The hits came from all directions, up and down the A’s lineup, in the kind of game that even struggling offensive clubs get to savor now and then.
Of all the great things the A’s did in a 16-3 shellacking of the Royals on Monday night, seeing Khris Davis and Marcus Semien slowly circling the bases might have been the best development.
Neither of Oakland’s two leading home run hitters had gone deep much lately. But Davis and Semien each drilled three-run homers to highlight the A’s highest-scoring game of the season.
Davis crushed a 467-shot to center off Dillon Gee in the third to put the A’s up 3-0. His 36 long balls are the most by an Athletic since Frank Thomas’ 39 back in 2006. And it was big for the A’s slugger, who came in hitting .122 with just one homer and 18 strikeouts over his previous 12 games.
It was already 8-3 when Semien lined his three-run shot over the left field wall. That marked Semien’s 24th homer of the season but his first since Aug. 7, snapping a 28-game homerless streak.
Needless to say, it was a needed breakout game for the A’s, who came in batting a collective .200 and averaging just 2.73 runs per game over the last 15 contests. They also snapped a three-game losing streak and took the opener of this four-game series from the Royals, who badly need to take this series if they’re to keep their slim Wild Card hopes alive.
Starting pitching report:
Ross Detwiler lasted just four innings, and thus didn’t get credit for the victory. But it was unusual circumstances for the lefty, who hadn’t pitched in a full week. And that outing came in an emergency relief outing after Raul Alcantara made it through just three innings against the Angels. Right after Oakland took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, the Royals answered with three off Detwiler in the bottom of the third to tie it. Then he sat through a 24-minute top of the fourth — Royals manager Ned Yost made three pitching changes — before returning to the mound and delivering a scoreless bottom half. But manager Bob Melvin went to his bullpen to begin the fifth. Detwiler gave up six hits over his four innings and walked two without a strikeout.
The A’s came in having lost each of Detwiler’s past four starts.
Lefty Daniel Coulombe (3-1) took over after Detwiler and turned in an impressive outing to get the win. Coulombe struck out five of the six hitters he faced over two scoreless innings before giving way to Zach Neal, who pitched the final three innings and collected a save.
At the plate:
Highlights everywhere, and it’s not often you could say that for A’s hitters lately. All nine players in the starting lineup had at least one hit. Five notched two hits and Stephen Vogt, serving as designated hitter, had three to go with two RBI. Joey Wendle, Melvin’s current choice as leadoff man, had two hits and two RBI. Ryon Healy and Arismendy Alcantara each added two-run doubles. The wide margin opened the door to Matt Olson and Renato Nunez both entering the game to make their major league debuts. Olson took over late in the game at first base and drew a walk. Nunez pinch-hit for Vogt in the ninth and grounded out softly to first.
In the field:
It was an errorless night for the A’s.
After an impressive major league debut, Jharel Cotton (1-0, 1.42) takes the ball again Tuesday night opposite Royals lefty Danny Duffy (11-2, 3.13). First pitch is 4:15 p.m.