KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pinch hitter Yonder Alonso delivered a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied past Kansas City 5-4 Tuesday night, another key loss for the Royals.
The defending World Series champion Royals dropped five games out of the wild-card race with only 18 games left.
Joakim Soria blew his seventh save chance in eight opportunities. He was summoned with two outs in the eighth and the Royals clinging to a 3-2 lead.
On his second pitch, Soria gave up a double to Alonso over the head of center fielder Jarrod Dyson, scoring Brett Eibner and pinch runner Joey Wendle. Soria then yielded an RBI single toMarcus Semien.
Rookie Matthew Strahm (2-1), who gave up an infield single toChad Pinder before Soria replaced him, took the loss.
Royals starter Danny Duffy, who has not won since Aug. 21, limited the A's to three hits, but two were home runs, in 7 1-3 innings.
Duffy gave up a home run to Khris Davis on his first pitch in the fifth. Davis has homered in back-to-back games and hiked his season total to 37, which is the most by an Athletics player since Frank Thomas hit 39 in 2006.
Ryon Healy homered to lead off the eighth. After Duffy walked Eibner with one out, he was replaced by Strahm.
Semien has committed 11 errors in the past 53 games and tops major league shortstops with 19 fielding miscues.
Cotton allowed three runs, only one earned, in 5 2-3 innings, while walking one and striking out two.
A's manager Bob Melvin stopped by the Chiefs' practice Tuesday. He is a friend of Chiefs coach Andy Reed. The manager's cousin, Tom Melvin, coaches the Chiefs tight ends.
Royals: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (right biceps tendinitis) is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday. "I don't think it will be tomorrow, but he's definitely making progress," Royals manager Ned Yost said. . Perez returned to the lineup after missing the game Tuesday for the birth of his second son, Johan Salvador.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea will make his first start since Aug. 29 when he left after 3 1-3 innings with strained left rhomboid muscles in the shoulder blade.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura gave up a season-high 10 hits over seven innings in a loss Friday to the White Sox.