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Kansas City at Oakland

Venue: O.co Coliseum

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 image  Mostly sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Kansas City2nd AL Central4745.5116 ½ 4-6 L 2
Oakland1st AL West5835.624-7-3 L 1
vs Tommy Milone
vs Ervin Santana

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Game Odds
Kansas City 120 Oakland -130
Kansas City
A. GordonWrist
L. HochevarElbow
D. ValenciaHand, wrist
J. VargasAppendectomy
K. BlanksCalf
A. CallaspoHamstring
C. CrispAnkle
A. GriffinElbow
J. ParkerElbow
D. PomeranzHand
J. ReddickKnee
Series Game Log
Apr 3OAKOAK 3-2Pomeranz Noesi 
Apr 4OAKPPD   
Apr 5OAKSEA 3-1Hernandez Straily 
Apr 6OAKOAK 6-3Gray Ramirez 
Apr 11SEASEA 6-4Hernandez Milone 
Apr 12SEAOAK 3-1Gray Ramirez 
Apr 13SEAOAK 3-0Otero Furbush 
May 5OAKSEA 4-2Young Kazmir 
May 6OAKSEA 8-3Elias Chavez 
May 7OAKSEA 6-4Medina Cook 
May 7OAKOAK 2-0Pomeranz Ramirez 
Jul 11SEASEA 3-2Hernandez Samardzija 
Jul 12SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jul 13SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 1OAK 4:05 PM EDT  
Sep 2OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 3OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Sep 12SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 13SEA 9:10 PM EDT  
Sep 14SEA 4:10 PM EDT