Cotton dazzles as A's spoil Royals' home opener with 2-0 win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Oakland starter Jharel Cotton kept getting interrupted during his warmups Monday, first by Melissa Ethridge rocking out the National Anthem, then by a flyover from a B2 bomber, and finally by an emotional tribute to the late Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura.

It was the only time Cotton ever looked out of sync.

The young pitcher breezed through seven innings, allowing a pair of singles and three walks, and got just enough offense from Khris Davis' two-run homer to help the Athletics spoil Kansas City's home opener with a 2-0 victory at sun-splashed Kauffman Stadium.

''He was outstanding. He seemed so calm and poised,'' said Cotton's catcher, Stephen Vogt. ''For him to keep his focus and be ready to go - we had a really good game plan and he executed it beautifully.''

Cotton (1-1) turned the game over to Santiago Casilla, who struck out the side in the eighth. Sean Doolittle then put runners on the corners with two outs in the ninth, but he bounced back to strike out his former teammate and good friend Brandon Moss for his first save of the season.

It was the seventh straight win for the A's over Kansas City.

Asked about Cotton, Royals manager Ned Yost said simply: ''He was dynamite.''

Davis provided all the offense Oakland needed when he followed a leadoff single by Ryon Healy with his fourth homer of the year. The shot to right field on a 3-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy (0-2) barely scraped over the wall, but it gave Cotton the only help he needed against a punchless Kansas City lineup.

''I was falling behind on him, trying to get him to chase a little bit. Then I tried to get a fastball by him,'' Kennedy said. ''The wind was blowing out so hard and ball hit that high, it just took off.''

The home opener had a somber feeling even before the Royals' bats went quiet, starting with a tear-filled tribute to Ventura. The young pitcher, an instrumental part of back-to-back World Series trips, was killed in an offseason car crash in the Dominican Republic.

Kennedy pitched well on the mound where Ventura once dazzled, allowing only two hits and two walks over six innings. But the mistake he threw to Davis proved to be decisive.

Cotton, who was battered by the Angels in his season debut, effortlessly sliced through the Kansas City order. He got a double play to end the second, struck out the side in the fifth, then induced a pair of fly outs in the sixth after an error on a double-play ball gave the Royals life.

Cotton proceeded to breeze through the seventh before handing the game to his bullpen.

''We've seen him pitch really good games, but the pressure of that game, full house, sometimes the nerves can get to you,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said, ''but he was on it right from the start.''

REMEMBERING YORDANO

The Royals left Ventura's locker empty except for a framed jersey, and memorials to him were just about everywhere inside Kauffman Stadium. His mother, Marisol Hernandez, threw out the ceremonial first pitch after a saxophonist standing on the mound played a rendition of ''Amazing Grace.''

STATS AND STREAKS

The Royals were shut out in their home opener for the second time, losing to the Twins 2-0 in 1971. They had won their last four home openers. ... The A's seven-game win streak against Kansas City matches the longest in franchise history. ... Royals RHP Peter Moylan pitched two perfect innings, extending his scoreless streak to seven. ... Doolittle's save was his first since June 23, 2016.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (right lat injury) threw a bullpen session Monday and will throw to hitters Thursday, manager Bob Melvin said. Gray hopes to be ready by the end of the month. ... RHP Chris Bassitt (elbow surgery) reported no problems after throwing to hitters on Sunday at Class A Stockton, but Melvin said he's not sure what the next step will be in Bassitt's rehab.

UP NEXT

Oakland: RHP Andrew Triggs tries to build on a strong season debut when the series resumes after a day off. Triggs allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 5-1 win over the Angeles.

Kansas City: RHP Jason Hammel allowed three runs on six hits in five innings against Minnesota in his first start for the Royals last week. He gets the start at the K on Wednesday night.

