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Hosmer roughed up in debut as A's get past Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A night of little oddities began in the barber shop.

Eric Hosmer, about to make one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Kansas City history, walked into the little room in Kauffman Stadium where players get haircuts and ran into Gio Gonzalez, Oakland's scheduled starting pitcher.

The two fellow South Floridians visited briefly, wished each other well, and then a few hours later Gonzalez struck out Hosmer in a key situation en route to a 3-2 victory for the Athletics on Friday night.

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Gonzalez had pitched to Mike Hosmer, Eric's older brother, in a high school game and Eric had long admired the left-hander who was practically from his old neighborhood.

"It was kind of awkward," Gonzalez said. "Then he told me, 'Hey, I used to watch you pitch in South Florida.' It was pretty exciting."

Gonzalez (4-2) gave up a home run to Alex Gordon in the first but went seven innings and allowed only four hits and two runs.

Hosmer, getting a standing ovation before his first plate appearance, walked twice and struck out twice. With the A's leading 3-2 in the eighth and Jeff Francoeur on second with the potential tying run, Gonzalez got the heralded rookie first baseman to take a called third strike.

"It's a great thing that Eric got called up," Gonzalez said. "He's another South Florida guy and it's an honor to see guys like that come up and continue to do good. And he's going to be a big, big help to Kansas City. You could see it in his swings, the way he approached the game."

Hosmer, whose .439 average at Triple-A Omaha was the highest of any minor league regular in the nation, was 0 for 2 with a stolen base and walks in his first two trips to the plate. Plus, he handled every chance at first flawlessly.

"It was humbling to go out there and hear how loud the fans get every time you come up to the plate," Hosmer said.

The most ballyhooed Royals rookie since Bo Jackson 25 years ago got good marks from his manager.

"He did a great job," Ned Yost said. "His first two at-bats were phenomenal, tough walks against a tough, tough pitcher."

Sean O'Sullivan (1-2) was almost as good as Gonzalez, but Oakland got to him for three runs in the fifth. The right-hander still managed a career-high eight innings, allowing five hits and one walk.

Royals' pitchers faced only four batters over the minimum and retired the A's 1-2-3 in seven of nine innings. It was also the first game in almost four years the Royals failed to record a single strikeout.

"That's a tough one to lose, a tough one to swallow," said O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan retired 11 straight batters before Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney and Andy LaRoche singled leading off the fifth. LaRoche's hit drove in Suzuki and Mark Ellis followed with a liner to left that glanced off Gordon's outstretched glove. The runners had held up to see if the ball would be caught, so the bases were loaded with nobody out.

Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded to third baseman Betemit, who got a forceout at second as Sweeney scored. Then Coco Crisp's infield out brought in another run, putting the A's on top 3-2.

Crisp was then thrown out trying to steal second and after that, O'Sullivan retired nine in a row before Tim Collins came in.

With two out in the first, Gordon hit Gonzalez's 2-1 pitch over the fence in left. Matt Treanor walked leading off the third and scored on Mike Aviles' triple.

The A's were scrambling to get information on the 21-year-old Hosmer.

"Anything we can get our hands on," said manager Bob Geren. "But the thing is, Gio is going to pitch his game and make adjustments in-game. See how he swings at certain pitches. The numbers he had in the minor leagues, they don't lie. So obviously he's going to be a good player."

In the ninth, with much of the crowd on its feet, Hosmer took a called third strike again from Brian Fuentes, who got his eighth save in 10 opportunities.

"It seemed like the game went by real fast," he said. "I'm glad I can get that debut out of the way and move on from this. I'm definitely never going to forget this day."

Notes

  • Hosmer's mother, father, brother, aunt and uncle flew in from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to see his major league debut.
  • The A's have not been shut out by Kansas City in 138 games.
  • Oakland's David DeJesus has not committed an error in 269 consecutive games, longest active streak among major league outfielders.
  • The Royals moved C Jason Kendall from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Coco Crisp has some words with second base umpire Alan Porter after being called out on a steal. (AP)
Coco Crisp has some words with second base umpire Alan Porter after being called out on a steal. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Oakland

G. Gonzalez
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 4
K 6
 

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF3001100 .269
David DeJesus, RF4010000 .231
Conor Jackson, 1B4000002 .270
Hideki Matsui, DH4000001 .234
Kurt Suzuki, C3110000 .245
Ryan Sweeney, LF3110000 .342
Andy LaRoche, SS-3B3111000 .273
Mark Ellis, 2B3010000 .184
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B2001000 .200
   a- Josh Willingham, PH1000000 .235
    Cliff Pennington, SS0000000 .227
Totals3035310  
a-grounded out for Kouzmanoff in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Coco Crisp (11), Andy LaRoche (2), Kevin Kouzmanoff (10)
CS - Coco Crisp (3, 2nd base by O'Sullivan/Treanor)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
DP - LaRoche-Ellis-Jackson
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gio Gonzalez (W,4-2) 7422461 2.68
Grant Balfour (H,8) 1000010 1.93
Brian Fuentes (S,8) 1100010 4.67
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 110-67, Grant Balfour 18-11, Brian Fuentes 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 10-4, Grant Balfour 1-1, Brian Fuentes 1-1
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 28, Grant Balfour 3, Brian Fuentes 4
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Aviles, 2B3011121 .278
Melky Cabrera, CF4000012 .285
Alex Gordon, LF4111011 .318
Billy Butler, DH4000000 .293
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010000 .303
Eric Hosmer, 1B2000221 .000
Wilson Betemit, 3B4010012 .319
    Jarrod Dyson, PR0000000 .188
Matt Treanor, C3100111 .186
Alcides Escobar, SS3010001 .231
Totals3125248  
Batting
2B - Jeff Francoeur (10, G. Gonzalez)
3B - Mike Aviles (2, G. Gonzalez)
HR - Alex Gordon (3, G. Gonzalez)
RBI - Mike Aviles (24), Alex Gordon (22)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (7)
SB - Mike Aviles (8, 2nd base off G. Gonzalez/Suzuki), Eric Hosmer (1, 2nd base off G. Gonzalez/Suzuki), Jarrod Dyson (8, 2nd base off Fuentes/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hosmer-Escobar
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Sean O'Sullivan (L,1-2) 8533100 3.41
Tim Collins 1000000 3.93
Pitches-Strikes - Sean O'Sullivan 88-60, Tim Collins 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean O'Sullivan 14-8, Tim Collins 1-2
Batters Faced - Sean O'Sullivan 28, Tim Collins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30690
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - James Hoye