OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Alcides Escobar had three hits and two RBIs, Danny Duffy pitched six innings for his first major league win and the Kansas City Royals beat Oakland 7-4 on Tuesday night to spoil the home debut of Athletics interim manager Bob Melvin.
Mike Moustakas singled twice and scored both times, and Billy Butler added a two-run double while helping the Royals to their fourth victory in five games. Kansas City improved to 3-1 on its current road trip following a 4-7 homestand.
Duffy (1-2), who began the season in the minors, gave up two runs and four hits. The rookie left-hander pitched out of jams with two runners on and less than two outs in three innings and overcame four walks to win for the first time in six starts.
After the Royals scored two runs in the eighth to take a 6-2 lead, the A’s scored twice with two outs against reliever Greg Holland in the bottom half. Aaron Crow got the final out of the inning and Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 15 chances.
Hideki Matsui homered and scored twice for the A’s.
Melvin, who took over when Bob Geren was fired June 9, was greeted warmly by the Coliseum crowd during pregame introductions. But those cheers turned to boos as the A’s lost for the 13th time in 14 games and fell a season-high 12 games under .500.
The Royals didn’t get much going early and scored their first run without a hit, but took advantage of Trevor Cahill’s wildness.
Cahill had a career-high seven walks and two wild pitches, continuing a troubling trend for A’s starters who have not won in 14 consecutive games.
Jeff Francoeur and Butler drew consecutive walks in the second against Cahill and both moved up on a sacrifice. Matt Treanor grounded out, scoring Francoeur.
Kansas City failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the third but got to Cahill for another run in the fourth despite hitting only one ball out of the infield. Moustakas singled, took second on first baseman Daric Barton’s throwing error and moved to third on a sacrifice before Escobar’s RBI groundout made it 2-0.
Escobar, who also doubled home a run in the ninth, has nine hits in his last four games. The four straight multihit games are a first for the Royals shortstop.
Oakland cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Matsui’s fifth home run. It was the 498th homer of his professional career, including Japan.
Cahill’s command problems cost him again in the fifth. The right-hander issued consecutive one-out walks to Eric Hosmer and Francoeur before Butler doubled over the head of left fielder Josh Willingham. Hosmer and Francoeur both scored, making it 4-1.
Cahill (6-5) was done two batters later despite giving up only four hits. He looked like a potential Cy Young Award candidate after starting the year 6-0, but is winless in his last seven starts.
Duffy had his own command problems but kept the damage to a minimum. He gave up a triple to rookie Jemile Weeks in the fifth, and Weeks scored on Coco Crisp’s sinking single to right. Beyond that, Duffy was solid while pitching his way to his first win in the majors.
NOTES: Oakland RHP Rich Harden (muscle strain) will throw a simulated game Wednesday and hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. … Cahill did not strike out a batter for the first time since July 23, 2010. … Weeks’ triple was his third since being called up from the minors last Tuesday. … Escobar has a season-high seven-game hitting streak. …
Hosmer’s single in the sixth snapped an 0-for-20 skid on the road.
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