Athletics vs. Royals: A's Win Series Behind Offensive Explosion

The Oakland Athletics head home to face the Kansas City Royals in hopes of rebounding from their 1-9 road trip. We'll provide news updates, previews and recaps throughout the three-game series. For more on the A's, check out Athletics Nation.

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10 Total Updates since June 14, 2011
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Athletics Win Series Versus Royals: Can We Take Anything From This Small Sample?

The Oakland Athletics secured their first series victory since late May as they took two of three from the struggling Kansas City Royals. The A’s last series win came at home May 27-29 when they swept the last place Baltimore Orioles. Although two wins is a good thing for the A’s, one has to wonder if we can take much away from it given the quality of competition.

The one definite positive that came out of this series was that Jemile Weeks kept up his solid start at the big league level. Mark Ellis is scheduled to head to Sacramento on Saturday to begin a rehab stint before he is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 22. That gives Weeks at least four more games to continue his strong start. In 32 at bats over 9 games, Weeks has settled into the ninth spot, hitting .344/.364/.594. As I’ve said time and again this past week, if Weeks continues at anything resembling his current pace he’ll leave the A’s with a difficult decision. Of course, if he continues at this pace, maybe the decision isn’t all that difficult.

Outside of Weeks, one has to wonder if Hideki Matsui might be emerging with the summer. Godzilla is still only hitting .220, but in the seven games since Bob Melvin became manager, Matsui has hit three home runs, doubling his season total. He’s 7-for-23 (.304) during that time and just might finally be emerging from the shadows. If he can keep it up, the A’s might finally have one more solid bat on a consistent basis.

Over the last week since Melvin took over, Scott Sizemore and Cliff Pennington have performed quite well. While it is a small sample size, I’d say it’s worth being at least a little optimistic. Sizemore is the real revelation thus far as he is hitting .417 (10-for-24) in eight games since being acquired by the A’s and called up from Sacramento. Third base has been a black hole for the Athletics so any positive contributions are encouraging. Sizemore has impressed Melvin enough to earn a temporary ticket into the sixth spot in the lineup.

None of these performances is wildly overwhelming (well, maybe Weeks), but together they are providing some positive signs for an A’s offense that has been abysmal thus far. As the A’s starting pitching starts to get healthy, having a legitimate major league offense could finally get this team meeting the potential it thought it had entering the season.

And if the Giants sweep the A’s this weekend, feel free to throw garbage at me when I walk by in the streets.

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Athletics vs. Royals: Oakland Hitters Pound Jeff Francis In 8-4 A's Victory

The Oakland Athletics secured their first series victory since late May as they defeated the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in the Thursday afternoon series finale. The A’s offense exploded for eight runs, led by Jemile Weeks who drove in three runs and Scott Sizmore who scored three runs. Gio Gonzalez finally got his sixth win of the season as he struck out ten Royals batters.

The A’s jumped on top quickly with four runs in the second inning. After Josh Willingham flew out to end the inning, Conor Jackson walked, Scott Sizemore singled and Kurt Suzuki singled to load the bases. Daric Barton grounded out to first but got a run in and avoided the double play to make it 1-0. Rookie Jemile Weeks followed with a bases clearing double to give the A’s a 3-0 lead. He then scored on a Coco Crisp single.

The A’s added two more runs in the third inning as Hideki Matsui homered and Barton grounded out to first again to score a run. Matsui has now hit three home runs in Bob Melvin’s seven games. He isn’t exactly lighting up the world, but if Godzilla is in fact quietly coming to life, it bodes well for the A’s chances this summer.

Gio Gonzalez threw a lot of pitches in getting his ten strikeouts, but he got through six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks. He’s the first A’s pitcher from the season opening rotation to get a win since Brett Anderson beat the Angels on May 26.

The A’s wrap up the homestand with a three game series against the San Francisco Giants beginning Friday. Graham Godfrey will make his second start since being called up and will face Tim Lincecum at 7:05pm pacific.

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Athletics vs. Royals: Bob Melvin Settling In To A Regular Lineup

The Oakland Athletics wrap up their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals hoping to snag their first series victory since May. The A’s snuck away with a 2-1 win as their struggling offense did just enough to win. Gio Gonzalez meets Jeff Francis in Thursday’s rubber match.

Manager Bob Melvin seems to be settling into a fairly stable lineup after a week of mixing and matching. When healthy, the lineup you see below would appear to be the plan for the foreseeable future. Adam Rosales was expected to compete for more playing time but Scott Sizemore is playing at a level that I can’t imagine too many people expected. He’s locked himself into the sixth spot in the lineup and as long he continues performing, he won’t be moved anytime soon.

The bottom of the lineup would appear to be locked in at Suzuki-Barton-Weeks. Jemile Weeks has really settled in since being called up and has one more week until Mark Ellis can be activated from the disabled list. If he keeps anything resembling his current pace, Weeks will put the A’s in a position where they have to decide what to do with Ellis as opposed to deciding what to do with Weeks.

