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Kansas City at Oakland

Venue: O.co Coliseum
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The Kansas City Royals tend to be feast or famine at the plate, and that's been on display so far on this nine-game road trip.

Recent games in Oakland, however, have proven to only be an offensive struggle.

The Royals will try to rebound from another rough performance at the plate Saturday night against the Athletics.

Kansas City (20-18) is hitting .312 with 17 homers and an average of 6.1 runs during its victories, compared to .208 with nine homers and 2.5 runs per game in defeat.

Lorenzo Cain may be the biggest culprit, as he owns a .408 average in wins, while batting .204 in losses.

That vast swing has been grossly evident while Kansas City has alternated wins and losses over the first four games of this trip.

The team is hitting .381 with 20 runs in the two wins, with Cain going 5 for 10 with five RBIs. However, he's 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the losses, contributing to the Royals' .172 average and three runs.

Lack of offense was the issue in Friday's series-opening 2-1 loss, as Kansas City was limited to five hits.

"I mean, it's kind of heartbreaking," right fielder David Lough told the team's official website. "Our offense just didn't click but we all know what we're capable of doing."

Poor performances at the plate are nothing new for the Royals in Oakland (21-22), where they've lost four of five while totaling eight runs with a .168 average.

Lough did provide a lift with a pair of hits and an RBI Friday in his season debut, hours after being recalled from Triple-A Omaha to replace Jarrod Dyson, who is on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle.

The A's will try to post consecutive wins for the first time this month when they send Tommy Milone (3-5, 3.71 ERA) to the mound.

The left-hander, though, has lost five straight starts despite a very respectable 3.62 ERA during that span. He's been backed by four total runs in those games.

Milone didn't do himself any favors Sunday, giving up five runs - three in the first inning - and three walks before leaving after the fifth in a 6-1 loss at Seattle.

He is 1-1 with a 1.20 ERA in two career starts against the Royals, winning the lone matchup at home.

The Royals will counter with Ervin Santana (3-2, 2.79), who suffered his first loss since his season debut his last time out Sunday against the Yankees.

He gave up four runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings and has allowed seven runs in his last two starts spanning 12 1-3 innings after going 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA in his previous four outings - all Kansas City victories.

"If you do the little things, you're going to win games. That's how it is," Santana told the team's official website.

He's certainly done that in Oakland, where he's 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 12 games - 10 starts - but he last appeared there in a 10-inning defeat with the Los Angeles Angels on July 16, 2011.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Ervin Santana, RHP
2013 stats
48.1 Innings Pitched 51.0
3-2 Wins-Losses 3-5
2.79 Earned Run Average 3.71
6 Walks 9
39 Strikeouts 45
103 Pitches Per Start 102
Career vs. opponent
164.1 Innings Pitched 15.0
14-5 Wins-Losses 1-1
2.03 Earned Run Average 1.20

Tommy Milone, LHP
Weather
weather image  Mostly sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
73°F53°F14mph/W48%1%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Kansas City2nd AL Central8368.550 ½ 4-6 W 1
Oakland2nd AL West8368.55011 ½ 3-7 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Tommy Milone
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Hosmer42120.500
Butler62001.333
Gordon31010.333
Escobar61002.167
Collins000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Ervin Santana
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Moss21011.500
Jaso147131.500
Cespedes62200.333
Lowrie82001.250
Barton317068.226
 
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Kansas City 120 Oakland -130
Injuries
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
D. DuffyShoulder
L. HochevarElbow
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksAchilles
C. GentryHead
A. GriffinElbow
J. JasoConcussion
J. ParkerElbow
S. VogtAnkle
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21OAKTEX 4-3Cotts Doolittle 
Apr 22OAKTEX 5-4Ogando Gregerson 
Apr 23OAKTEX 3-0Perez Gray 
Apr 28TEXOAK 4-0Gray Darvish 
Apr 29TEXOAK 9-3Kazmir Perez 
Apr 30TEXOAK 12-1Chavez Ross 
Jun 16OAKTEX 14-8Lewis Pomeranz 
Jun 17OAKOAK 10-6Milone Darvish 
Jun 18OAKOAK 4-2Gray Tepesch 
Jul 25TEXTEX 4-1Williams Hammel 
Jul 26TEXOAK 5-1Gray Tepesch 
Jul 27TEXOAK 9-3Kazmir Mikolas 
Sep 16OAKTEX 6-3Tepesch Kazmir 
Sep 17OAKTEX 6-1Ross Doolittle 
Sep 18OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Sep 25TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Sep 26TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Sep 27TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Sep 28TEX 3:05 PM EDT