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A's rally late to tie KC, but fall short in loss

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The A's were able to rally back from Trevor Cahill's rocky start against the Royals and tie the game late Saturday, but a Jorge Soler homer in the eighth erased any hopes of a come-from-behind win and gave Kansas City the 5-4 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

Cahill allowed two runs in each of the first two innings for a total of four earned across 4 2/3 frames against his former club as Oakland fell behind early, 4-0. He would stabilize after that though, allowing just one hit in his final 2 2/3 innings and keeping the window open for the offense.

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KANSAS CITY -- The A's were able to rally back from Trevor Cahill's rocky start against the Royals and tie the game late Saturday, but a Jorge Soler homer in the eighth erased any hopes of a come-from-behind win and gave Kansas City the 5-4 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

Cahill allowed two runs in each of the first two innings for a total of four earned across 4 2/3 frames against his former club as Oakland fell behind early, 4-0. He would stabilize after that though, allowing just one hit in his final 2 2/3 innings and keeping the window open for the offense.

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"Just missing location a little bit early," A's manager Bob Melvin said of his starting pitcher. "But recovered enough to at least keep us in the game and let us come back, which we did."

Video: OAK@KC: Cahill strikes out Perez swinging in the 3rd

The A's would chip away at the lead gradually, scoring a pair of runs off Royals starter Jason Hammel in the third and fourth innings off a pair of singles from Jed Lowrie and Bruce Maxwell, respectively. Maxwell made noise again with a solo homer in the seventh, cutting the lead to just one and chasing Hammel from the game.

Maxwell entered the game hitting just .154 with no home runs, so his strong performance felt especially good.

Video: OAK@KC: Lowrie lines RBI single to right in the 3rd

"That felt great," Maxwell said of his 417-foot shot. "Haven't hit a ball that hard in a while that wasn't at somebody, so it felt good to get that off my chest."

Oakland tied the game in the eighth when Matt Olson began the inning with a single off left-hander Tim Hill. He reached second on a fielder's choice to Ryan Goins before scoring on a Chad Pinder pinch-hit single to tie the game at 4. Statcast™ tracked it as having only a 26-percent hit probability as it snuck through the middle.

Video: OAK@KC: Pinder ties game in the 8th with RBI single

Yusmeiro Petit, who had tossed a spotless seventh, was left in to face the Royals' 4-5-6 hitters in the eighth. Salvador Perez nearly homered to center to start the inning but Pinder crashed into the wall to make the catch. Three pitches later, Soler got hold of an 0-2 curveball and planted it in the seats in left-center for what turned out to be the game-winning run. It was the only hit Petit allowed in his two innings, dealing him the loss.

Video: OAK@KC: Soler hits go-ahead home run in the 8th

Left fielder Matt Joyce exited in the middle of the fifth with lower back tightness after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout to start the game. Melvin was unsure of the severity of the injury.

"We'll see how he is," Melvin said. "We have a game tomorrow then we have an off-day, couple lefties. We should be able to get him some rest. But we'll have a better idea tomorrow."

AL RELIEVER OF THE MONTH
Relief pitcher Blake Treinen was named as the American League Reliever of the Month for May. Treinen allowed just one run across 14 innings in May, lowering his ERA from 1.50 to 0.99 and picking up 10 saves -- tying Dennis Eckersley's 1992 franchise record for the most in the month. His 13 on the season is tied for the fourth most in the American League. More >

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
With Pinder at second following his game-tying single, Jonathan Lucroy entered the game to pinch-hit for Maxwell with two outs in the eighth.

Hill, who had already lost the lead for the Royals, got ahead 0-2 on Lucroy with a pair of two-seamers. Lucroy battled back however, working the count to 3-2 and forcing Hill to throw 12 pitches. Hill would still win the battle, going back to the two-seamer to get him to line out sharply to Alcides Escobar and end the threat.

"He hit it on the screws," Melvin said. "I mean, that was a great at-bat. Fouling pitches off, and finally squares one up. Unfortunately it was right at Escobar."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Ryan Goins laid down a bunt in the second, fielded by Maxwell, and was initially ruled out by first-base umpire Cory Blaser. With the help of replay coordinator Bill Duplissea, Royals manager Ned Yost challenged the call and it was overturned. Kansas City is now 14-of-16 on challenges this season.

The changed call would be significant, as instead of the inning ending, the Royals scored two more runs after Escobar tripled to score Goins and was knocked in by Jon Jay.

"I think it was expected, the replay," Melvin said. "He was safe."

Video: OAK@KC: Royals win challenge at first base

UP NEXT
Right-hander Daniel Gossett (0-3, 6.05 ERA) will start the rubber match for the A's at Kauffman Stadium at 11:15 a.m. PT Sunday. He's winless in his four starts this season, including a five-inning, three-run affair Tuesday against the Rays. Righty Jakob Junis (5-3, 3.61) will get the bump for the Royals.

Jordan Wolf is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Oakland Athletics, Trevor Cahill