Royals

Chris Young can’t overcome A’s in 5-3 Royals loss

Royals fall to the A's 5-3

Chris Young was touched for a three-run homer in the 1st by Josh Reddick and A's went on to beat the Royals 5-3
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Chris Young was touched for a three-run homer in the 1st by Josh Reddick and A's went on to beat the Royals 5-3

Chris Young’s third loss fell statistically somewhere between his first two. But his frustration level probably peaked after Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the A’s.

Young surrendered a three-run homer to Oakland’s third hitter, Josh Reddick, but limited the damage after that. Young departed having surrendered four runs in four innings with the finish much more effective than the beginning.

Still …

“We lost,” Young said. “We’re out there to win games, so I didn’t do my job, didn’t do it well enough and we got beat.”

The Royals have lost only Young’s starts in amassing an 8-3 record. He surrendered two runs in five innings against the Mets in the season’s second game, and six in 4 2/3 in the series opener at Houston last week.

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“He’s not at his best right now, but he’s getting really, really close,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Young is eager to change the narrative. Perhaps there was enough of a sign to believe it can happen.

After Reddick’s blast, Young escaped a bases-loaded no-outs jam in the second, yielding only a sacrifice fly. Over the next two innings, he returned to the form that helped him craft one of his best major league seasons in 2015, an 11-6 record and 3.06 ERA working as a starter and out of the bullpen.

Saturday he made an adjustment in the third inning with his arm slot, lowering it slightly.

“My slider got sharper and had more depth to it,” Young said.

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But the damage was done and the Royals didn’t have enough to counter A’s starter Sonny Gray, who limited the Royals to two runs over six innings and helped halt the Royals’ four-game winning streak and Athletics’ four-game losing streak.

Gray wasn’t flawless, and he had to overcome some shoddy defense, especially by second baseman Jed Lowrie. The Royals couldn’t do more against Gray than scratch across single runs in the first and fourth innings. They had a chance to pounce on Gray early.

Alcides Escobar led off the game with a pop fly behind Lowrie, who appeared to lose the ball momentarily in the sun. It bounced off his glove and was ruled a hit.

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On the next pitch, Escboar stole second without a throw. One out later, Lorenzo Cain bounced a single up the middle, scoring Escobar and the Royals had plated a first-inning run for the fourth time in five games.

A mild two-out uprising produced a fourth-inning run for the Royals. Hot-hitting Omar Infante stroked a single to left. With Reymond Fuentes at the plate, Infante took second when catcher Josh Phegley couldn’t hold on to Gray’s pitch.

Fuentes grounder to the hole in the right side was cut off by Lowrie, but when the ball rolled slightly away, Lowrie couldn’t recover in time. Infante, running with two outs, made it home without a throw.

That was it until the ninth when the Royals faced former teammate Ryan Madson. A day earlier, Madson had received his World Series ring from manager Ned Yost in a Coliseum corridor. Saturday, the Royals looked to treat their old mate rudely.

Madson was shaky. His first six pitches were out of the strike zone. Infante took advantage and reached on a walk. And when Fuentes reached on a grounder that Lowrie couldn’t handle, the Royals, a team that never seems out of any game, had given themselves a comeback shot.

Up stepped pinch hitter Salvador Perez, who didn’t start for the first time this season. But Lowrie fielded his one hopper and started a double play.

The Royals got a run. Infante, who started the inning, scored on Escboar’s single up the middle. But Mike Moustakas ended the game with a soft liner to Lowrie.

Moustakas went hitless in five plate appearances but turned in the defensive play of the game from third base, and for the Royals there seems to be one a day. This one ended the third inning.

The Royals had a shift on for left-handed hitter Yonder Alonso, who lifted a pop to shallow left field toward the line. Moustakas went out, Alex Gordon came in.

“Off the bat, I thought I had a chance at it,” Moustakas said. “I look over at Gordo to see where he was at. I kind of lost it in the sun for a second. I saw where Gordo wasn’t going to get there. It found the glove somehow.”

Moustakas, who is playing with a sore right hamstring, left his feet, landed hard and held on.

But there wasn’t enough offense to overcome the deficit and get Young off the hook.

“We all struggle at times,” Young said. “It (stinks). It’s not fun. This team finds a way to pick each other up, and at some point it will be my turn to pick other guys up the way they’ve picked me up while I’ve been struggling.”

Saturday’s summary

Athletics 5, Royals 3

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

A.Escobar ss

5

1

2

1

0

1

.255

Moustakas 3b

5

0

0

0

0

0

.214

L.Cain cf

4

0

1

1

0

1

.244

Hosmer 1b

4

0

1

0

0

1

.318

K.Morales dh

4

0

1

0

0

1

.244

A.Gordon lf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.231

Infante 2b

3

2

1

0

1

1

.324

Fuentes rf

4

0

2

1

0

1

.294

Butera c

2

0

1

0

1

0

.333

a-S.Perez ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.229

Totals

36

3

9

3

2

7

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Oakland

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Burns cf

3

1

1

0

1

0

.286

Semien ss

3

1

0

1

1

2

.257

Reddick rf

4

1

1

3

1

0

.250

Valencia 3b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.275

Vogt dh

4

1

2

1

0

0

.297

Lowrie 2b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.209

K.Davis lf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.162

Alonso 1b

3

1

2

0

1

0

.139

Phegley c

4

0

2

0

0

0

.375

Totals

33

5

10

5

4

3

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Kansas City

100

100

001

3

9

1

Oakland

310

000

10x

5

10

2

a-grounded into a double play for Butera in the 9th.

E: A.Escobar (2), Lowrie 2 (5). LOB: Kansas City 8, Oakland 10. HR: Reddick (3), off Young; Vogt (2), off Gee. RBIs: A.Escobar (2), L.Cain (6), Fuentes (3), Semien (6), Reddick 3 (8), Vogt (3). SB: A.Escobar (3). S: Burns. SF: Semien.

Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 5 (K.Morales 2, A.Escobar 2, Moustakas); Oakland 4 (Valencia 4). RISP: Kansas City 3 for 11; Oakland 1 for 5. Runners moved up: Reddick. GIDP: K.Morales, S.Perez. DP: Oakland 2 (Alonso, Semien, S.Gray), (Lowrie, Semien, Alonso).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Young L, 0-3

4

8

4

4

2

2

7.90

Gee

3

2

1

1

2

0

1.80

D.Duffy

1

0

0

0

0

1

2.84

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Oakland

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

S.Gray W, 2-1

6

7

2

1

1

6

2.33

Axford

1.2

1

0

0

0

1

0.00

Doolittle

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

6.35

Madson S, 3

1

1

1

0

1

0

3.00

Young pitched to 1 batter in the 5th.

Holds: Axford (3), Doolittle (1). Inherited runners-scored: Gee 1-0, Doolittle 1-0. IW: off Gee (Reddick). PB: Phegley 2.

Umpires: Home, Quinn Wolcott; First, Brian Gorman; Second, Mark Carlson; Third, Mike DiMuro. Time: 3:02. Att: 25,564.

AP-WF-04-16-16 2313GMT

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