KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Frankie Montas tossed eight scoreless innings as the A's cruised to a 16-0 rout of the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.Montas allowed seven hits, as he received some serious run support sparked by a seven-run third inning against Royals starter Ian Kennedy. The A's
KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Frankie Montas tossed eight scoreless innings as the A's cruised to a 16-0 rout of the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Montas allowed seven hits, as he received some serious run support sparked by a seven-run third inning against Royals starter Ian Kennedy. The A's finished with four home runs -- two each from Matt Olson and Dustin Fowler -- and capped the series-opening win with a seven-run ninth.
Montas' dominant outing came in just the fourth start of his career, and just the second as a member of the A's. Still, manager Bob Melvin wasn't surprised to see such a stellar performance from his young pitcher.
"His last start was terrific, he put in the work to get to this start," Melvin said. "You're finally seeing the talent level come out, because there's a lot of talent there."
Olson's first jack opened the scoring in the second. The A's first five batters reached base in the next frame before Olson went yard again, this time a three-run shot that made it 7-0. He finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored.
Three batters later, Fowler hit another solo homer off Kennedy, extending the lead to 8-0 as Oakland batted around. Kennedy was tagged for eight runs on seven hits and two walks.
Montas had an eight-run cushion before he faced the entire Royals lineup, allowing him to really settle in and get comfortable.
"It feels good that the guys have my back," Montas said through an interpreter. "For them to get out early and score a lot of runs is really nice for me, and us as a whole."
The A's got to Royals reliever Brian Flynn for four more in the ninth and three off Jason Adam. Fowler's second homer was off Adam. The two seven-run innings were the most in any single frame for the A's this year. Their 51 homers on the road this season lead the Majors.
The difference for Montas came in his use of pitches other than his breaking ball, which he shied away from early, and as a result, he got fewer strikeouts than he typically would.
"The sinker was really working well, and I just put my faith and my trust in [catcher Jonathan Lucroy]," Montas said. "We didn't think that we needed to throw the curveball earlier on until later in the game."
The offensive outburst was particularly surprising considering the A's came into the series reeling from a homestand in which they scored just 21 runs in 10 games.
"That homestand was an anomaly for us," Olson said. "I think we don't think we're that type of hitting ballclub, scoring one, two runs a night. I think that was just kind of building up a little bit, and maybe took a little bit of our frustrations out."
Lucroy went 3-for-5 with two singles and a triple. His fifth-inning single was the 1,000th hit of his nine-year career.
This was the most lopsided shutout in the Major Leagues this season, and matches the biggest shutout win in A's history. They've done it five times before, mostly recently on July 25, 2012, against the Blue Jays.
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Olson's second homer traveled a projected 456 feet before landing in the Kauffman Stadium fountains. Statcast™ tracked the blast with a launch angle of 24 degrees and an exit velocity of 110.3 mph. More >
It was the second-longest home run by the A's this season, just behind Olson's 475-foot jack on Thursday against the Rays. Add in his 428-foot homer in the second inning, and Olson had three of Oakland's eight farthest-hit balls of the season in three consecutive at-bats.
"Those are three impressive home runs he's hit in ... was it three consecutive at-bats?" Melvin said. "That's a lot of distance in three at-bats."
A's right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-2, 2.25 ERA) will start against his former club in Game 2 of this series against the Royals at 11:15 a.m. PT on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. Cahill tossed eight scoreless innings against the Rays on Monday, allowing four hits and striking out six. Righty Jason Hammel (2-5, 5.23) will get the start for Kansas City.
Jordan Wolf is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.