Royals rally to take heated series vs. A's
KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales hit a two-run double to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday as the Royals rallied to beat Oakland, 4-2, in another wild and fiery game that featured five Royals players and coaches getting ejected.
The Royals trailed 2-1 entering the eighth after being handcuffed by Oakland starter Scott Kazmir, who threw 7 1/3 innings and gave up just six hits and two runs while striking out five. But Lorenzo Cain doubled in the tying run after Paulo Orlando walked.
After Eric Hosmer reached on a walk against Oakland reliever Eric O'Flaherty, Morales drilled a shot off the center-field fence.
"I was really just trying to find a pitch to drive and I got one," Morales said.
"That's our guy to get a ground ball. Just didn't do it," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "They got some pretty good hitters up there and they all had some pretty good swings off him. Sometimes you have to give the other guys credit. Didn't look like he was hanging much other than maybe the last pitch to Morales. Got in a little bit more than he wanted to."
Royals manager Ned Yost was ejected in the bottom of the first after home-plate umpire Greg Gibson warned both benches after Cain was hit by a pitch. Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland also was ejected at the time.
"I just went out to find out why he threw Dave out," Yost said. "Dave was yelling, but Dave was yelling at Kazmir. The umpire thought he was yelling at him.
"But the umpires did a great job. This is a tremendous crew led by Jim Joyce. They did all that they could do to control it."
Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera threw behind Oakland's Brett Lawrie in the eighth inning and was promptly ejected. In the aftermath of that ejection, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was ejected from the Royals' bench. Escobar was injured Friday night on a hard slide by Lawrie, which started the weekend ugliness. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu, acting manager for Yost, then was ejected.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bullpen meltdown: O'Flaherty, who relieved Kazmir with one out and one on in the eighth inning, immediately offered up a game-tying double to Cain. The lefty then walked Hosmer, and Morales lined a two-run double to left-center to wipe away the A's lead. Oakland's bullpen has allowed 15 runs in 13 games.
Duffy's command off: Royals starter Danny Duffy struck out the first two hitters he faced, but then he struggled to find the strike zone the rest of the day. Duffy walked the next two hitters and walked five overall. He had good stuff, as the A's managed just four singles off him in five innings. But of his 93 pitches, only 51 were for strikes.
"I did my absolute best to give us as many innings as I could," Duffy said.
Kazmir cruises: Kazmir limited the Royals to just one run over his first seven innings, before he was tagged with another when O'Flaherty allowed his inherited runner to score. The lefty allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five, climbing all the way to 103 pitches in his third start. Kazmir has a 1.33 ERA on the season.
"He pitched great," said Melvin. "To go in the eighth like that over 100 pitches, he certainly did his job, we just couldn't finish it off."
"I'm very proud of the way they rallied. A lot of stuff happened today. The energy and the life on our team … they were riled up. Trust me, a game like today would hurt a lot worse if you lose." -- Yost
The Royals already have been stung by injuries to outfielder Alex Rios, shortstop Escobar and closer Greg Holland in the past week. On Sunday, second baseman Omar Infante pulled himself out of the game shortly after legging out a double in the fifth inning. Infante appeared to wince slightly as he got to second base.
Yost said Infante suffered a groin strain and would be re-evaluated Monday. But Yost added that Infante's injury likely would shelve him long enough that the Royals would have to make yet another roster move. More >
Athletics: The A's continue their 10-game road trip in Anaheim, where they will begin a four-game series against the Angels on Monday, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Kendall Graveman, who earned his first Major League win by pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Astros last Tuesday, gets the start for Oakland.
Royals: The Royals will send out right-hander Edinson Volquez against the Twins to start a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium starting Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Volquez lost to the Twins last Wednesday, though he pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, striking out seven and giving up just five hits.
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