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123456789RHE
000200000261
KC2-5
000000000030
  • W: J. Cotton (1-1)L: I. Kennedy (0-2)S: S. Doolittle (1)
  • HR: OAK - K. Davis (4)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Semien SS40000021.192.364.231.594-1.0
M. Joyce RF40100001.174.240.304.5441.0
R. Healy DH41100011.156.182.375.5571.5
K. Davis LF41121000.345.394.8281.2227.0
S. Vogt C30200100.261.292.478.7704.0
J. Lowrie 2B40000003.286.375.464.8390.0
Y. Alonso 1B30000122.333.440.524.9640.0
T. Plouffe 3B30000012.154.185.154.339-0.5
R. Davis CF30100000.167.212.300.5123.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Gordon LF40000021.207.258.276.534-1.0
    M. Moustakas 3B40000021.296.321.630.951-1.0
    L. Cain CF20100201.227.452.227.6795.0
    E. Hosmer 1B30000113.179.207.286.4930.5
    S. Perez C40100002.286.310.7141.0251.0
    T. Gore PR0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    B. Moss DH30000133.063.286.250.536-0.5
    P. Orlando RF30000012.125.192.125.317-0.5
    A. Escobar SS30000020.167.200.250.450-1.0
    R. Mondesi 2B30100010.143.143.143.2860.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Vogt (2)
      • HR - K. Davis (4)
      • RBI - K. Davis 2 (6)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - R. Davis
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - L. Cain (3)
      FIELDING
      • E - T. Plouffe
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Cotton (W, 1-1)7.02003603.970.7129.0
      S. Casilla (H, 1)1.00000300.000.004.5
      S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.01001300.002.009.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Cotton (W, 1-1)7.0
      S. Casilla (H, 1)1.0
      S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      I. Kennedy (L, 0-2)6.06222414.091.338.0
      P. Moylan2.00000100.000.006.5
      M. Minor1.00000105.400.003.5
      PITCHERSIP
      I. Kennedy (L, 0-2)6.0
      P. Moylan2.0
      M. Minor1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Cotton (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Cotton 98-61, S. Casilla 16-10, S. Doolittle 24-16
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Cotton 7-7
      • Batters Faced - J. Cotton 25, S. Casilla 3, S. Doolittle 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 99-61, P. Moylan 17-12, M. Minor 16-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 3-10, P. Moylan 4-1
      • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 25, P. Moylan 6, M. Minor 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      000200000261
      KC2-5
      000000000030
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      M. Semien SS40000021.192.364.231.594-1.0
      M. Joyce RF40100001.174.240.304.5441.0
      R. Healy DH41100011.156.182.375.5571.5
      K. Davis LF41121000.345.394.8281.2227.0
      S. Vogt C30200100.261.292.478.7704.0
      J. Lowrie 2B40000003.286.375.464.8390.0
      Y. Alonso 1B30000122.333.440.524.9640.0
      T. Plouffe 3B30000012.154.185.154.339-0.5
      R. Davis CF30100000.167.212.300.5123.0
      Total3226212610-----
      HITTERSAB
      M. Semien SS4
      M. Joyce RF4
      R. Healy DH4
      K. Davis LF4
      S. Vogt C3
      J. Lowrie 2B4
      Y. Alonso 1B3
      T. Plouffe 3B3
      R. Davis CF3
      Total32
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        A. Gordon LF40000021.207.258.276.534-1.0
        M. Moustakas 3B40000021.296.321.630.951-1.0
        L. Cain CF20100201.227.452.227.6795.0
        E. Hosmer 1B30000113.179.207.286.4930.5
        S. Perez C40100002.286.310.7141.0251.0
        T. Gore PR0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        B. Moss DH30000133.063.286.250.536-0.5
        P. Orlando RF30000012.125.192.125.317-0.5
        A. Escobar SS30000020.167.200.250.450-1.0
        R. Mondesi 2B30100010.143.143.143.2860.5
        Total29030041213-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - S. Vogt (2)
          • HR - K. Davis (4)
          • RBI - K. Davis 2 (6)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - R. Davis
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - L. Cain (3)
          FIELDING
          • E - T. Plouffe
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Cotton (W, 1-1)7.02003603.970.7129.0
          S. Casilla (H, 1)1.00000300.000.004.5
          S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.01001300.002.009.5
          Total9.03004120---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Cotton (W, 1-1)7.0
          S. Casilla (H, 1)1.0
          S. Doolittle (S, 1)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          I. Kennedy (L, 0-2)6.06222414.091.338.0
          P. Moylan2.00000100.000.006.5
          M. Minor1.00000105.400.003.5
          Total9.0622261---
          PITCHERSIP
          I. Kennedy (L, 0-2)6.0
          P. Moylan2.0
          M. Minor1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - J. Cotton (2)
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Cotton 98-61, S. Casilla 16-10, S. Doolittle 24-16
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Cotton 7-7
          • Batters Faced - J. Cotton 25, S. Casilla 3, S. Doolittle 5
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 99-61, P. Moylan 17-12, M. Minor 16-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 3-10, P. Moylan 4-1
          • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 25, P. Moylan 6, M. Minor 3
          • 4TH INNING
            Davis homered to right center, Healy scored20
          • 9TH INNING
            • Mike Minor relieved Peter Moylan
            • S. Vogt: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Vogt popped out to catcher
            • J. Lowrie: Ball, Ball, Lowrie flied out to right
            • Y. Alonso: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Alonso struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Sean Doolittle relieved Santiago Casilla
            • M. Moustakas: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
            • L. Cain: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Cain walked
