Royals top A’s 5-1 in battle of baseball’s two worst teams

Jun 17, 2022, 10:18 AM | Updated: 11:10 pm

Oakland Athletics left fielder Chad Pinder makes a leaping catch at the wall on a ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 17, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Daniel Lynch had a career-high 10 strikeouts in five innings to win for the first time in nearly two months, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Friday night in a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the major leagues.

Salvador Perez doubled and homered for the Royals. Whit Merrifield added three hits while Andrew Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor each had two to send the plummeting A’s to their 21st loss in their last 24 home games.

The Royals (22-41) began the day percentage points ahead of the A’s, who fell to 22-44 with the loss and dropped 19 games behind the first-place Astros in the AL West.

Lynch (3-6) was knocked around in his five previous starts and walked Oakland’s second batter, then endured a long second inning before settling in for his first win since April 26. The left-hander allowed four hits and struck out the side in the third and fifth.

“The odds of him being at 61 pitches after two and being out there through five are extremely low,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He did a great job of being efficient. Really good job of getting his composure back.”

Lynch, whose 10 strikeouts are the most by a Royals starter this season, said the realization that his pitch count was so high forced him to be more aggressive.

“It was kind of weird because when I realized that I didn’t have a lot of pitches to work with, I actually started striking more guys out because I was attacking knowing I couldn’t get deep into counts,” Lynch said. “I was forced to be in the zone and attack. Some good things were happening after that.”

Elvis Andrus had two hits for Oakland and scored the A’s only run on Lynch’s second wild pitch in the second inning.

Perez hit an RBI double over the head of center fielder Cristian Pache in the first inning. After the A’s got within 2-1, Perez crushed another fastball to center from Frankie Montas (3-7) that traveled 422 feet leading off the third. They were the two hardest hit balls by either team.

Perez has homered in six of his last nine games against the A’s, including four straight, dating to last season.

“I like everything here, San Francisco and here,” Perez said. “The weather is fresh. To be behind the plate it’s not that hot. I like to play here.”

Montas allowed 10 hits and five runs (three earned) in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.


One of Taylor’s hits came on a routine pop-up that landed on the infield dirt between confused A’s third baseman Matt Davidson and shortstop Andrus. Davidson appeared to be positioning himself under the ball then abruptly looked to his left toward Andrus as the ball fell in. Perez scored on the play.


“That was another homer for me.” – Perez, chuckling about his walk in the sixth, his eighth in 221 plate appearance this season.


The game was delayed for several minutes when home plate umpire and crew chief Ron Kulpa left for unknown reasons after the top of the second inning. Charlie Ramos moved from first base and went behind the plate for the remainder of the game.


Royals right fielder Kyle Isbel made a leaping catch near the wall in foul territory just past the visiting bullpen, reaching back far with his left hand to grab the ball while he was still in the air.


Royals: RHP Zack Greinke (flexor strain) will continue his rehab assignment and start for Triple-A Omaha on Saturday. … LHP Gabe Speier and RHP Matt Peacock were reinstated from the Injured List. Each had missed the last 16 games. To make room, RHP Arodys Vizcaino was outrighted to Omaha and RHP Albert Abreu was designated for assignment. … OF Edward Olivares (right quad strain) homered for Omaha on Thursday night as he continues his rehab.

Athletics: OF Stephen Piscotty (strained left calf) ran the bases before the game and could begin a rehab assignment early next week.


Athletics LHP Cole Irvin (2-3, 3.34 ERA) is winless in five starts since coming off the Injured List on May 22. Irvin is 1-0 in two starts against Kansas City. RHP Brad Keller (1-8, 4.19) goes for the Royals in his third career start against Oakland.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Royals top A’s 5-1 in battle of baseball’s two worst teams