Salvador Perez homered and knocked in three runs as the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 5-3 victory in Sunday’s series finale.
Omar Infante and Alex Rios had an RBI each to help the Royals earn their first sweep in Oakland since July 28-30, 2008 and win for the 10th time in their last 13 games.
Jeremy Guthrie (6-5) did his part on the mound, limiting Oakland’s struggling offense to two runs and striking out a season-high seven over six solid innings.
“I think the curveball was a pitch we had good success with and the breaking ball in general was a quality pitch today, better than the last couple of outings,” Guthrie said. “That was the key to the seven strikeouts, just keeping them off-balance.”
Ben Zobrist went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the A’s, who mustered just seven runs for the series. Billy Burns finished 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.
Oakland starter Jesse Chavez (4-7) allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings to receive the loss.
Chavez had been mostly dominant through five innings, except for a bases- loaded jam he worked out of in the third. However, Mike Moustakas doubled to lead off Kansas City’s half of the sixth and Kendrys Morales followed with a single to put the tying run on base.
Perez then hit a slow chopper in which A’s third baseman Max Muncy charged and threw high to the plate, with Moustakas scoring and the remaining two runners advancing on the error. After a sacrifice fly from Rios brought in the tying run, Infante slapped a single to right to score Perez for a 3-2 edge.
“I got to stop the bleeding and make a pitch,” Chavez said. “It didn’t go our way. I made a pitch to the next hitter for what would have been the third out. I’ve still got to stop the bleeding there. There’s no excuse for it. It’s all my fault.”
Oakland got the tying run to third with one out in the seventh when Burns doubled and advanced on a wild pitch from Franklin Morales, but pinch-hitter Marcus Semien and Stephen Vogt left him stranded with a pair of groundouts.
Perez gave Kansas City some additional cushion a half-inning later, crushing an Edward Mujica fastball with Lorenzo Cain aboard to extend the lead to 5-2.
Zobrist singled and scored on Ike Davis’ fly ball after a Billy Butler double to bring the A’s closer in the eighth. They managed just a Semien double, however, in the ninth as Wade Davis recorded his ninth save.
Oakland briefly broke out of its offensive funk by getting to Guthrie in the third inning. Burns led off with a single and Vogt moved Eric Sogard to third following a forceout before a Zobrist sac fly produced the game’s initial run. Josh Reddick later sent in Vogt with a bloop single to put the A’s up 2-0.
Guthrie permitted just two singles over the remainder of his stint, which the veteran finished by striking out the side in order in the sixth.