Aug 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Nori Aoki (23) drives in two runs with a triple against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Royals won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Nori Aoki's Triple keys Five-Run inning in Royals Win

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The Kansas City Royals won their 2nd straight by defeating the A’s 7-3 at Kauffman Stadium Thursday afternoon.  Nori Aoki stroked a 2-run triple to key a 5-run 7th that overcame a 3-2 Oakland lead.

The A’s managed to load the bases in the 9th inning against Jason Fraser and closer Greg Holland, but Holland retired LF Brandon Moss on a fly ball to left.

The win puts Kansas City at 12 games over .500 at 66-54. The Royals held on to their 1/2 game lead over Detroit in the A.L. Central, and opened a 1 game gap between themselves and the Blue Jays for the 2nd wild card spot.

On the Mound

Starter James Shield pitched 6.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, and 3 earned runs with 5 strikeouts. Though Shields was charged with 3 earned runs, Jarrod Dyson lost Josh Reddick‘s deep fly to center in the sun with two outs in the inning. The ball fell for a triple, scoring Stephen Vogt from 1st base. Alberto Callaspo followed with a single that drove in Reddick from 3rd.

The bottom line is that Shields should have only surrendered 1 earned run and notched the win instead of getting a no-decision.

Francisely Bueno retired two hitters in the 7th.

Aaron Crow (6-1) notched the final out i the 7th on a strikeout. He ended up winning the game when the Royals scored 5 in the bottom of the 7th.

Wade Davis pitched a scoreless 8th despite allowing 2 hits. He also struck out the side.

Jason Frasor opened the 9th and recorded 1 out while allowing two hits. Greg Holland relieved Frasor with 2 runners on, and closed out the game without allowing either to score despite allowing a walk to load the bases with 2 outs.

At the Plate

Overall, the Royals pounded out 12 hits, including a double and triple, and drew 1 walk on the day. Both extra-base hits came in their 5-run 7th inning.

Christian Colon had a big day subbing at 2B for Omar Infante. Colon went 3 for 4, with 2 singles and a double, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI.

Nori Aoki struck the big blow with a 2-run triple in the 7th with the score tied 3-3 after a long duel with Oakland reliever Ryan Cook. Aoki went 1-4 with the triple, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Billy Butler followed Aoki’s double with a 2-run single toward the gap in right field. Aoki scored from 3rd and Escobar came home because he was running on the play. Butler finished 2 for 4 with a single, double, and 2 RBI’s.

This and That

The Royals have won 7 series in a row, including 2, 4-game sets.

Kansas City is 12 games over .500 for the first time since July 20, 2003. The Royals are in 1st place as late as August 15 for the first time since August 29, 2003.

Rookie Christian Colon had his 2nd 3-hit game since getting called up after the All-Star break.

Jarrod Dyson made up for his misplay in the 6th inning with an 0-2 single in the 7th that scored Colon and tied the game at 3-3.Dyson also drove in a run in with a sacrifice fly in the 3rd.

Alcides Escobar made a mistake by running outside the basepaths on would have been a leadoff bunt single in the 6th. He was called out for interfering with the catcher.

Manager Ned Yost ran aggressively in the game, yielding 3 stolen bases plus an extra run in the 7th when Escobar scored from first on Butler’s single because Yost put on the hit-and-run.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

I was tempted to go with Christian Colon for his 3-hit game, but gave our nod to Nori Aoki for his game-changing triple in the 7th. That was the key at-bat in the game.

The A’s

Josh Reddick had a double and gift triple, going 2 for 4 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. 1B Stephen Vogt went 3 for 4 with 3 singles and 1 run scored.

