Billy Burns hit a leadoff triple in the eighth inning and scored on Josh Reddick's one-out sacrifice fly, as the A's rallied to beat the Royals, 3-2, at the Coliseum on Sunday for their second straight win against the defending World Series champions.
"To come back and win two out of three from the defending champs, it's always nice to get a team win, but to do it against those guys -- that's a really good team," Burns said. "Just having everyone coming together. The pitching holding us in there and the offense just clawing for a couple of runs. It was a great team effort."
The A's were held to one hit through the first six innings, but Chris Coghlan hit a ground-rule double with one out in the seventh, ending Royals starter Kris Medlen's afternoon. Jed Lowrie followed with a pinch-hit RBI single off of Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera. Reddick drove in the game-winning run in the next frame to give reliever John Axford his second win of the season. Ryan Madson pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
The Royals debated intentionally walking Reddick before having Joakim Soria go for the out.
"Actually it was a good pitch," Soria said. "It could have been a fly ball to shortstop, but he had strength to put it in the outfield."
Mike Moustakas homered for the Royals, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Medlen allowed two runs (one earned) and two hits with four walks over 6 1/3 innings, while Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt gave up two runs in seven innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sacrifice to win: With the game tied at 2, Burns led off the eighth inning with a triple down the right-field line off Soria that was just fair. Reddick hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, his ninth RBI in his last nine games. The A's were clutch the inning before as well, when pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie hit an RBI single to tie the game, on his 32nd birthday, no less. More >
"Coming back against that team, where typically the seventh-eighth-ninth is quite a chore, to come back against them, that's kind of how they're built," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Got some big hits."
Moose cuts loose: Moustakas' 78th career home run was important on two fronts. It continued the Royals' trend of getting key two-out hits and it was an indication that Moustakas' sore right hamstring that has bothered him for the past week is a non-issue.
Career Day: With the A's offense stalling through the first five innings, they wouldn't have been in the game if not for starter Bassitt. He finished his seventh and final inning strong with a 1-2-3 frame, notching a career-high 114 pitches (his previous high was 112). He allowed five hits, two runs and two walks, striking out five.
"He's coming into his own," Melvin said. "We brought him back last year after we sent him down. He got in a starting role. He got comfortable with that. He's got great stuff. Now his confidence is there on top of it."
Oops: Medlen appeared to get out of a two-on, two-out jam in the fourth when he struck out Coghlan, but the ball slipped under the glove of catcher Salvador Perez and rolled to the backstop, allowing Coco Crisp to score Oakland's first run from third base. More >
QUOTABLE "I'm not pressing as much. Last year being with a new team, first time being with a different organization, I wanted to kind of impress. I was pressing. Having some friends over here now puts me at ease a little bit." -- Medlen, after his second straight strong start..
"Chocolate with raspberries" -- Lowrie describing his birthday cake, which was shaped like a wine bottle.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Yordano Ventura makes his third start of the season when Kansas City hosts Detroit at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday against Detroit to begin a six-game homestand. Ventura is winless in 2016 but is 7-1 with a 2.39 ERA over his previous 13 starts dating to last season.
A's: After a day off, Oakland embarks on a three-city, 10-game road trip beginning at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday against the Yankees. The A's have won three consecutive series against the Yankees. Left-hander Eric Surkamp will start the three-game series opener, making his first-ever start against New York. He's 0-0 with a 4.00 ERA in three outings this year.