Oakland Athletics
1. Coco Crisp CF
2. Cliff Pennington SS
3. Hideki Matsui DH
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Conor Jackson RF
6. Scott Sizemore 3B
7. Kurt Suzuki C
8. Daric Barton 1B
9. Jemile Weeks 2B

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Athletics vs. Royals: Jemile Weeks, Josh Outman Get A's To Victory

The Oakland Athletics got back in the win column Wednesday night behind a strong outing from Josh Outman and the speed of rookie second baseman Jemile Weeks. The A’s were staring down the barrel of a Luke Hochevar no-hitter heading into the sixth inning, but thankfully scrapped some hits together and got the win.

Hochevar had held the Royals to two walks before the sixth inning. In the sixth however, the A’s bats came alive. Landon Powell led off the inning with a single, which was followed by a successful Jemile Weeks drag bunt to put men on first and second. David DeJesus bunted into a fielder’s choice as Powell was thrown out at third. Fortunately, Weeks was able to steal third to get a runner 90 feet from home. Cliff Pennington followed that up with a single and the A’s were up 1-0. The A’s added a key second run in the seventh on a Daric Barton RBI single.

Josh Outman pitched a fantastic game and with a little help from the bullpen he improved to 2-1. Outman lasted seven innings giving up four hits and two walks. Brian Fuentes came on in the eighth and struggled a bit as he gave up a double and an RBI single. However, after Fuentes got out of the eighth and Andrew Bailey shut down the Royals in the ninth for his second save.

The A’s look to grab the rubber match on Thursday afternoon at 12:35pm pacific. The game will not be available on CSN California but can be seen on MLB.TV. Gio Gonzalez will face Jeff Francis in the series finale.

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Athletics vs. Royals: Oakland Looks To Get Back On Track

The Oakland Athletics host the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night looking to get one in the win column and try and get back on track. The titles of these preview updates are starting to blend together in part because the storyline is morphing into the basic idea of “When will they get better?” The A’s have lost 13 of their last 14 and there really is nothing that would make one think they’ll improve anytime soon. They hope to eventually start getting healthy, but in the meantime the struggles continue.

The A’s are giving Coco Crisp the day off and starting David DeJesus in the leadoff spot. In 36 at bats as a leadoff hitter, DeJesus has a robust line of .139/.340/.167. Thus far his best numbers have coming hitting second, although the numbers are in only 28 at bats so feel free to take them with a huge grain of salt. The A’s will continue moving the pieces around in this shell game and maybe they’ll start winning. Or not.

Oakland Athletics
1. David DeJesus RF
2. Cliff Pennington SS
3. Hideki Matsui DH
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Ryan Sweeney CF
6. Scott Sizemore 3B
7. Daric Barton 1B
8. Landon Powell C
9. Jemile Weeks 2B

Kansas City Royals
1. Alex Gordon LF
2. Melky Cabrera CF
3. Eric Hosmer 1B
4. Jeff Francoeur RF
5. Billy Butler DH
6. Mike Moustakas 3B
7. Matt Treanor C
8. Chris Getz 2B
9. Alcides Escobar SS

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Athletics vs. Royals: Trevor Cahill Struggles, Offense Stymied, Beat Goes On

The Oakland Athletics struggles continued in their return home as they were dropped Tuesday night 7-4 by the Kansas City Royals. The A’s offense was actually able to string a few base runners together as they collected seven hits and six walks. Unfortunately they could not get enough timely hits to take advantage of all those base runners and they came up just short.

The story at this point for the A’s has to be Trevor Cahill’s continued struggles. Cahill dropped his fifth straight decision as he gave up four runs on four hits while walking seven and getting knocked out in the fifth inning. Cahill has been struggling for a while now but before today he was at least getting into the sixth inning. Now he’s not even doing that. Maybe teams have caught up with him. Maybe it’s a mechanical issue. Who really knows at this point.

The A’s offense did provide some bright spots. Hideki Matsui had a home run and a single. Jemile Weeks hit his third triple in seven games, becoming the first A’s hitter since Adam Piatt to accomplish that feat. Let’s hope Weeks doesn’t turn into Piatt. Even Scott Sizemore stayed hot with a pair of hits and an RBI. Look for him to continue getting ABs high in the batting order given his performances lately.

The A’s and Royals play the middle game of this series Wednesday night at 7:05pm on CSN California. Josh Outman will face Luke Hochevar as the A’s look to figure something out (I’m not quite sure what that something is at this point).

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Athletics vs. Royals, Starting Lineups: Trevor Cahill Leads A's Against Kansas City

The Oakland Athletics open their three game series with the Kansas City Royals and will bump Josh Outman’s start back one day. Trevor Cahill will make the start looking to snap his four game losing streak and six start winless streak. He has a 5.35 ERA over those six starts, giving up 21 runs. While he’s mixed in some solid starts during this stretch, he hasn’t gotten much run support. The A’s scored eight runs in one start, four starts in another, three in a third and one or less in the other three.

