Much like Friday evening, the Royals and Athletics found themselves in somewhat of a pitchers' duel on Saturday night as Kansas City edged out Oakland 4-3 before Mike Aviles' bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth. The win was the sixth walk-off win of the season for the Royals who improved to 18-15, while Oakland fell to an even 17-17 with the loss.
Luke Hochevar and Brandon McCarthy both put up solid efforts as Hochevar went seven inning giving up one run on four hits. He also struck out three while walking none in his no-decision. McCarthy pitched a complete game allowing four runs on nine hits, but the hard luck loss in falling to 1-3 on the season.
Kansas City got things going in the bottom of the sixth, as they plated the first runs of the game in taking a 3-0 lead sparked by four singles and two sacrifices.
Oakland answered in the bottom of the eighth against Hochevar Royals reliever Aaron Crow, who yielded the first two runs of his career, as Oakland score three runs in the inning to tie the score. With two runners on and no one out, Cliff Pennington his second home run off the season to square the ballgame up. Coco Crisp then doubled before Crow got the next three batters out to keep Kansas City tied.
The bottom of the ninth began with a Billy Butler single, who then gave way to pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson. Jeff Francoeur singled, advancing Dyson to third. After a conference on the pitching mound, Oakland decided to walk Eric Hosmer, who had picked up his first major-league hit with a groundball single to the right-side in the fifth inning.
The stage was set for Mike Aviles as the bases were loaded with no one out, as he lifted a shallow fly ball to left-field allowing the speedy Dyson to tag-up and race in from third base for the winning run. Joakim Soria who had pitched the ninth inning, picked up the win and moved to 2-0.
Kansas City will look to win this series Sunday afternoon as Jeff Francis (0-3 5.45 ERA) battles Oakland's Tyson Ross(1-2 2.38) at 1:10 from Kauffman Stadium.