Soler’s go-ahead home run lifts Royals over A’s
KANSAS CITY – Tim Hill was happy to gain his first major league victory. The 28-year-old rookie left-hander could have done without blowing his first save opportunity.
Jorge Soler hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, and the Kansas Royals bounced back after wasting a four-run lead to defeat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Saturday for their third win in four games.
“I was kind of upset I gave up a run, and I kind of felt like I didn’t do my job,” Hill said.
Hill (1-1) entered with a 4-3 lead and allowed Chad Pinder’s tying single in the eighth. Soler hit his ninth home run on a curveball from Yusmeiro Petit (2-2) with an 0-2 count in the bottom half.
“I was just trying to make contact and make sure I didn’t strike out,” Soler said through a translator. “Every time I hit the ball like with one hand, I’m always running hard. I was making the turn at first base and looked up and saw everybody had just stopped. I figured out it was a home run.”
Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.
Kansas City built a 4-0 lead on Salvador Perez’s two-run double in the first and a two-run second helped by a replay reversal. Ryan Goins was called out at first by Cory Blaser when he tried to bunt for a single, then was ruled safe on a video review. Alcides Escobar tripled on the next pitch and scored on Jon Jay’s double.
Oakland was coming off a 16-0 rout Friday.
“After yesterday’s pummeling we gave them, I think they were coming out ready to swing the bats,” A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell said.
Oakland closed on RBI singles by Jed Lowrie in the third and Bruce Maxwell in the fourth, and Maxwell led off the seventh with his first home run since Sept. 2.
Maxwell’s drive chased Jason Hammel, who allowed three runs and seven hits.
“Hammel should have got the win,” Hill said.
Hammel had won his previous two outings after going 0-5 in his first nine starts.
“Today a good effort overall, not my best, but they can’t all be pretty,” Hammel said.
Cahill, who pitched for the Royals last season, gave up four runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings. He has not won since beating the Chicago White Sox on April 17 in his first appearance this season.
“It was just one of those days when I wasn’t sharp,” Cahill said. “I just went out there and tried to get through it.”
SOLER POWER!!! #Royals are back ahead after a late go-ahead home run!
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) June 2, 2018
Kansas City claimed OF Rosell Herrera off waivers from Cincinnati and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha. The 25-year-old hit .154 in 11 games this season for the Reds and .267 in 23 games with Triple-A Louisville.
Athletics: LF Matt Joyce (lower-back tightness) left in the fifth inning. … RHP Paul Blackburn (right forearm strain) is to make a minor league rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Nashville. He has a limit of 75 pitches.
Royals: RHP Nate Karns (right elbow inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Oakland RHP Daniel Gossett (0-3, 6.05) and Kansas City RHP Jakob Junis (5-4, 3.61) are to start Sunday’s series finale. Gossett is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts since returning May 23 from the minors. Junis leads the Royals with 62 strikeouts in 67.1 innings.