for this game

Bullpen fails Athletics again as Royals rally in ninth

May 17, 2007 - 7:03 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Oakland Athletics continue to feel the loss of closer Huston Street.

John Buck hit an RBI double with one out in the ninth inning and Ryan Shealy followed with a run-scoring single as the Kansas City Royals victimized Oakland's bullpen for the third straight night and held on for a 4-3 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday.

In the opener of this four-game series on Monday, the Royals were kept off the scoreboard for eight innings by Dan Haren before reaching reliever Justin Duchscherer for two runs in the ninth en route to a 2-1 victory.

Prior to Tuesday's contest, Oakland placed Street on the 15-day disabled list with an arm injury, and Kansas City took advantage of his absence in the ninth, scoring three times against Alan Embree and Jay Witasick to erase a 4-1 deficit and force extra innings.

However, the Athletics went on to win in the 11th.

In this one, Oakland overcame an early 2-0 deficit by scoring twice in the seventh and once in the eighth. Manager Bob Geren turned to Kiko Calero (0-3), who also failed to close the deal.

"Right now, I know that Huston is out, but I have to be ready," Calero said. "Whether it's the closer or the seventh, eighth or sixth, it can't take me by surprise when I'm in there."

After rookie Alex Gordon struck out to start the ninth, former Athletic Esteban German walked and stole second. Buck followed with a double off the right field wall, plating German with the tying run.

"We've been through so many close games that we haven't been able to pull out," Buck said. "It's kind of nice to turn around that karma tonight. It was a good game last night, but we didn't pull it out. Tonight was what we needed. It was great to get in one of these one-run games and pull one out. Hopefully, this will give us some confidence in the close ones."

Shealy proceeded to drop a single into shallow center field, bringing home pinch runner Paul Phillips with the go-ahead run.

"You just have to give it our best effort every night," Shealy said. "It's definitely been a difficult year for me so far, and I haven't contributed as much as I would have liked to. Hopefully, this will turn things around for me."

David Riske showed Oakland how it is supposed to be done, retiring all three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth for his third save.

The rally made a winner of Jimmy Gobble (3-1), who was headed for a loss after allowing a run in the eighth, his only inning of work.

The meltdown by Oakland's bullpen spoiled heroic efforts from Joe Blanton and Jack Cust.

"It was a negative outcome, obviously, with us losing, but there were some great positives," Geren said. "Joe Blanton was outstanding. He took us deep in the game and gave us every opportunity to win, and Jack Cust continues to get big hits that put us in the lead."

Entering with a 3-1 record and 1.64 ERA in five career starts against Kansas City, Blanton had a rough opening inning in this one, allowing two runs, three hits and a walk.

"I just wasn' ready mentally to go out there and pitch the first inning," Blanton said. "I don't have a reason, I just didn't make my pitches. Maybe it's just one of those games where it takes a couple of runs to knock you into gear. Sometimes that happens."

But after a leadoff single by Shealy in the second, the portly righthander retired the next 20 batters he faced, striking out six along the way before Mark Grudzielanek's infield single with two outs in the eighth.

After intentionally walking Mark Teahen, Blanton struck out Emil Brown to keep the game even at 2-2. The 26-year-old yielded two runs, five hits and two walks in eight frames, striking out seven while uncorking a wild pitch.

Cust put Blanton in line for his third straight win in the bottom of the eighth, belting a 2-0 offering from Gobble over the center field wall for a solo home run and a 3-2 edge. Since joining Oakland on May 4, the former first-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks has seven homers and 15 RBI in just 35 at-bats over 10 games.

"Big Jack Cust, that was awesome," Geren said. "He hit that one to the deep part of the field on a night when the ball's not carrying. I know it got the team really fired up, got us going. He's obviously a big factor for us because of what he's done. But on the personal side, because of what he's done to get here, it's a great story."

The Royals pounced on Blanton early as David DeJesus led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a groundout by Teahen. Brown drew a two-out walk, stole second, moved to third on Gordon's infield single and scored on a base hit by German for a 2-0 lead.

Kansas City starter Odalis Perez made it stand for six innings. The lefthander, who had a no-hitter after five frames, surrendered just a leadoff double by Jason Kendall in the sixth and two walks while striking out four.

"I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes and make them hit the ball in the field," Perez said. "I wasn't focused on anything but making my pitches and letting them put the ball in play."

Perez has lasted at least six innings in each of his last five starts, posting a 1-2 record and 3.48 ERA during that span.

"I just feel happy for the opportunity that they gave me here," he said. "These guys have been rooting for me, and I feel happy, healthy and grateful to be here."

"Odalis has been great," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "I wish we could have gotten him the win tonight, but a win is a win."

Oakland began its comeback against Joel Peralta in the seventh. Bobby Crosby and Mark Ellis started the inning with singles and Hiram Bocachica reached on an error by second baseman Grudzielanek two batters later, loading the bases.

Kendall followed with a bloop single to left field, plating two to knot the contest.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 7 1
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - ODALIS PEREZ, JOEL PERALTA (7TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (8TH), DAVID
    RISKE (9TH) AND JOHN BUCK, PAUL PHILLIPS (9TH)
    OAK - JOE BLANTON, KIKO CALERO (9TH), ALAN EMBREE (

    May 17 12:46 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN SHEALY SCORED PAUL PHILLIPS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R SHEALY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4
    OAKLAND 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.252, 0-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:32 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:32 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN BUCK SCORED ESTEBAN GERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BUCK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    OAKLAND 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.125, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:28 AM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 25 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:28 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:19 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (7) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JIMMY GOBBLE.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.250, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 17 12:15 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KENDALL SCORED MARK ELLIS AND MARCO
    SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J KENDALL ON FIRST, H BOCACHICA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.262, 0-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:56 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 139 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:41 PM
  • 139
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:26 PM
  • 107
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:18 PM
  • 75
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:14 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 11:09 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 2 2 3 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: KAN - ODALIS PEREZ
    OAK - JOE BLANTON

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.267, 2 HR, 13 RBI)
    N SWISHER (.304, 6 HR, 19 RBI)
    D JOHNSON (.385, 4 HR, 13 RBI)

    Royals vs. AthleticsMay 16 10:18 PM