A's Can't Get Win, Drop Series

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A's Lose Despite Playing Well For Most Of Game

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Wilson Betemit hit his first career grand slam to back five innings fromBruce Chen, as Kansas City rallied from an early deficit to best Oakland, 6-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set from Kauffman Stadium.

Billy Butler hit a two-run homer and walked twice for the Royals, who won the final two contests in the series.

Chen (10-7) allowed six hits and three runs with two strikeouts to win for the first time in three starts. Joakim Soria turned in a scoreless ninth for his 38th save.

Mark Ellis collected two hits and drove in a run, while Matt Carson homered and Kurt Suzuki added an RBI single for the Athletics, who have dropped three of four.

Trevor Cahill (16-7) was charged in defeat for six hits and six runs over five full frames.

Kansas City forged ahead for good in the bottom of the third, erasing a three- run deficit.

Mitch Maier doubled with one out, then Jarrod Dyson followed with an infield single. Mike Aviles popped out but Dyson swiped second ahead of Butler's walk that loaded the bases. Betemit then put the Royals ahead, 4-3, when he cleared the wall in right for a grand slam.

Aviles stroked a one-out single in the fifth, then Butler made it 6-3 for the home team with a two-run blast to center.

Gil MecheBlake Wood and Robinson Tejeda followed with scoreless innings in relief of Chen.

Soria walked Cliff Pennington and Crisp with two down but fanned an agitated Daric Barton on a called third strike to end the game.

Oakland struck for two runs in the first as Coco Crisp singled, moved to second on a Barton flyout and scored on Ellis' base hit. Suzuki followed with a single to score Ellis.

Carson's one-out solo homer in the second made it 3-0 for the visitors.

Chen reached double digits in wins for the second time in his career, after a 13-win season with Baltimore in 2005...Soria has converted 31 consecutive save opportunities dating back to May 6 at Texas...The game was delayed for exactly one hour due to rain...Both clubs resume play on Friday with the Royals remaining home to welcome Cleveland and the A's continuing their road trip in Minnesota.

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A's Battle Royals In Rubber Match With Trevor Cahill Looking To Get His 17th Win

(Sports Network) – Trevor Cahill aims to become the first 17-game winner for the Oakland Athletics in six years when the young standout takes the mound in tonight’s rubber match of a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.

Cahill has emerged as one of the American League’s top hurlers in just his second major league season, with the right-hander having amassed an impressive 16-6 record along with a 2.61 earned run average that ranks third in the Junior Circuit at the moment. The 2010 All-Star has been especially good since the break, posting a 7-3 mark and a stellar 2.20 ERA in 11 second-half starts.

The 22-year-old certainly hasn’t worn down in September, as he’s yet to allow a run in registering back-to-back victories over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Boston to begin the month. In Friday’s besting of the Red Sox at the Oakland Coliseum, Cahill fired seven scoreless innings and yielded three hits while striking out four.

Cahill was reached for five runs in 6 2/3 innings of a no-decision against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium back in July, but dominated Kansas City in a home matchup the following month. He gave up just three hits and four walks in that August 2 clash to earn the first and only shutout of his career.

The California native, who’s 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four overall encounters with the Royals, is bidding to become the first A’s pitcher to win 17 times in a single year since Mark Mulder went 17-8 in 2004.

The Athletics have also garnered plenty of success when facing Kansas City as of late, having taken 12 of 16 meetings between the clubs since the start of the 2009 campaign. Oakland had won six of its first seven tilts with the Royals this season, including a 3-1 triumph on Monday, but was dealt a lopsided loss in last night’s middle test of this set.

Kansas City belted three homers in Tuesday’s 11-3 verdict over the A’s, with Wilson Betemit, Mike Aviles and Kila Ka’aihue all going deep in the rout. Betemit finished 3-for-4 with four RBI on the night, with Aviles collecting three hits and knocking in three runs.

The Royals scored three times in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by Ka’aihue’s two-run blast off Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez, and tacked on three more in the second to build a commanding 6-0 lead. Aviles’ three-run homer in the third extended the margin even further, and Betemit delivered a two-run shot two batters later for an 11-0 cushion.

“Sometimes you score 11, but not that fast,” remarked Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke. “That really puts you on cruise control. Just try not to make mistakes that are going to hurt you bad.”

Greinke (9-12) was able to coast through the first seven innings, with the 2009 AL Cy Young Award honoree allowing three runs on six hits to grab the victory.

Gonzalez (14-9), on the other hand, lasted just two-plus frames and was battered for seven runs on seven hits while issuing three walks.

“You can’t give someone an opportunity, especially when you’ve got them already,” Gonzalez said of his struggles. “When you get them down, you’ve got to keep them down.”

