OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit his second RBI single of the game in the ninth to lead the Royals to a 7-6 series-winning victory over the A's on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum and keep Kansas City 1/2 game back of the second American League Wild Card spot."I was trying
OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit his second RBI single of the game in the ninth to lead the Royals to a 7-6 series-winning victory over the A's on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum and keep Kansas City 1/2 game back of the second American League Wild Card spot.
"I was trying to drive him in, but I was also trying to get him over any way I could. I went up there with the mindset to maybe possibly bunt," Gordon said. "When I got to two strikes, I was trying to feel it [to the right side], and he threw me a slider that was a good pitch to hit."
The go-ahead single through the shift into right-center against right-hander Blake Treinen came after rookie Matt Chapman took Royals reliever Brandon Maurer deep for a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth. Royals closer Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 26th save in his first appearance in four days.
"This was a big win for us today, especially after last night," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Games like last night can seize your momentum. To come back and show the heart and the ability to grind a tough game out like our guys did today was very satisfying."
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Lorenzo Cain reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer for the Royals. Marcus Semien had a two-run home run for the A's in a 2-for-5 day, hitting a two-run homer in the third against Royals starter Danny Duffy, who gave up four runs on six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out eight and walked two.
Kansas City scored three runs off of A's starter Paul Blackburn in the fourth, whose day ended with four runs allowed in four innings. In the shortest outing of his Major League career, the rookie allowed eight hits and walked three while striking out two.
"It's tough," Blackburn said. "I was falling behind every batter, and that's on me. I just gotta do better than that. For me, my biggest thing is going deep in the game and putting the team in the best situation to win, and I didn't do that today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cain blasts off: After scoring once in the fourth inning to tie the game, Cain gave Kansas City the lead by launching a homer to center, which went 421 feet according to Statcast™. Cain has hit seven of his 13 homers in the state of California.
"I was just seeing the ball really well today, and I was able to put a really good swing on a 3-1 pitch," Cain said. "He gave me a fastball there and I was ready for it, put a good swing there and it went out." More >
Escobar sparks rally: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar helped Kansas City respond to Oakland's rally in the eighth by leading off the ninth with a double to left off Treinen, who threw 33 pitches the night before. He would score on Gordon's single, which gave the left fielder his 11th multi-hit game and eighth multi-RBI game of the year.
"In that situation, I'm just trying to get on base," Escobar said. "I hit the ball really good to the left-field line and was able to get to second base. [Gordon] had a great, great at-bat and a base hit."
"I really didn't want to have to use him unless it was that situation, and hopefully it was a save," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Treinen, "but he said he was good for one inning, and once we got to a tie game, [Treinen is] our closer."
"We had some opportunities. I don't know how many we left on base, but we got big, clutch hits when we needed it. Esky in the ninth and Gordy, Hos in the seventh. We got clutch hits. We had more opportunities to score, but we broke through when we needed to." -- Yost
HATCHER MAKES A'S DEBUT
Veteran right-hander Chris Hatcher, acquired by the A's from the Dodgers on Tuesday, made his debut in green and gold in the sixth inning Wednesday, retiring each of his three batters with one strikeout along the way. More >
Royals: After an off-day Thursday, the Royals open a three-game series with the division-leading Indians at 7:15 p.m. CT Friday. Right-hander Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA) will look to turn around his rough start to August, as he's 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA in his past three starts.
A's: The A's will travel to Houston on Thursday in preparation for a three-game series with the Astros. Lefty Sean Manaea gets the ball for Friday's 5:10 p.m. PT series opener, hoping to rebound from an ugly five-start stretch in which he's posted a 9.31 ERA.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.