The Kansas City Royals’ lackluster record might be even more
meager without their occasional showcases of grittiness.
After rallying for their first victory against the Oakland
Athletics this season, the Royals will try to close out the
three-game series in winning style Sunday.
Kansas City (41-43) hasn’t been over .500 since May 18, but
recorded its major league-best 28th comeback victory and third this
month Saturday. Jarrod Dyson drove in the go-ahead run in a 4-3 win
with a two-out infield single in the eighth inning.
“Sometimes games aren’t going to go our way, but we aren’t going
to hang our heads,” said Dyson, who had a season-high three hits
after going 0 for 10 in his previous four games. “We’re going to
keep battling. You can see it in here, see it out there. Everybody
is working hard every day.”
The victory snapped Oakland’s five-game win streak in the
series, and Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.41 ERA) will try to follow by
earning his first victory against the A’s (51-37).
Mendoza is 0-1 in three career starts versus Oakland despite
posting a 1.98 ERA. He gave up three runs over six-plus innings in
his only matchup this season, a 4-3 loss May 19.
Mendoza is 0-1 with a 5.74 ERA in his last three outings and
didn’t make it past the fourth inning for only the second start
this season Tuesday against Cleveland. He gave up four runs and
matched a season high with four walks in a 6-5 loss, but didn’t get
“I was just trying to figure what was wrong with my mechanics
and my release points,” said the right-hander, who threw 86 pitches
in four innings.
Mendoza will again pitch opposite A.J. Griffin (6-6, 3.95), who
gave up three runs over six innings without a decision in his lone
appearance against Kansas City.
Griffin was charged with seven runs and a career-high 10 hits
Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs but avoided the loss when his
teammates rallied for an 8-7 win. He recorded his first career
shutout and complete game – a two-hitter – in his previous outing
June 26 against Cincinnati.
“I felt fine out there,” Griffin told the team’s website. “They
just got the big hit when they needed it. I felt like I was making
good pitches, and they really didn’t make hard contact that much.
I’m just fortunate enough to be on a team that scores a ton of
The A’s are trying for an eighth win in 11 games and Grant
Balfour is in position to establish a franchise record by
converting 41 consecutive saves. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley
converted 40 in a row Sept. 15, 1991-Aug. 7, 1992.
Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer, batting .406 with five homers in his
last eight games, hit an RBI double off Griffin in May. Alex Gordon
went 3 for 3 against the right-hander in that game.
Gordon returned Saturday after missing two games following a
collision with the bullpen fence in Wednesday’s 6-5 victory over
Jed Lowrie is 3 for 6 with two doubles all-time against Mendoza,
and Seth Smith is 3 for 5 with a double.