The A’s send out the latest iteration of their lineup with one particularly intriguing change. Third baseman Scott Sizemore has been bumped up to the sixth spot in the lineup thanks to a solid 6-for-16 start in his brief time with the A’s. It remains to be seen how long he’ll keep this up, but it makes to bump a hot bat up the lineup.

Oakland Athletics
1. Coco Crisp CF
2. Cliff Pennington SS
3. Hideki Matsui DH
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Conor Jackson RF
6. Scott Sizemore 3B
7. Kurt Suzuki C
8. Daric Barton 1B
9. Jemile Weeks 2B

Kansas City Royals
1. Alex Gordon LF
2. Melky Cabrera CF
3. Eric Hosmer 1B
4. Jeff Francoeur RF
5. Billy Butler DH
6. Mike Moustakas 3B
7. Matt Treanor C
8. Chris Getz 2B
9. Alcides Escobar SS

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MLB Standings 2011: Oakland A's Continue Holding Down Last Place In AL West

The Oakland Athletics wrapped up a ten-game road trip on Sunday with a 1-9 record that has left them eight games out of first place in the AL West. The A's have been fortunate in the fact that the rest of the division hasn't exactly ramped up their play with the division leading Texas Rangers only 5-5 over their last ten games. That doesn't really help the A's improve their hitting or avoid injuries, but it has bought them a little bit of time to figure out some kinds of solutions to their problems.

While the A's are playing the Royals this week, the Rangers find themselves traveling to the Bronx to face the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners have a mini two-game series with each other Tuesday and Wednesday. Given all these matchups, if the A's can get some offense together against the Royals, it's entirely possible they could pick up a couple games in the standings before they host the San Francisco Giants this weekend.


AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 36 31 .537 0 Lost 2
Seattle 34 33 .507 2 Lost 1
Los Angeles 32 36 .470 4.5 Won 1
Oakland 28 39 .417 8 Lost 2

(updated 6.14.2011 at 12:23 PM PDT)



American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 36 28 .562 0 Lost 1
Detroit 36 30 .545 1 Won 1
Tampa Bay 35 31 .530 2 Lost 1
Seattle 34 33 .507 3.5 Lost 1
Chicago 33 35 .485 5 Won 2
Toronto 32 34 .484 5 Lost 4
Baltimore 30 33 .476 5.5 Lost 2
Los Angeles 32 36 .470 6 Won 1
Kansas City 29 37 .439 8 Won 1
Oakland 28 39 .417 9.5 Lost 2
Minnesota 26 39 .400 10.5 Won 2

(updated 6.14.2011 at 12:23 PM PDT)


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Athletics vs. Royals: Can Jemile Weeks Keep Up His Hot Start?

The Oakland Athletics head home from a fairly disastrous road trip that included a 1-9 record and the firing of manager Bob Geren. Throw in the three game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees and the A's are 1-12 over the last two weeks. It's safe to say things are not looking good as the Kansas City Royals come to town for three games. The A's are eight games out of first with limited signs of life at this point and need a strong homestand against the Royals and Giants to get back into the AL West race.

When I was watching the A's post-game show on CSN Bay Area, Fernando Vina and the main guy (can't find his name) were talking about how the A's were showing signs of life and the White Sox series was a positive step forward. I suppose winning a game in the series is a step forward given the losing streak leading up to it. However, while the team needed to shake things up and get rid of Bob Geren, Bob Melvin cannot suddenly make the Oakland A's offense hit.

What can make the team hit is fresh blood that might have a bit more talent than some of the options on display. Jemile Weeks has now played six straight games for the A's and put together a line of .333/.364/.571. I realize that the 21 at bats is too small a sample size to make huge conclusions. However, in his short time at the big league level, Weeks is displaying a comfort level that would seem to generate further confidence as he continues to get at bats.

In a perfect world for the A's, Weeks would continue hitting and force the A's to make a decision at second base, or the infield in general, when Mark Ellis comes off the DL. When an offense is performing as poorly as the A's is performing this season, change is necessary at some point. Right now, Jemile Weeks represents that change. I don't know what other answers are out there at this point. Maybe it's Michael Taylor, Chris Carter and Adrian Cardenas. I don't know, but given how the A's offense has performed otherwise, maybe more young talent could provide an additional spark.

In the meantime, the A's will look to get something going against the Royals.


Current Series

3 game series vs Royals @ Overstock.com Coliseum

Kansas City Royals
@ Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2011, 7:05 PM PDT
Overstock.com Coliseum

Danny Duffy vs Josh Outman

Clear. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >

Wed 06/15 - Trevor Cahill vs. Luke Hochevar 7:05 PM PDT
Thu 06/16 - Graham Godfrey vs. Jeff Francis 12:35 PM PDT


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