Royals waste opportunities in 3-2 loss to Athletics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Salvador Perez cursed himself. The catcher was charged for a passed ball that resulted in an Oakland run.
''I don't know what happened, I just missed the ball,'' Perez said after the Kansas City Royals lost to the Oakland Athletics 3-2 in Sunday's series finale. ''I messed up that game. If I catch that ball it's going to be over no problem. Maybe still tied but . ''
Perez's teammates didn't blame him.
''It didn't bounce up. It kind of skipped, so it stayed down on him,'' reliever Kris Medlen said of the strikeout pitch. ''He's 99 out of 100. It just happened to be that one. I know he's probably disappointed, but he's human. Those things happen.''
A ball also eluded Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer, the Royals went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and Kelvin Herrera blew a lead.
''Yeah, left a few guys on, had chances, just couldn't capitalize,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''Medlen pitched great. He managed his pitch count really, really well. In the seventh inning, you got Kel down there, it's hard not to bring him into the ballgame.''
Josh Reddick's sacrifice fly off Joakim Soria broke an eighth-inning tie. Soria (1-1) relieved to start the eighth, Burns tripled into the right-field corner and Reddick flied to center with one out. Burns came across the plate standing up, easily beating Lorenzo Cain's throw.
''He's got some speed. That kid's a nice player. He runs hard,'' Yost said. ''We normally play him straight up. We were shading the line there because he very seldom hits balls down the line, but he just hit one perfectly right down the line for a triple.''
Burns said the ball was both close to being caught by Hosmer and nearly foul.
''He was so close to snagging it,'' Burns said. ''I think it just skipped off the edge of his glove and skipped over the corner of the base.''
John Axford (2-0) induced three consecutive groundouts in the eighth, and Ryan Madson pitched a one-hit ninth for his fourth save in as many chances, retiring Raymond Fuentes on a game-ending lineout to first with a runner on second.
Soria lost for the first time since July 11.
Medlen allowed two runs - one earned - two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He left after Chris Coughlan's seventh-inning double, and pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie tied the score 2-2 with a single off Herrera.
Kansas City built a 2-0 lead on Alex Gordon's RBI single in the second and Mike Moustakas' homer in the third.
Coco Crisp scored in the fourth on Perez's passed ball as Coghlan struck out.
Several current and former Royals are taking part in the annual Royals Charities Golf Tournament, which benefits the Special Olympics of Kansas City, on Monday's off day.
Scheduled to join Hall of Famer George Brett are Yost, Moustakas, Soria, Wade Davis and Edinson Volquez.
Royals: Jarrod Dyson went 2 for 2 with a stolen base Sunday in his sixth rehab start for Triple-A Omaha. He is hitting .318 (7 for 22) and has been eligible to come off the disabled list but may remain with the Storm Chasers to get a few more at-bats. He strained his right oblique in his first at-bat of spring training.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura (0-0, 2.94) is to open a three-game set against Detroit on Tuesday night. He is 4-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 33 strikeouts in six starts against the Tigers.