John Buck’s two-run homer in the top of ninth inning broke a scoreless tie and helped the Royals to a 2-1 win over the A’s in Monday’s series opener. It was just the third time Kansas City (13-26) has won consecutive contests. The Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 11-1 on Sunday.
Kansas City, which is 6-12 on the road, had not won consecutive games since defeating Los Angeles on May 2-3. The Royals last won three straight on the road and overall at Detroit to close out the 2006 regular season.
The Royals, though, have played well recently in Oakland, winning five of their last six.
Buck has two homers and five RBIs in his last three games.
“Buck’s had some great hits for us,” Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. “We haven’t had many but the ones we have gotten he’s been a part of.”
Kansas City will again be without first baseman Ross Gload, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right quadriceps. He was hitting .284 and tied for the team lead with 17 RBIs in 30 games.
Tuesday, the Royals face Oakland’s Joe Kennedy (1-2, 2.83 ERA), who will look for his second straight win over Kansas City. Kennedy allowed three runs and four hits in six innings of Oakland’s 17-3 rout of the Royals on Thursday.
The left-hander didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning in picking up his first win in seven appearances and six starts.
“You’re always happy to get the runs,” Kennedy told the A’s official Web site. “But it’s tough to stay in the mental aspect of the game when your team is scoring so much. You have to try to keep the focus.”
Kennedy is 3-0 with a 4.33 ERA in nine games—four starts—against Kansas City.
Oakland (19-18), which outscored Kansas City 25-7 in taking two of three from the Royals last week, didn’t score until Shannon Stewart’s RBI single in the ninth Monday.
A’s first baseman Dan Johnson, who started the season on the DL with a hip injury, went 1-for-4 to extend hitting streak to 14 games, during which he is hitting .415 (22-for-52).
Designated hitter Jack Cust failed to homer for Oakland on Monday, snapping his home run streak at four games. Six of his nine hits in 29 at-bats since being called up from the minors on May 4 have been homers, and two have come against Kansas City.
Johnson and Cust were named co-winners of the AL Player of the Week for last week.
Brian Bannister (0-2, 4.60) is expected to take the mound for the Royals on Tuesday. Bannister was scheduled to be recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday to replace Luke Hudson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.
Bannister will make his fourth start and first since allowing two earned runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings in a loss to Detroit on May 4. The right-hander will make his first start against Oakland.