They practice the play hundreds of times in spring training: ground ball to the right side, pitcher covers first. The Royals failed to execute that play last night, and it opened the door for three Oakland runs in the 8th inning, as the A’s beat the Royals 7-5. Mike Sweeney, who is still learning first base after moving there last year, bobbled the chopper then threw high to pitcher Dan Reichert. Sweeney was charged with an error. Later in the inning, the Royals nearly turned a double play. Instead, Olmedo Saenz and Terrence Long grounded RBI singles to give the A’s the lead. Reichert took the loss, though all three runs against him were unearned. Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran each had two hits for Kansas City. Starter Chad Durbin allowed four runs in 6 and 2/3 innings. The Royals will send recently acquired Miguel Batista to the mound against the A’s tonight.
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