Up Next

The Royals travel to Minnesota to begin a 4-game series against the Twins. The Royals will send Danny Duffy (7-10, 2.57 ERA) to the mound against Ricky Nolasco (5-7, 5.90 ERA) for Minnesota. Game time is 7:10 PM CST at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Box

A’s Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Coco Crisp DH 5 0 1 0 0 0 5 .259 .361 .392 .753
John Jaso C 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 .265 .341 .425 .767
   Derek Norris PH-C 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .283 .378 .453 .831
Josh Donaldson 3B 4 0 0 0 1 3 5 .253 .340 .472 .811
Brandon Moss LF 5 1 2 0 0 2 5 .256 .341 .480 .822
Stephen Vogt 1B 4 1 3 0 0 0 4 .325 .356 .495 .851
Josh Reddick RF 4 1 2 1 0 1 4 .260 .311 .431 .742
Alberto Callaspo 2B 3 0 1 2 0 1 4 .232 .301 .300 .600
Sam Fuld CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .260 .344 .347 .691
Eric Sogard SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 4 .213 .298 .265 .564
Team Totals 37 3 11 3 2 9 40 .297 .325 .378 .703

2B: J Reddick (11, off J Shields).
3B: J Reddick (5, off J Shields).
SF: A Callaspo (5, off J Shields).
TB: J Reddick 5; S Vogt 3; B Moss 2; E Sogard; A Callaspo; S Fuld; C Crisp.
RBI: A Callaspo 2 (36); J Reddick (35).
2-out RBI: A Callaspo; J Reddick.
Team LOB: 10.
With RISP: 1 for 8.
Fielding
DP: 1. S Vogt-E Sogard-S Vogt.
E: A Callaspo (8).

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 1 1 2 0 1 4 .272 .342 .346 .687
   Salvador Perez C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267 .306 .413 .719
Alcides Escobar SS 3 1 0 0 1 1 4 .275 .311 .366 .677
Alex Gordon LF 4 1 1 0 0 1 4 .278 .352 .431 .783
Billy Butler 1B 4 0 2 2 0 0 4 .277 .324 .386 .710
Josh Willingham DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .209 .343 .397 .740
Mike Moustakas 3B 4 0 1 1 0 1 4 .199 .261 .386 .648
Erik Kratz C 3 1 2 0 0 1 3 .217 .242 .348 .590
   Lorenzo Cain PR-RF 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 .299 .338 .410 .748
Christian Colon 2B 4 1 3 0 0 0 4 .385 .385 .615 1.000
Jarrod Dyson CF 3 1 1 2 0 1 4 .286 .333 .342 .675
Team Totals 34 7 12 7 1 8 36 .353 .361 .441 .802

2B: C Colon (4, off J Samardzija).
3B: N Aoki (4, off R Cook).
SF: J Dyson (2, off J Samardzija).
TB: C Colon 4; N Aoki 3; E Kratz 2; B Butler 2; A Gordon; L Cain; M Moustakas; J Dyson.
GIDP: N Aoki (5).
RBI: N Aoki 2 (28); B Butler 2 (50); J Dyson 2 (18); M Moustakas (48).
2-out RBI: B Butler 2; M Moustakas.
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 4 for 9.
Baserunning
SB: C Colon (1, 2nd base off J Samardzija/J Jaso); A Gordon (8, 3rd base off J Samardzija/J Jaso); L Cain (17, 2nd base off S Doolittle/D Norris).

A’s Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Jeff Samardzija, L (5-9) 6.1 8 4 3 0 5 0 2.96
Ryan Cook, BS (1) 0 2 3 3 1 0 0 2.95
Fernando Abad 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.75
Luke Gregerson 0.1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.25
Sean Doolittle 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.39
Team Totals 8 12 7 6 1 8 0 6.75
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
James Shields 6 7 3 3 1 5 0 3.29
Francisley Bueno 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.52
Aaron Crow, W (6-1) 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.02
Wade Davis 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 0.86
Jason Frasor 0.1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.75
Greg Holland, S (36) 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1.71
Team Totals 9 11 3 3 2 9 0 3.00

Balks: None.
WP: J Samardzija (8); J Shields (8).
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

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Tags: Billy Butler Christian Colon James Shields Kansas City Royals Nori Aoki

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