The Royals will be trying to record their first series win over Oakland since September of 2008 and will pin their hopes on Bruce Chen in tonight’s finale. The well-traveled southpaw has done a decent job since joining the team’s rotation in late May, compiling an 8-7 record and a 4.83 ERA in 19 starts following a move from the bullpen.

Chen is coming off one of his strongest performances in quite some time, having held the Chicago White Sox to one run and four hits over seven sharp innings this past Friday. He left the contest with a two-run advantage, but wound up without a decision after the Kansas City bullpen coughed up the lead.

The 33-year-old also received a no-decision in a July 17 test with Oakland at Kauffman Stadium, with Chen reached for four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings that night. He’s made five starts and four relief appearances lifetime against the Athletics and is 1-2 with a 4.04 ERA versus tonight’s opponent.

Chen, who’s pitched in parts of 12 big league seasons with 10 different teams, is vying to win double-digit games for only the second time of his nomadic career. He went 13-10 in 32 starts for Baltimore in 2005.

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A's Dominated In Game Two

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer and drove in a total of four runs, as theKansas City Royals dominated the Oakland Athletics, 11-3, in the second test of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Mike Aviles hit a three-run homer and scored three runs for the Royals, who had lost six of seven coming in. Kila Ka'aihue belted a two-run homer and knocked in a total of three runs.

Zack Greinke (9-12) was the beneficiary of the run support, giving up three runs on six hits over seven innings. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award recipient won for the first time since August 17.

Akinori IwamuraJack Cust, and Landon Powell each had an RBI for the Athletics, who had won four of five.Gio Gonzalez (14-9), riding a four-start win streak, allowed seven runs on seven hits over two-plus frames.

After Oakland stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first, the Royals scored three times in the home half. Aviles worked a one-out walk, stole second, and raced home on Betemit's single. Ka'aihue followed with a two-run homer.

Kansas City scored three more runs off Gonzalez in the second to make it a 6-0 game. With two outs, Gregor Blanco walked and Aviles singled. Billy Butler, Betemit, and Ka'aihue followed with three straight RBI singles.

The Royals turned the game into a rout with a five-run third. Alex Gordon walked, chasing Gonzalez from the game. Boof Bonser took over on the mound and retired the first two batters he faced. Blanco walked before Aviles hit a three-run homer. Butler then singled in front of Betemit's homer, which made it 11-0.

Oakland finally got to Greinke in the sixth. With men on first and second and no outs, Powell and Cust hit back-to-back RBI singles. With the bases loaded and one out, Iwamura's grounder plated a run.

The A's did not advance a runner past first base the rest of the way.

The A's were without third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (back spasms)...Kansas City was without second baseman Chris Getz (mild concussion)...Oakland had beat the Royals five straight times in KC...Oakland recalled pitcher Vin Mazzaro, catcher Josh Donaldson and infielder Chris Carter from Triple-A Sacramento. The A's also selected the contract of infielder Eric Sogard from Sacramento and designated infielder Jeff Lyman for assignment...Oakland's Mark Ellis saw a 13-game hitting streak come to an end...Greinke improved to 5-1 lifetime against the Athletics.

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Gio Gonzalez Looks For 15th Win In A's Matchup With Kansas City

Gio Gonzalez takes the hill for the Oakland A’s looking to continue his incredible hot streak and win his fifth straight start. If he wins he’ll improve to 15-8 and give the A’s two 15-game winners for the first time since Joe Blanton and Barry Zito did it in 2006. In his only other start against Kansas City this season, Gonzalez went seven innings and gave up one run.

The Royals counter with 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. After an amazing 2009, Greinke has been fairly ordinary in 2010. with an 8-12 record and a 3.90 era. While the Royals have faced plenty of problems this season, having Greinke struggle (as compared to his 2009 season) certainly wasn’t something they expected.

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A's Bobby Cramer Gets Win Over Royals in MLB Debut

The Oakland A’s got their six game road trip off to a strong start with a victory over the Kansas City Royals in Bobby Cramer’s major league debut. Cramer had spent eight seasons in the minor leagues before getting the call today. In his debut, Cramer lasted 5 1/3 innings and held the Royals to one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four.

It was an interesting game as the A’s scored their first two runs without recording a hit in the first few innings. Errors, walks, and fielder’s choices resulted in the A’s taking an early 2-0 lead. Mike Aviles cut the lead in half with a solo home run in the fourth inning, but the A’s added an insurance run when Jack Cust went yard in the sixth inning.

The A’s bullpen was able to lock down the game with 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Brad Zeigler, Jerry Blevins, Muchael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Bailey combined to hold the Royals to three hits and two walks in locking up Cramer’s first win. Congratulations to the rookie for a strong outing, and congratulations to the bullpen for a great job finishing it up.

The A’s send out Gio Gonzalez against Zack Greinke in tomorrow night’s matchup.

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