OAKLAND — The offensive woes continued, Jakob Junis struggled and the losing streak reached six as the Royals fell, 7-2, to the A’s on Friday at the Coliseum.
The Royals mustered seven hits, but they were a Mike Moustakas two-run homer in the eighth inning away from being shut out. Kansas City has dropped seven of eight overall, and it was held to two runs or fewer for the fifth time during that stretch. Prior to Moustakas’ homer, only one man reached scoring position — Alex Gordon with two outs in the second inning — and Paulo Orlando grounded out to end the inning.
“We’re not stringing hits together,” manager Ned Yost said. “We’re not striking out. We’re not getting up there and, for the most part, swinging at pitches outside the zone. … We’re having a hard time bunching some hits where we can score some runs.”
Junis dropped his second consecutive start to the A’s, and has lost a career-high three games in a row. He took the loss on Sunday when the A’s were in the Kansas City, allowing three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He fared worse on Friday, tying a season high by giving up six runs on 10 hits — including three home runs — in 5 1/3 innings of work. Yost said Junis wasn’t his normal sharp self, and the pitcher agreed.
“I wasn’t very sharp,” Junis said. “Left some stuff over the plate, too, with my offspeed and my fastball, and they took advantage of it.”
Oakland designated hitter Khris Davis hit two solo home runs off Junis, one in the first and the other in the fourth. Davis’ second homer came off an 82-mph slider that Junis left up.
“He was probably looking slider anyway, and if you leave it over the plate like that, you’re going to get hurt,” Junis said.
In between Davis’ big flies, center fielder Dustin Fowler homered in the third. The three solo shots put the A’s ahead, 3-0, in the fourth. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy knocked in the next three runs: an RBI single in the fourth and a double down the left-field line in the sixth that drove home two more, ending Junis’ night.
A’s starter Frankie Montas quieted the Royals’ bats for the second straight start. Montas, who pitched eight scoreless frames in Kansas City a week ago, allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings on Friday, with Moustakas’ eighth-inning homer his only blemish.
Yost thought Moustakas’ home run and a subsequent double by Salvador Perez off A’s reliever Emilio Pagan in the eighth could start a rally, but Lou Trivino came in and recorded the final four outs for Oakland.
“We just couldn’t get muster anything else,” Yost said.