KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — When Matt Olson puts the barrel of the bat on the ball, they results are no-doubters.
Olson hit a three-run homer in the eighth as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Sunday to win the series.
Olson went 5 for 11 with three home runs, eight RBIs and scored five times in the series. His shortest of the three homers was 428 feet on Friday.
The A’s are 9-2 in their past 11 road games. The Royals have lost 21 of 31 home games.
Olson drove a 3-0 pitch by Burch Smith 454 feet over the right-center field fence with Jed Lowrie and Chris Davis aboard. Lowrie’s single scored Dustin Fowler, who had three hits, with the first run of the inning to snap a 1-1 tie.
“I got the green light, and I think 3-0 you tend to get one of the best fastball counts nowadays,” Olson said. “So he threw one over the plate and I was ready for it.”
Olson upped his home run total to 12 and has four in his past four games.
“When he squares it up like that I don’t think it really matters,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the size of the park and the wind.
Smith walked two of the five batters he faced and has issued 18 free passes in 25 2-3 innings.
“It’s hit and miss,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Smith’s command. “Today was definitely not good. He was behind on almost every hitter he faced.”
Royals starter Jakob Junis (5-5) was charged with three runs over 7 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and striking out a career-high nine.
“I threw some good fastballs, had my slider working and went with a good game plan,” Junis said.
The three KC hits equaled a season low.
“I just wish we could get Jake some runs, to give him something to protect,” Yost said.
Jon Jay snapped the longest active homerless drought in the majors for a non-pitcher with a third inning home run for the Kansas City run. He went 500 plate appearances between home runs. His previous was on July 5 a pinch-hit homer for the Chicago Cubs against Tampa Bay right-hander Erasmo Ramirez at Wrigley Field.
Mark Canha doubled down the left-field line and scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s single in the third for the initial Oakland run.
Starter Daniel Gossett limited the Royals to two hits over five innings, with the Jay homer his only hiccup. Gossett, who is 4-14 in 23 career starts, threw only 63 pitches before leaving with right elbow tightness. He is returning Monday to Oakland for a MRI.
“A little discomfort, pretty precautionary,” Gossett said. “I just wanted to get out of there, didn’t want to overextend anything. I didn’t want it lead to anything (that) might be worse.”
He was replaced by rookie Lou Trivino (3-0), who pitched two hitless innings to pick up the victory. Trivino has a 0.82 ERA, allowing two runs and 15 hits over 22 innings, while striking out 23.
BIG ROYALS DRAFT
The Royals own five of the first 58 picks in the major league draft, which begins Monday. The Royals have the 18th, 33rd, 34th, 40th and 58th selections. They gained first-round compensation picks for the loss of free agents Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer, plus competitive balance picks. The Royals have been allotted $12,781,900 for signing bonuses, the largest pool in this year’s draft.
ERRORLESS STREAK ENDS
Shortstop Alcides Escobar committed a fielding error on Matt Chapman’s ground ball in the sixth, snapping the Royals’ seven-game errorless streak.
Athletics: OF Matt Joyce was not in the lineup Sunday after exiting in the fifth inning Saturday with back tightness. “It may be a couple of days,” Melvin said. “I’m glad we get the off day tomorrow. We do have the left-hander the first day in Texas, so hopefully we gain a little ground in the next few days, but I wouldn’t say he was great today. He talked to me during the game yesterday and we felt like it was the prudent thing to get him out. Hopefully it’s not too long before we get him back in the lineup.”
Athletics: They are off Monday before LHP Sean Manaea, who threw a no-hitter on April 21 against Boston, starts Tuesday at Texas. Manaea is 1-4 with a 7.18 ERA in his past six starts.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy is the Monday probable in the first game of the series at the Los Angeles Angels. Duffy has a 1.32 ERA in his past two starts after allowing 30 earned runs in 30 innings in his previous six starts.