Sharp Volquez, 2 Royals homers sink A's
OAKLAND -- Right-hander Edinson Volquez tossed seven strong innings, and Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon each homered, as the Royals held off the Oakland A's, 5-2, on Friday night.
Volquez improved to 8-4 and also notched his 1,000th career strikeout when he fanned Brett Lawrie in the sixth. He gave up three hits and one run. Morales and Gordon each hit their ninth homers of the season. Right-hander Jesse Hahn took the loss for the A's. Hahn gave up nine hits and five runs, three earned. He walked one and struck out five.
"I felt like I had pretty good stuff today," Volquez said. "I kept the ball down. I was really able to throw strikes. I got mad at myself a couple times because I got to 3-2 counts and I'm like, 'What are you doing? You can throw strikes tonight.'"
In the ninth, the A's got a scare when catcher Stephen Vogt was plunked near his right wrist on a pitch from left-hander Franklin Morales. Josh Phegley came in to pinch-run for Vogt and would score on Ben Zobrist's double. That's all the A's would muster in the ninth as Greg Holland came in to record the final two outs.
An X-ray revealed the area below Vogt's right wrist is not broken. He said he'll see how he feels when he wakes up Saturday morning and have a better idea if he'll miss any time.
"Obviously, it was painful, but I'll be OK," Vogt said. "Any time you get hit up near the face or the hand, or anything like that, your initial reaction is hopefully it's not broken. It doesn't feel good, but fortunately it's not fractured."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Morales goes oppo: Morales jumped on a Hahn offering with one out in the second inning. Morales floated a deep fly down the left-field line that sliced into the seats about 20 feet fair. It was Morales' ninth homer of the season. He hit eight all last season in 98 games.
"To take that ball and hit it out the opposite way," manager Ned Yost said, "that's some strength there, especially on a changeup."
Not his best stuff: Hahn gave up five runs, three earned, on nine hits in six innings. He had allowed just one earned run in each of his previous two starts, but the Royals got the better of him on Friday. Hahn surrendered solo home runs to both Morales and Gordon, as well as an RBI single to Lorenzo Cain.
"It was a weird night, very strange," Hahn said of his performance. "I do think I could have done a lot better job of getting ahead of hitters."
Clutch two-out hit: Cain came up with a huge two-out hit in the third that led to three runs. The Royals had runners on first and third with one out when Mike Moustakas, who on Thursday aced the 17th hole at Pebble Beach, struck out. But Cain came through with a ground-ball single to left-center to put the Royals up 2-0. It also kept the inning alive and the Royals tacked on two more runs to make it 4-0.
"When we're going good we get a lot of two-out hits," Yost said. "That's what we got there and then we were able to tack on a couple more runs. That was really big."
Costly miscue: In the third, already up 2-0, the Royals tacked on two more runs on an error from A's first baseman Ike Davis. Eric Hosmer hit a dribbler toward first. Davis tried to flip it to a covering Hahn, but the ball skirted past Hahn and Alcides Escobar and Cain scored. It was the A's 73rd error -- the most in the Majors -- and their 14th in the last 12 games.
"I just threw a changeup to him," Davis said. "Instead of throwing it I kind of just bobbled it and didn't really throw it as hard as I wanted to." More >
Royals: Right-hander Chris Young (6-3, 2.83 ERA) makes his 10th start of the season on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT. He has a 16 1/3 scoreless inning streak on the road. He is 3-4 career against the A's with a 3.72 ERA.
Athletics: Scott Kazmir (4-4, 2.70 ERA) will pitch for the A's on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and .210 opponents batting average over his last five starts and has a .177 opponents batting average with runners on base this season.
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