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Colon endures rough outing as A's fall to Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Striking early, the undefeated Royals knocked off an Athletics split-squad, 8-2, for their 10th consecutive victory on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. The only blemish on their record is a tie that opened their Cactus League season.

The Royals worked over A's starter Bartolo Colon with five earned runs on seven hits in his two-inning outing. Colon, who will start the season with a five-game suspension to complete a drug penalty, had given up three runs (one earned) on five hits in his first start against the Cubs.

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The four-run first inning included RBI singles by Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas' run-scoring double. Brett Hayes led off the second inning with a home run to left field, his second.

Royals starter Bruce Chen gave up one run in three innings; the A's scored on Hiroyuki Nakajima's double and John Jaso's single. His rival for the fifth-rotation job, Luke Hochevar, notched three scoreless innings. Hochevar struck out the last three batters he faced.

"I kind of got in a groove as the game went on and started getting the ball down better," Hochevar said. "I felt a lot better with my fastball execution today, but overall my arm feels good and I'm ready to step it up."

The A's scored a run against reliever Louis Coleman in the seventh on singles by David Freitas and Shane Peterson and Miles Head's sacrifice fly. However, Coleman worked out of a bases-loaded jam to end the inning.

Non-roster third baseman Brandon Wood belted a two-run homer in the Royals' eighth against James Simmons after Anthony Seratelli doubled and stole third base. It was Wood's second homer.

David Lough followed with a single and scored on Jarrod Dyson's triple.

Up next: The A's will enjoy their first off-day of the spring Wednesday, before resuming action on Thursday against the Mariners in Peoria at 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will available exclusively as a free audio webcast on Lefty Tommy Milone will make his second start for Oakland, opposed by Seattle right-hander Brandon Maurer.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Oakland Athletics, Bartolo Colon, Miles Head