Kansas City (14-27) at Oakland (20-19)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 3:35 pm EDT Thu May 17, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Following an impressive comeback victory, the Kansas City Royals look to win their first road series of the season when they wrap up their four-game set with the Oakland Athletics on Thursday at McAfee Coliseum.

On Wednesday, the Royals (14-27) scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Athletics 4-3.

John Buck’s run-scoring double tied the game and Ryan Shealy, who came off the disabled list earlier in the day, hit the go-ahead RBI single.

Shealy, who was out since May 1 with a strained left hamstring, had his rehabilitation stint cut short after Kansas City lost first baseman Ross Gload to injury Monday.

“This game is so crazy,” said Shealy, who hit just .113 (6-for-53) with five RBIs in his first 17 games before going on the DL. “This is probably the least prepared I’ve felt for a game. Now, I’m like, thank goodness I’m back. It’s a good feeling to contribute.”

The Royals, who are just 7-13 away from home, have failed to win any of their first six road series of the season, but are trying to take three of four at Oakland (20-19).

Scott Elarton (0-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start of the season on Thursday for Kansas City.

He gave up three runs and six hits in five innings of a 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, his first start since July 16 after undergoing season-ending right shoulder surgery.

“I felt good. I felt strong,” Elarton told the team’s official Web site. “Everything kind of came together about the third inning. I was having trouble with the offspeed stuff early, but that was probably just adrenaline. Overall, I felt good.”

The right-hander went 0-1 in two starts against the A’s last season, giving up 10 runs and 10 hits - including four home runs - in nine innings in those games. He is 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.

The A’s have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, and are badly missing closer Huston Street.

Kiko Calero blew the save on Wednesday, one night after Alan Embree and Jay Witasick gave up three runs in the ninth to force extra innings, before Oakland won 5-4 in 11.

Oakland took a 3-2 lead Wednesday on a solo homer in the eighth inning by Jack Cust, his sixth home run in his last seven games. In the 10 games Cust has played since being acquired in a May 3 trade with San Diego, seven of his 10 hits have been for homers to go with 15 RBIs.

Rookie Dallas Braden (1-2, 5.65) makes his fourth career start when he takes the hill for the A’s on Thursday.

After giving up one run in six innings on April 24 to win his major league debut over Baltimore, Braden has allowed nine runs in 8 1-3 innings over his last two starts.

The 23-year-old left-hander gave up four runs and six hits in four innings of a 6-3 loss to Cleveland on Saturday, after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day.

“Braden pitched fairly well,” manager Bob Geren told the team’s official Web site. “He just couldn’t quite finish off hitters.”

This will be his first career start against the Royals.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Elarton Min vs. D. Braden Oak
2-4 Record 1-8
10.46 ERA 6.72
13 K 55
21 BB 26
2.00 WHIP 1.62


Thursday, May 17