KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki each homered for the Oakland Athletics and Conor Jackson collected three hits to help Tyson Ross win his first game in four starts Sunday, 5-2 over the Kansas City Royals.
Ross (2-2), who moved into the rotation last month when Dallas Braden went on the disabled list, went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. He has not allowed a home run in 28 2-3 innings.
Brian Fuentes pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save in 11 opportunities.
Third baseman Wilson Betemit’s throwing error let Coco Crisp reach base to start the game, and Daric Barton followed with a double. Jackson’s RBI single made it 1-0 and then Josh Willingham brought Barton home with a fielder’s choice grounder.
Kevin Kouzmanoff’s home run off winless starter Jeff Francis with two out in the sixth put the A’s on top 3-0. Suzuki added a solo shot in the ninth off Louis Coleman.
Francis (0-4) was charged with three runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out one.
Ross took a 3-0 shutout into the sixth but got in trouble with a throwing error when he tried to scoop Melky Cabrera’s infield single to first.
Cabrera wound up on second and scored on Eric Hosmer’s two-out double, the rookie first baseman’s first major league RBI. Wilson Betemit walked and then, in a bang-bang play, Hosmer raced home on a single by Mitch Maier and scored a split-second before Betemit was tagged out at second on a strong throw from right fielder David DeJesus.
Reliever Blake Wood gave up a single to Mark Ellis and walked Cliff Pennington before Tim Collins came out of the bullpen and gave up an RBI single to Crisp with his first pitch in the eighth, making it 4-2.
The A’s took the series two games to one. It was the first home series loss of the year for the Royals, who had three runners thrown out on the bases.
NOTES: This was the 43rd anniversary of Catfish Hunter’s perfect game. Only 6,298 fans were on hand to see Hunter beat the Twins 4-0 with the AL’s first perfect game in 46 years. … Braden, on the DL with a sore left shoulder, is scheduled to meet with specialists in Florida and New York this week. … After committing 27 errors in their first 29 games, A’s were errorless in five straight until Ross’ bad scoop in the sixth. … Ross has not allowed a home run since June 20, 2010. … KC DH Billy Butler got his first day off of the season.
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