Maybe it was a good thing it was an afternoon game and it wasn't televised locally as the Royals went down in defeat 8-4 at the hands of the Oakland Athletics. Starter Gio Gonzalez paced the Oakland effort with 10 strikeouts in six innings, while Jeff Francouer won top honors for Kansas City with four strikeouts in his five trips to the plate.
Oakland got off to a hot start, taking a 6-0 lead after just three innings as Royals starter Jeff Francis lasted just 3.1 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits as he fell to 3-7 in taking the loss this afternoon. It was your typical small ball that did the Royals in, as Hideki Matsui had the only home run on the day, a solo effort in the third inning.
The Royals scored two in the top of the fifth inning and had runners on second and third trying to close the gap, but Billy Butler struck out to end the threat with the score 6-2 at the time.
After Oakland scored singled runs in the fifth and seventh innings, the Royals added two more runs in the eighth facing reliever Michael Wuertz as Wilson Betemit hit a ground rule double to score Butler, and then Brayan Pena double to score Betemit.
Betemit, who I mentioned yesterday as a potential trade target got a rare start lately, patrolling first base and giving Eric Hosmer a rare day off. Betemit was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run score, while striking out twice.
Gonzalez picked up the win, as he moved to 6-5 on the season while Oakland improved to 30-40. With the loss, Kansas City falls to 30-39. Thursday's full boxscore can be viewed here.
The Royals come back to Missouri tomorrow, but will be heading to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in the second portion of inter league play and for the finale of this year's I-70 series. Felipe Paulino (0-0 1.29 ERA) takes to the mound tomorrow evening to face Chris Carpenter (1-6 4.47). Gametime from St. Louis is set for 7:15 CST.