Jed Lowrie’s go-ahead single in the eighth and Matt Olson’s three-run homer later in the inning gave the Oakland Athletics a 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals and a much-needed series victory.
After struggling with Royals starter Jakob Junis over the first seven innings, Oakland (31-29) finally broke through in the eighth. Dustin Fowler, who moved to the leadoff spot with Matt Joyce battling a tight back, singled and stole second before coming around to score on Lowrie’s hit.
The go-ahead knock would end the day for Junis, and things got out of hand against reliever Butch Keller, who walked Khris Davis before serving up a 3-0 meatball to Matt Olson for the his third home run of the series and fourth in four games.
The eighth-inning outburst made a winner out of Lou Trivino, who pitched the sixth and seventh after Daniel Gossett left following the fifth inning with a tight elbow. Gossett allowed two hits and two walks, including Jon Jay’s first home run with Kansas City (21-38), which evened up the score in the bottom of the third. The A’s had taken the lead in the top of the inning on a Mark Canha double and Jonathan Lucroy RBI single.
Trivino allowed just one baserunner on a sixth-inning walk to Whit Merrifield. Merrifield stole second when Mike Moustakas struck out and took third during Salvador Perez’s at-bat, but Trivino retired Perez on a foul tip to end the threat.
Trivino pitched a perfect seventh and was credited with his third win of the year. Yusmeiro Petit took care of the eighth and reigning AL Reliever of the Month Blake Treinen pitched a perfect ninth, including a pair of strikeouts, to close out the game.
Over his 7 1/3 innings, Junis struck out nine and walked just one, but allowed six hits. The two runs charged to him in the eighth inning gave him three earned runs on the day and sent him to his fifth loss of the season.
The win is particularly significant for Oakland. The A’s had lost two of their past three series, and need with a soft stretch of schedule coming up, need to get wins where they can to keep pace with the likes of the Seattle Mariners and other wild card contenders. The road trip wraps up Tuesday and Wednesday with two games against the Texas Rangers, and the A’s will return home to host the Royals for four next weekend.blake treinendaniel gossettJed LowrieLou Trivinomatt olsonMLBOakland A'sOakland Athletics