grinder games. Their pitching staff is very, very good. Their starting rotation is very good,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “We just scrapped it. We scrapped it out.”
Mike Moustakas homered and Billy Butler drove in a run for the Royals, while Alex Gordon walked three times and reached on an error in his return to the lineup. He’d missed the last two games after a scary collision with the outfield wall Wednesday night against Cleveland.
“Once I got the Adrenaline going and did some work, it felt pretty good,” Gordon said.
Josh Donaldson homered and drove in two runs to lead the A’s, who struck right away when Josh Reddick sent a single to center for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Jarrod Parker wound up going 6 1/3 innings for the A’s after leaving his last start with tightness in his right hamstring, but it was the bullpen that let his team down.