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Royals slip past Athletics, 7-4

September 7, 2011

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— Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning, Danny Duffy won for the first time in more than a month and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 7-4 on Tuesday.

Salvador Perez added three hits while six players drove in runs for the Royals, who have scored 29 runs in their last three road games.

Jemille Weeks had three hits and two RBIs for Oakland, which has dropped two straight after sweeping Seattle over the weekend.

Duffy (4-8) allowed only four hits and had four strikeouts over 6 1-3 innings in what is likely his final start of the year. Joakim Soria worked the ninth for his 26th save.

Gio Gonzalez (12-12) gave up a career-high 10 hits and walked three for the A’s.

Duffy, who has already logged more than 147 innings this season between the big leagues and minors, threw a season-high 119 pitches. That ended a six-game winless skid for the rookie, who earned his first win in the majors here on June 14.

The 22-year-old left-hander even survived getting hit by a line drive off the bat of Scott Sizemore in the sixth. Duffy hopped off the mound, calmly retrieved the ball then made an underhand toss to first for the out.

In the ninth, Oakland loaded the bases and Soria walked Cliff Pennington to force in a run before getting Hideki Matsui to ground out to end it.

Gonzalez had won his previous three starts and needed only six pitches to get through the first inning against Kansas City. It turned out to be the highlight of his night.

After Hosmer and Francoeur went back-to-back, Johnny Giavotella and Perez both hit sharp singles. Yamaico Navarro followed with a long fly ball that sailed over the head of right fielder Michael Taylor but Giavotella waited at second to tag up and only advanced to third.

Alcides Escobar’s infield single drove in Giavotella, then Perez scored on Alex Gordon’s groundout to make it 4-0.

Duffy almost gave it all back when he walked the first two batters in the third and gave up an RBI double to Weeks. Pennington added a single to drive in Anthony Recker and cut the gap to 4-2.

Kansas City, which batted around in the second, did it again in the fifth to chase Gonzalez, who had allowed only nine hits over two previous starts against the Royals this season. Perez and Navarro both had RBIs in the inning while Gordon drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Royals a 7-2 lead.

Francoeur finished with three hits while Hosmer went 2 for 5. Hosmer fell one hit shy of becoming the first rookie in Royals history to have three or more hits in four consecutive road games.

Weeks added an RBI single in the seventh.

NOTES: A’s CF Coco Crisp was scratched from the starting lineup about an hour before the game. No reason was given by the team why Crisp was removed but he missed the previous two games because of a sore right foot. Crisp fouled a ball off the foot during Saturday’s game against Seattle. ... LHP Bruce Chen (10-6) pitches in the series finale for Kansas City on Wednesday. Chen allowed five runs over six innings in his previous start against Cleveland, snapping a career-best five-game winning streak. RHP Guillermo Moscoso (7-8) goes for the A’s. Moscoso has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his 17 starts this season. ... Home plate umpire Bob Davidson was hit near his right wrist by a pitch from Duffy in the second inning but stayed in the game after being looked at an A’s trainer. ... Oakland Raiders linebacker Quentin Groves was among the announced crowd of 12,064.

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