Royals 4, Athletics 3

The Kansas City Royals are starting to embrace quite the

never-say-quit mentality.

Trailing in the seventh inning? No need to worry.

Game tied in the eight? Perfect position.

Jarrod Dyson delivered an infield single with the bases loaded

and two outs on Saturday, and stingy closer Greg Holland preserved

the Royals’ scrappy 4-3 victory over Oakland with a perfect ninth

inning that gave Kansas City its first win over the Athletics this

season.

”Sometimes games aren’t going to go our way, but we aren’t

going to hang our heads,” said Dyson, who snapped an 0-for-11 skid

with three hits. ”We’re going to keep battling. You can see it in

here, see it out there. Everybody is working hard every day.”

The Royals had rallied to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by

Eric Hosmer in the seventh, and then loaded the bases on an error

and a pair of walks by reliever Ryan Cook in the eighth.

Dyson, hardly known for his power, showed bunt on his first

pitch from Cook (1-2) before hitting a grounder deep behind second

base. Shortstop Adam Rosales fielded it cleanly but didn’t even

bother with a throw as pinch runner Alcides Escobar scored the

go-ahead run.

It was an error on Rosales that kept the inning alive.

”It’s going to stick with me for a little while,” he said.

Aaron Crow (6-3) worked the eighth and Holland handled the ninth

for his 20th save, wrapping up Kansas City’s first win in five

tries against Oakland this season.

”They’ve been grinder games. Their pitching staff is very, very

good. Their starting rotation is very good,” Royals manager Ned

Yost said. ”We just scrapped it. We scrapped it out.”

Mike Moustakas homered and Billy Butler drove in a run for the

Royals, while Alex Gordon walked three times and reached on an

error in his return to the lineup. He’d missed the last two games

after a scary collision with the outfield wall Wednesday night

against Cleveland.

”Once I got the Adrenaline going and did some work, it felt

pretty good,” Gordon said.

Josh Donaldson homered and drove in two runs to lead the A’s,

who struck right away when Josh Reddick sent an RBI single to

center field in the first inning.

The Royals tried to get the run back in the bottom half when

Miguel Tejada singled and reached second on a groundout. Moments

later, Elliot Johnson hit a grounder toward third with two outs and

appeared to be safe when the throw pulled first baseman Brandon

Moss off the bag.

Umpire Marty Foster ruled him out, though, and never wavered

from his decision despite some rather animated objections from Yost

and first base coach Rusty Kuntz.

A bright sun and flat sky started to cause problems after

that.

The A’s had two aboard with one out in the third when Donaldson

hit a high popup down the right-field line. Johnson chased it from

second and outfielder David Lough sprinted in from right while

Hosmer tried to camp under it from first base – all to no

avail.

The ball fell in fair territory, allowing John Jaso to score for

a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Dyson led off with a weak pop

foul behind the plate, but Jaso couldn’t locate the ball in the sun

after discarding his mask. The A’s catcher comically had to cover

his head with his glove while the ball plopped onto the field next

to him.

Dyson followed with a single to right, and after a stolen base

and errant pickoff throw, he scampered home from third on Butler’s

groundout to get the Royals within 2-1.

Moustakas added his two-out homer in the fourth to tie the game,

and Donaldson’s solo shot leading off the sixth restored Oakland’s

one-run cushion. The Royals knotted the game again when they loaded

the bases with one out in the seventh and Hosmer hit a sacrifice

fly to center.

Jarrod Parker wound up going 6 1-3 innings for the A’s after

leaving his last start with tightness in his right hamstring, but

it was the bullpen that let them down.

”That was a very poor game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

”The way we started and the way we ended. A very bad game for

us.”

Notes: A’s DH Yoenis Cespedes was back in the No. 3 spot in the

lineup after getting dropped to No. 6 on Friday. … Escobar was

given the day off from the starting lineup because he’s been

”grinding,” Yost said. The SS is also expected to get the day off

Sunday. … RHP A.J. Griffin will start the series finale for

Oakland against Royals RHP Luis Mendoza.