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Game #66: A’s strike out 16 times, lose 5-1 to Royals

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

They scored their only run on a wild pitch

The Oakland A’s lineup had another tough night.

The A’s set a season-high in strikeouts amid a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday, in the opener of a weekend series at the Coliseum.

*** Click here to revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***

Once again, Oakland couldn’t get much going on offense. They struck out 16 times, out of 37 trips to the plate, while collecting just five hits and five walks. This marks the 23rd time this season that they’ve been limited to one run or fewer, out of 66 games.

Meanwhile, the Royals banged out 11 hits and took advantage of a couple defensive errors by the A’s, scoring in four different innings. They grabbed an early lead and held onto it, as neither side put up any more runs after the top of the 5th.

***

Kansas City got the scoring started right away against starter Frankie Montas. They strung together three hard hits in the 1st inning for a run, then a couple more in the 2nd inning for another run, and then blasted a solo homer in the 3rd.

The 5th inning brought two more runs, of the unearned variety thanks to the left side of the infield. A groundball bounced past third baseman Matt Davidson for an error to let a runner aboard, setting up a sac fly for an RBI, and later a popup landed in between Davidson and shortstop Elvis Andrus to allow another gift run to come around.

It was that kind of night, and it’s been that kind of year.

  • Montas: 5 ip, 5 runs (3 earned), 4 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HR, 10 hits, 103 pitches

The bullpen shut down the Royals after that, including three scoreless innings by reliever Austin Pruitt, but the damage was done.

***

The A’s got their own best chance to score in the 2nd inning. With two outs, they put together two singles and a walk to load the bases, and a wild pitch allowed Andrus to score from third — a good piece of hustle on a ball that didn’t bounce that far away from the catcher. Another single reloaded the bases, counting as their only hit tonight with runners in scoring position, but a groundout finally stranded them all.

Oakland put together a couple brief threats after that, including a two-out double in the 5th, two runners in the 6th, and a pair of walks in the 9th, but they never again reached third base much less home plate.

***

While the A’s defense made a couple costly errors, there was a nice play worth watching. Here’s Chad Pinder making a leaping catch in left field.

The fans also chipped in, showing us the importance of backing up the play.

Oakland has the worst record in MLB at 22-44, and they have the second-lowest scoring offense. See you tomorrow!

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