Kansas City at Oakland

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Oakland «03100000x490

Royals still can't find a win, lose 19th straight

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Several Kansas City Royals trudged quietly from the clubhouse to the weight room, heads down after yet another loss.

The Royals dropped their 19th straight game Friday night, moving within two defeats of the American League record, and Jay Payton homered to help the Oakland Athletics snap a four-game skid with a 4-0 victory.

"It's unexplainable, really," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "I don't think we're a playoff-contending team by any means, but I don't think we're this bad. ... We'll be all right."

Rich Harden (10-5) pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings to win for the first time in four outings since a four-start winning streak. He didn't allow a hit until Mike Sweeney's one-out double in the fourth.

Nick Swisher hit a pair of RBI doubles, playing in honor of his late grandmother after missing four games to attend her funeral in West Virginia. The A's welcomed back their rookie right fielder, who arrived in the Bay Area early Friday. He wore Betty Lorraine Swisher's "BLS" initials on his armbands and pointed to the sky after his hits.

"I had so many things going through my head," said Swisher, tied for second on the team with 60 RBI. "To be able to come out on top is nice, being able to get a couple hits. Now she has a front-row seat at every game."

Kansas City (38-82), owner of the worst record in baseball, lost its 12th straight road game to tie the club's longest single-season mark, set by the 1997 squad. The Royals were swept in a three-game series in Seattle and must now face the A's other top pitcher Saturday: 11-game winner Barry Zito. Oakland swept a three-game series from the Royals from Aug. 5-7, outscoring Kansas City 32-5.

Baltimore lost an AL-record 21 in a row at the start of the 1988 season. The major league mark since 1900 is 23 straight losses by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961.

The Royals haven't won since beating the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in 13 innings on July 27.

"It's 19 now? Wow," starting pitcher Jose Lima said. "I feel terrible, because I have pride. This is really tough. I know people are booing us, and we deserve to be booed. We've lost 19 in a row. ... I don't want to come here every day and think we're going to get a whipping. You want to feel sorry for yourself. This is the toughest thing I've been through in my life."

As if the Royals don't have enough problems, they got a scare when Sweeney and Lima collided at first base on Mark Kotsay's hard grounder in the fourth. Both were slow getting up and visited by the training staff, but stayed in the game. Lima bruised his left knee on the play.

Payton connected for a solo homer in the second. He homered for the fifth time in 11 games and has 10 homers and 26 RBIs in 29 games since joining the A's in a July 13 trade with Boston. He also added a double in the third and scored twice.

After allowing a leadoff walk to David DeJesus in his 27-pitch first inning, Harden retired his next 10 batters and 14 of 15. He made a sliding catch in front of the mound on a bunt by Joe McEwing in the third. Harden allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two.

"We've lost a few in a row and we needed to turn things around," Harden said. "I'd rather face a team that's winning a lot. They're bound to turn it around at any time."

The Royals loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, then closer Huston Street got five outs for his 16th save in 20 chances to complete the five-hitter. It was the eighth time Kansas City has been shut out this year.

"It seems like every game we play we get behind early and we just can't -- we don't have any kind of consistent offensive attack," Bell said.

Oakland tagged Lima (4-12) for three runs in the second, batting around and forcing the right-hander to throw 38 pitches. Lima lost his fourth straight outing and has never beaten Oakland in five starts.

Lima, coming off his first complete game since 2001, gave up four runs, seven hits and four walks in five innings after not walking a batter in his previous start.

Notes

  • DeJesus left in the fourth with a sore left ribcage and was replaced by Chip Ambres. He will undergo more treatment Saturday and try to play in the night game.
  • Kansas City got its first baserunner to third in the eighth.
  • The A's optioned OF Matt Watson back to Triple-A Sacramento to free up a roster spot for Swisher.
  • Royals INF Mark Teahen left the team to attend his grandfather's funeral.
  • Payton came in batting .400 lifetime against Lima, and this was his fourth homer. "The way things are going now, everybody kills me," Lima said.
  • The A's earned their 10th shutout, their first since blanking the Royals 11-0 on Aug. 7.
 
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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Royals catcher John Buck is forced out at second base by Oakland's shortstop Bobby Crosby. (AP)
Royals catcher John Buck is forced out at second base by Oakland's shortstop Bobby Crosby. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Oakland

R. Harden
IP 6.1
H 4
ER 0
BB 2
K 6
 

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF1000110 .289
    Chip Ambres, CF3010011 .317
Terrence Long, LF3000120 .273
Mike Sweeney, 1B4020002 .299
Matt Stairs, DH3000113 .269
Emil Brown, RF4000024 .275
Angel Berroa, SS4010003 .265
John Buck, C3000100 .227
Donnie Murphy, 2B4010012 .183
Joe McEwing, 3B3000013 .252
   a- Denny Hocking, PH0000100 .143
Totals320505918 
a-walked for McEwing in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chip Ambres (4, Witasick), Mike Sweeney (28, Harden), Donnie Murphy (5, Harden)
SB - David DeJesus (5, 2nd base off Harden/Kendall)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Terrence Long 1
Kansas City Royals
Jose Lima (L,4-12) 5744401 6.47
Jimmy Gobble 2.2200310 7.76
Jonah Bayliss 0.1000000 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Lima 98-56, Jimmy Gobble 46-22, Jonah Bayliss 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Lima 3-12, Jimmy Gobble 2-4, Jonah Bayliss 1-0
Batters Faced - Jose Lima 26, Jimmy Gobble 12, Jonah Bayliss 1
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4010103 .268
Mark Kotsay, CF4021102 .272
Bobby Crosby, SS4020114 .286
Eric Chavez, 3B4000007 .275
Dan Johnson, 1B4000001 .310
Jay Payton, LF4221000 .268
Scott Hatteberg, DH3100101 .269
Nick Swisher, RF4122000 .259
Mark Ellis, 2B1000301 .308
Totals324947119 
Batting
2B - Bobby Crosby (21, Lima), Jay Payton (11, Lima), Nick Swisher 2 (24, Lima, Lima)
HR - Jay Payton (15, Lima)
RBI - Mark Kotsay (60), Jay Payton (47), Nick Swisher 2 (60)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (29), Nick Swisher (27)
Team LOB - 11
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden (W,10-5) 6.1400260 2.63
Kiko Calero (H,10) 0.2000000 3.49
Jay Witasick 0.1100100 2.28
Joe Kennedy0000100 6.40
Huston Street (S,16) 1.2000130 1.36
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 85-54, Kiko Calero 8-5, Huston Street 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 6-7, Kiko Calero 1-1, Jay Witasick 1-0, Huston Street 1-1
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 25, Kiko Calero 2, Jay Witasick 3, Joe Kennedy 1, Huston Street 6
Game Information
Attendance - 20715
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Joe Brinkman, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Jeff Nelson