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(Wednesday, April 11th)
Final Score: Oakland 5, Kansas City 4 (12 innings)
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - After the Royals took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 12th, the A's scored two runs in the bottom of the frame without recording a hit to take a 5-4 decision over Kansas City in the finale of a three-game series at Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday.
Billy Butler broke a 3-3 tie with a two-out double to score Eric Hosmer in the top of the frame off of Andrew Carignan (1-0) before the Royals imploded in the bottom of the 12th.
Jonathan Broxton (0-1) came on for the save opportunity, punching out Daric Barton to start the inning. Pinch-hitter Seth Smith then reached on an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar before Jemile Weeks and Eric Sogard worked back- to-back walks to load the bases.
Coco Crisp followed with an RBI groundout, scoring Smith to tie the game and Yoenis Cespedes took a pitch off the shoulder to load the bases again.
Jonny Gomes then stepped to the plate, and Broxton's first offering drilled Gomes, giving Oakland a rare walk-off hit by pitch for the victory.
Brandon McCarthy allowed just two runs on six hits and two walks over six innings as the A's starter. Gomes hit a two-run homer, while Cespedes finished with two hits and two runs scored for Oakland, which took the series after splitting the first two with the Royals.
"We can't really take anyone lightly," remarked Gomes about the much improved AL West. "We just have to see what we can do to score more points than they do."
Bruce Chen made the start for Kansas City and lasted just five innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks. Alex Gordon, who started the season 0-17, finished 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI, while Butler added a solo shot.
"He didn't go too long without getting some hits on the board and driving in some runs," said Royals manager Ned Yost about Gordon's rough start to the season. "It's good to get him off the 0-0-0 mark today and get him on the board."
McCarthy left in the seventh with a 3-2 lead, but Brian Fuentes couldn't hold the fort down. After getting Chris Getz to line out, Fuentes tossed an 0-1 sinker that Gordon lifted over the wall in center field to knot the game at 3-3.
Neither team threatened again as the bullpen's for each team stayed strong until Jordan Norberto allowed a two-out single to Hosmer before Butler put the Royals in front with his double.
Earlier in the game, Oakland struck first as Cespedes ripped a double to left field to start the bottom of the second. After Gomes popped out, Cespedes swiped third and scored on catcher Brayan Pena's throwing error to give the A's a 1-0 lead.
Pena made up for his throwing gaffe in the top of the third, roping a one-out double to center field before scoring two batters later on Gordon's RBI single to center.
In the top of the fourth, Butler launched the first pitch he saw into the seats in left-center field to give the visitors a 2-1 edge, but the A's jumped in front in the bottom of the fourth when Cespedes worked a leadoff walk and Gomes plated him with a two-run homer to left-center field, providing Oakland with a 3-2 lead.
Gomes' homer was the 14th of his career against the Royals...The Royals will head to Kansas City for their home opener on Friday against the Cleveland Indians...Oakland will travel to Seattle on Friday to start a three-game set...Oakland was 5-4 versus the Royals last season.
04/11 23:53:30 ET
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