            • E. Hosmer: Foul, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Hosmer struck out swinging
            • S. Perez: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Perez singled to left, Cain to third
            • Terrance Gore ran for Salvador Perez
            • B. Moss: Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Moss struck out swinging
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • P. Moylan Pitching:
            • M. Joyce: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Joyce grounded out to second
            • R. Healy: Ball, Foul, Healy flied out to deep right
            • K. Davis: Davis grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Santiago Casilla relieved Jharel Cotton
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • R. Mondesi: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Peter Moylan relieved Ian Kennedy
            • T. Plouffe: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Plouffe struck out swinging
            • R. Davis: Ball, Davis grounded out to third
            • M. Semien: Semien grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Hosmer walked
            • S. Perez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Perez popped out to shortstop
            • B. Moss: Foul, Foul, Ball, Hosmer to second on wild pitch, Strike swinging, Moss struck out swinging
            • P. Orlando: Orlando flied out to center
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • K. Davis: Davis popped out to first
            • S. Vogt: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Vogt walked
            • J. Lowrie: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lowrie flied out to deep center
            • Y. Alonso: Ball, Ball, Alonso popped out to first
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • R. Mondesi: Foul, Mondesi singled to shallow center
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Gordon grounded out to first, Mondesi to second on 3rd baseman Plouffe fielding error
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Foul, Ball, Moustakas flied out to center
            • L. Cain: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Cain flied out to center
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • R. Davis: Strike looking, Davis grounded out to second
            • M. Semien: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Semien popped out to shortstop
            • M. Joyce: Ball, Ball, Joyce reached on an infield single
            • R. Healy: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Healy struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • B. Moss: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Moss struck out swinging
            • P. Orlando: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Orlando struck out swinging
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • R. Healy: Foul, Healy singled to shallow right
            • K. Davis: Ball, Ball, Ball, Davis homered to right center, Healy scored
            • S. Vogt: Foul, Vogt doubled to deep left
            • J. Lowrie: Ball, Lowrie popped out to shortstop
            • Y. Alonso: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Alonso walked
            • T. Plouffe: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Plouffe grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Alonso out at second
            • Middle of the 4th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • M. Moustakas: Strike swinging, Foul
            • L. Cain: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Cain walked
            • E. Hosmer: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Cain stole second, Hosmer popped out to first
            • S. Perez: Foul, Foul, Perez grounded out to third
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • T. Plouffe: Plouffe flied out to deep center
            • R. Davis: Strike looking, Davis singled to left
            • M. Semien: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Semien struck out on foul tip
            • M. Joyce: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Davis stole second, Joyce lined out to center
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • A. Escobar: Escobar grounded out to third
            • R. Mondesi: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Mondesi flied out to deep right
            • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gordon grounded out to second
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • K. Davis: Strike looking, Ball, Davis grounded out to second
            • S. Vogt: Strike looking, Vogt singled to shallow right center
            • J. Lowrie: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Lowrie lined out to right
            • Y. Alonso: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Alonso struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Cotton Pitching:
            • S. Perez: Foul, Strike (foul tip), Perez flied out to deep left
            • B. Moss: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Moss walked
            • P. Orlando: Ball, Orlando grounded into double play third to second to first, Moss out at second
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • M. Semien: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Semien struck out swinging
            • M. Joyce: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Joyce flied out to left
            • R. Healy: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Healy popped out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Ian Kennedy pitching
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • M. Moustakas: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Moustakas grounded out to first
            • L. Cain: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cain singled to left
            • E. Hosmer: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Hosmer grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)