Scoring runs in Kansas City has not come easy for the Oakland Athletics this season.
After being shut out again at Kauffman Stadium in their series opener, the A’s look to avoid a third straight defeat Wednesday night against the Royals.
Jeremy Guthrie allowed three hits and struck out eight in seven innings to help Kansas City (50-65) to a 5-0 win over Oakland on Tuesday.
The A’s (61-54) are contending for their first postseason spot since 2006, but it’s not because of their play at Kauffman Stadium. Oakland has been shut out in all three losses in four games at Kansas City this season, including each of the last two.
Oakland, which has been blanked a major league-leading 14 times in 2012, has not been shut out in three straight road games by the same opponent since May 7-8, 2005-May 12, 2006, at Yankee Stadium.
“I’d like to think we could get some better at-bats against (Guthrie),” said manager Bob Melvin, whose team has struck out 47 times on the trip. “We didn’t have a lot of good at-bats.”
Donaldson was recalled earlier Tuesday to replace third baseman Brandon Inge, who was placed on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder. He’s batting .160 with a homer and seven RBIs in 29 games for Oakland in 2011.
Crisp’s hit was his second in 21 at-bats against the Royals this season.
The A’s will get their first look at Kansas City rookie Will Smith (3-4, 5.48 ERA), who gave up two runs in seven innings of an 8-2 win at Baltimore on Thursday. The left-hander is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in five starts since being recalled a second time from the minors July 19.
“The last time I was up here, things were moving too fast for me,” Smith told the Royals’ official website. “I couldn’t slow things down, but I went down to Triple-A and worked on slowing the game down.”
Smith, however, has an 8.10 ERA while losing each of his three home starts.
Oakland counters with Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.68), who allowed three solo homers in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 4-3 loss at Chicago on Friday. It was his first outing since going on the disabled list June 24 with a strained right shoulder.
“I thought he pitched well, pounded the zone like he normally does, used his all his pitches,” Melvin said. “He might not have had his best curveball, but he pitched in the same fashion that we’ve seen him for the most part when he’s healthy and pitching well.”
The right-hander is 1-0 in two starts against the Royals this season, allowing two runs in six innings of each.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is 4 for 9 against McCarthy and 7 for 20 (.350) with three RBIs in his last five games versus Oakland. He’s 10 for 30 in helping Kansas City win five of seven overall.