Aug 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas (51) pitches during the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Vargas gets Bombed for Seven Runs in Loss

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The Royals lost 8-3 in Oakland to snap  their 3-game winning streak as the A’s beat up returning starter Jason Vargas for 7 runs in 4.1 innings Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

The A’s exploded for 8 runs in the 5th inning, putting the game out of reach. Meanwhile, Jon Lester comes home with a win in his first game for the A’s after Oakland acquired him at the trade deadline from Boston..

The loss drops Kansas City to 3 games over .500 at 56-53. The Royals fell to 5 games behind Detroit in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Jason Vargas held the A’s scoreless for 4 innings in his return from an appendectomy on July 1st, but then imploded in the 5th inning to allow 7 runs. Overall, Vargas allowed 7 hits, 0 walks, and 7 earned runs with 5 strikeouts. Vargas earned the loss to go 8-5.

The A’s outburst came on a barrage of 6 singles after a leadoff double by Derek Norris, wrapped around a botched sacrifice bunt attempt that allowed the Royals to nab the lead runner in what had been a tight 1-0 game. At the time, the play looked significant. Vargas left the game down 5-1.

Aaron Crow relieved Vargas and walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases. Crow then gave up a single to Jonny Gomes, which ended up clearing the bases after Alex Gordon bobbled the ball in left. Crow went .1 innings, allowing 1 walk, 1 single, and 1 run (0 earned).

Scott Downs pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief followed by 2.0 scoreless innings from Bruce Chen to finish the game.

At the Plate

The Royals piled up 10 hits and 2 walks with only 3 runs, which was not enough to counteract the A’s 8-run 5th, despite the having 2 more baserunners than Oakland in the game.

Lorenzo Cain stroked 2 singles and a double to go 3-4 with 1 run scored.

Nori Aoki went 2-3, with 2 singles, 2 walks, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI.

No other Royals had more than 1 hit.

This and That

Despite trading Yoenis Cespedes on Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, the A’s went ahead with a planned promotion where they gave away 10,000 T-shirts honoring Cespedes power that read “La Polencia”. The two-time home run derby champ moved to Boston in the Jon Lester deal.

Christian Colon went 1-2 after he subbed for Omar Infante in his first action since getting recalled from Omaha after Danny Valencia‘s trade.

Erik Kratz drew his first KC start since the Royals acquired him from Toronto, going 1-4. Salvador Perez remained in the lineup as the DH.

Sam Fuld pulled off a spectacular double play in the top of the 4th inning. With Alex Gordon at 3rd base, Fuld caught Mike Moutakas’ liner to center and then nailed Gordon with a strong throw to the plate to complete an inning-ending double play.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I have to go with Nori Aoki, who did his job as a leadoff hitter by getting on base 4 times with 2 singles and 2 walks. 

The A’s

The A’s acquisitions at the trading deadline came up big in this game. Jon Lester pitched into the 7th inning allowing 3 runs to get the win. Sam Fuld went 1-4 with 1 run scored in the A’s 8-run rally in the 5th and a spectacular catch and throw double play in the 4th. Jonny Gomes went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored.

I guess there’s a reason the A’s have the best record in baseball—great player evaluation.

Up Next

The Royals will finish their 3 game series in Oakland Sunday afternoon. Kansas City will send James Shields (9-6, 3.50 ERA) to the mound against Scott Kazmir (12-3, 2.37 ERA). Game time is 3:05 PM CST at the Oakland Coliseum.

Box

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Nori Aoki RF-LF 3 1 2 1 2 0 5 .266 .335 .331 .666
Omar Infante 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .260 .302 .360 .662
   Christian Colon PH-2B 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 .357 .357 .643 1.000
Salvador Perez DH 3 0 1 1 0 1 4 .272 .311 .414 .725
Billy Butler 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .264 .316 .356 .672
Alex Gordon LF 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 .274 .351 .418 .770
   Jarrod Dyson CF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .279 .332 .333 .665
Erik Kratz C 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .200 .227 .341 .568
Lorenzo Cain CF-RF 4 1 3 0 0 1 4 .303 .337 .418 .755
Mike Moustakas 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .191 .258 .382 .640
Alcides Escobar SS 4 1 1 0 0 0 4 .275 .309 .374 .684
Team Totals 34 3 10 3 2 4 38 .294 .324 .353 .677

2B: A Gordon (28, off J Lester); L Cain (20, off J Lester).
SF: S Perez (1, off J Lester).
SH: O Infante (4, off J Lester).
TB: L Cain 4; A Gordon 2; N Aoki 2; S Perez; E Kratz; C Colon; A Escobar.
RBI: S Perez (40); N Aoki (18); C Colon (2).
2-out RBI: C Colon; N Aoki.
Team LOB: 8.
With RISP: 3 for 10.
Fielding
E: A Gordon (2).

A’s Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Sam Fuld CF 4 1 1 0 0 0 4 .264 .356 .368 .724
Jed Lowrie SS 4 1 1 1 0 0 4 .239 .319 .353 .672
Josh Donaldson 3B 3 1 0 1 1 1 4 .246 .331 .463 .793
Derek Norris C 4 0 2 0 0 2 4 .303 .402 .481 .883
Jonny Gomes LF 4 1 2 2 0 1 4 .239 .332 .357 .689
Stephen Vogt 1B 4 1 0 0 0 1 4 .333 .363 .503 .866
Alberto Callaspo DH 4 1 1 1 0 2 4 .232 .302 .302 .604
Josh Reddick RF 3 1 1 1 0 0 3 .253 .309 .410 .719
Nick Punto 2B 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 .207 .300 .279 .580
   Eric Sogard PR-2B 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .198 .272 .236 .509
Team Totals 33 8 9 7 1 7 34 .273 .294 .303 .597

2B: D Norris (14, off J Vargas).
TB: D Norris 3; J Gomes 2; J Reddick; A Callaspo; J Lowrie; S Fuld; N Punto.
RBI: J Gomes 2 (34); J Reddick (29); J Donaldson (77); J Lowrie (41); A Callaspo (34); N Punto (13).
2-out RBI: J Gomes 2.
Team LOB: 2.
With RISP: 7 for 10.
Fielding
DP: 1. S Fuld-D Norris.
Outfield Assists: S Fuld (A Gordon at home plate).

Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jason Vargas, L (8-5) 4.1 7 7 7 0 5 0 3.69 75 47
Aaron Crow 0.1 1 1 0 1 1 0 3.13 15 7
Scott Downs 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.29 10 6
Bruce Chen 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 6.12 24 16
Team Totals 8 9 8 7 1 7 0 7.88 124 76
A’s Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jon Lester, W (11-7) 6.2 9 3 3 1 3 0 2.59 104 71
Ryan Cook 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.55 16 11
Jesse Chavez 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3.41 23 15
Team Totals 9 10 3 3 2 4 0 3.00 143 97

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None

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Tags: Jason Vargas Jon Lester Kansas City Royals

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