Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gordon's glove, Hosmer's Bat help Royals defeat the A's

Posted By on Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

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It was a foul ball that likely decided Sunday's game between the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals. In the top half of the fifth inning, left fielder Alex Gordon raced towards the Roma Bakery sign along the wall just past the visitor's dugout as a ball off the bat of right fielder Josh Reddick sliced away from him. As the baseball dipped in front of his knees, Gordon shot out his glove for a tidy basket catch.

With his momentum carrying him toward home plate, he then fired a laser to catcher Brayan Pena, to nail Oakland's Adam Rosales by three steps. Rosales crashed into Pena, managing to dislodge his mask, but not the ball. The double play preserved Vin Mazzarro's shutout in the game the Royals would go on to win 2-0 before an announced crowd of 21,111 at Kauffman Stadium.

Mazzaro (2-0, 2.25 ERA on the season) was effectively wild (he threw 97 pitches in six innings, 58 for strikes), the Oakland Athletics stranded eight runners, and Eric Hosmer continued his torrid hitting with a 413-foot blast to straightway centerfield in the second inning that proved to be the game winner.

The day looked like it might end early for Mazzaro after former Royal Kila Ka'aihue walked to load the bases with two out in the top of the first inning. But he coaxed Brandon Inge into a grounder to short and escaped with only a high pitch count. The Royals also threatened in the first after Gordon worked a nine-pitch walk from starter Tommy Milone and Butler laced a solid single into left field. But the duo were stranded as both Jeff Francoeur and Yuniesky Betancourt popped out to the second basemen. That inning set the tone for the day as the two teams combined to strand 14 runners.

The Royals opened the scoring with the shot off Hosmer's bat in the second, but failed to extend their lead in the third, leaving Gordon at third base after his leadoff double. The home team added its other run in the fifth after Jarrod Dyson stole second base and scored on a single by Johnny Giovatella. The second-year second baseman also had a good day in the field, throwing out shortstop Cliff Pennington from his knees after a diving stop of a ball sharply hit to his right.

A trio of Royals relievers - Kelvin Herrerra, Greg Holland, and Jonathan Broxton (who got Jemile Weeks out on a come backer to the mound with a man at third to end the game) - held the Athletics scoreless after Mazzarro exited in the sixth. The Royals are now six games under .500 (23-29) and evened the season series 3-3 with Oakland.

Game Notes

Relish continued its early season success with a victory in the hot dog races - a photo finish win over mustard. It leads the season series with nine wins to eight apiece for Ketchup and Mustard.

"Call Me Maybe," by Carly Rae Jepsen is Jeff Francoeur's at-bat music. I'm not sure what you should do with this information.

Mike Moustakas got the day off from manager Ned Yost, who said before the game he wanted to rest his third baseman. Moustakas had been in the lineup every day since the sixth game of the season. He entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement with Yuniesky Betancourt moving to second for Jonnhy Giovatella. Betancourt promptly made an error after moving to second.

Billy Butler went 3-for-4 with three sharp singles to left field. Mitch Maier came on to pinch run for him in the eighth inning.

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