Alex Gordon hit a leadoff double and scored on Greg Blanco’s groundout in the ninth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics, 3-2, on Tuesday night.
Gordon also homered, while Mitch Maier and Yuniesky Betancourt added two hits apiece for the Royals, who snapped a four-game losing streak to the A’s.
Newly acquired reliever Jesse Chavez pitched two scoreless innings for the win before Joakim Soria worked the ninth for his 30th save in 32 chances.
The Royals bounced back after getting shut out by Oakland’s Trevor Cahill a day earlier and have won four of five following their five-game losing streak.
Gordon doubled leading off the ninth against Craig Breslow (4-3) and was sacrificed to second. After Yuniesky Betancourt was intentionally walked, Blanco hit a sharp grounder to third. Oakland’s Kevin Kouzmanoff fielded the ball and threw to second baseman Mark Ellis to retire Betancourt, but Ellis was unable to make the relay throw to first as Gordon scored.
Gordon’s homer in the second, a solo shot to center with one out, was his fourth overall and third in five games after being recalled from the minors on July 23.
Oakland scored an unearned run off Kansas City starter Kyle Davies in the fourth, though the pitcher had only himself to blame. His errant pickoff attempt allowed Rajai Davis to move from first to third with two outs.
Davis then scored on Matt Watson’s line single to right.
The A’s returned the favor in the fifth when third baseman Kouzmanoff threw wildly on Blanco’s infield single. Blanco raced to third on the error and scored on Chris Getz’s groundout.
Oakland tied the game on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI double in the fifth but got only one hit the rest of the game.
The Royals ran themselves out of potentially big inning in the seventh. Maier hit a leadoff double and took third on Yuniesky Betancourt’s single. When Blanco attempted to bunt, Oakland catcher Suzuki fielded the ball and caught Maier in a rundown.
Maier ran back to third, where Betancourt was standing, and reliever Jerry Blevins tagged Maier. Maier was called out but Oakland manager Bob Geren argued that both runners should be out. Baseball rules state the trailing runner will be called out when two players occupy the same base.
Umpires ruled that Maier was not on the base when he was tagged by Blevins and Geren was ejected after a lengthy argument with home plate umpire and crew chief Gary Darling.
Davies allowed two runs with six strikeouts and five walks but left with a no-decision for the seventh time in his last 11 starts.
Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro wasn’t around for the decision, either. He gave up Gordon’s home run and scattered five hits over six innings, snapping a string of three straight complete games thrown by A’s pitchers.
Notes: The A’s claimed IF Jeff Larish off waivers from Detroit and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. To make room on their 40-man roster, the A’s designated IF Adam Heether for assignment. ... Geren’s ejection was his third this season.