Oakland, Calif. Jemile Weeks played through some nerves, Gio Gonzalez played through an illness, and the Oakland Athletics played well enough for their first series win under interim manager Bob Melvin.
Weeks had two hits and drove in three runs, and Hideki Matsui homered to lead the Oakland Athletics to an 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
Matsui’s solo blast gave him a combined 499 homers in Japan and the U.S. and helped Oakland win a second straight game for the first time since a four-game streak May 26-29.
“The first couple of days were shaky from nerves and I just tried to stay confident,” said Weeks, hitting .344 (11 for 32) since his June 7 callup. “I’m just going out there and playing as hard as I can.”
Melky Cabrera had two hits and drove in a run for the Royals, who lost their second straight. Jeff Francoeur, Wilson Betemit and Brayan Pena each added an RBI.
“He was establishing his fastball and left it up in the zone and we were chasing it,” said Francoeur, who also struck out four times. “That’s not a good combination, especially when you throw 94 miles an hour like he does.”
Daric Barton drove in two runs, and Coco Crisp and Kurt Suzuki each had an RBI in support of Gio Gonzalez (6-5), who ended a personal three-game slide for his first win since May 17.
“There were a couple of innings where I had to sit down and take a deep breath,” Gonzalez said. “My throat is a little sore and I feel a little weak but I didn’t want to show any weakness.”
Gonzalez allowed two runs on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 10.
“He’s usually pretty animated and he was subdued,” Melvin said. “You could tell he was feeling it.”
Jeff Francis (3-7) gave up a season-high six runs on nine hits over 31⁄3 innings, his second- shortest outing of the season. He walked two and did not strike out a batter in a game for the first time.
“I was falling behind guys in certain situations and that doesn’t do me any good,” Francis said.