OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Cole Ragans matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings, Bobby Witt Jr. hit his 26th home run and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 on Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Ragans (5-4) limited the A’s to two singles, improving to 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six starts since being traded from Texas on June 30. The left-hander has struck out 47 and walked 10 in 34 2/3 innings with the Royals.
Dairon Blanco hit his first career homer off A's starter Adrián Martínez in the third inning to put Kansas City ahead.
Martínez (0-2) allowed one run on three hits and a walk, striking out three in 2 1/3 innings.
Drew Waters added to the lead with an RBI triple in the fourth. Maikel Garcia followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Witt homered in the fifth. He also singled and walked to help the Royals snap a four-game losing streak.
Oakland loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Carlos Hernández retired Seth Brown and Zack Gelof to maintain the shutout.
Hernández also pitched the ninth inning to record his third save in six opportunities.
Gelof went 0 for 4, ending a 19-game on-base streak. The A’s were seeking their third series sweep of the season.
The Athletics selected LHP Sean Newcomb from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned LHP Hogan Harris. Newcomb was acquired from the Giants on Tuesday for minor league OF Trenton Brooks and pitched a scoreless ninth inning with a strikeout and a walk. Oakland transferred LHP Richard Lovelady (strained left forearm) to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Royals: Following an off-day, RHP Brady Singer (8-9, 5.04 ERA) opens a three-game series at Seattle on Friday opposite Mariners RHP Bryce Miller (8-4, 3.78).
Athletics: LHP Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.91) opens a four-game road series against the White Sox on Thursday. Chicago counters with RHP Jesse Scholtens (1-6, 3.79).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Ben Ross, The Associated Press