OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Brent Rooker hit a two-run home run off Dylan Coleman in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Oakland Athletics a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night in a matchup of teams with the worst records in the major leagues.
Zack Gelof, Jordan Diaz and Shea Langeliers also went deep for the MLB-worst Athletics (35-90), who snapped a three-game skid and won for the second time in 10 games.
The home run enabled Rooker to attend a concert by country star Zach Bryan before it ended next door at the Oakland Arena, former home of the Golden State Warriors.
“Rook has been swinging the bat pretty well (as) of late,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I know he really wanted to get to this concert. He took it in his own hands. "
The A’s led most of the game, but squandered a 4-2 lead in the eighth when the Royals scored twice off Lucas Erceg, tying the game.
Kansas City had another runner in scoring position when Michael Massey singled and appeared to steal second with two outs. Massey was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned after video replay, ending the inning.
Ryan Noda, just activated off the disabled list, led off the ninth and was hit by a pitch from Coleman (0-2). Rooker then slammed a 2-0 slider into the seats in left field for his second game-ending homer of the season.
“I’m just looking for something in the middle to put a swing on,” Rooker said. “I know kind of (Coleman’s) pitch-movement profile, I knew where the ball needed to start for it to be hittable. It started in that window and I put a good swing on it.”
The Athletics won in front of their fifth-smallest crowd of the season (3,095) and avoided falling 56 games under .500 for the first time since 1920.
Bobby Witt Jr. hit his 25th home run for Kansas City. The Royals (40-87) have dropped six of seven.
Gelof broke a 1-1 tie when he crushed a first-pitch slider from Alec Marsh over the wall in center leading off the third. It was Gelof’s sixth home run this month and ninth in his first 32 games, making Oakland’s hard-hitting rookie the quickest player in franchise history to reach that mark.
Gelof entered the game tied for fourth in the major leagues with 12 extra-base hits in August, and was fifth in batting average (.385).
“He’s really, really, really good,” Rooker said. “He just continues to impress. He has some of the most backside power I think I’ve seen. He’s got a really bright future ahead of him.”
Kotsay has been equally impressed with the rookie second baseman, who has been one of the A’s top hitters since being called up from the minors in mid-July.
“This kid comes to play every day,” Kotsay said. “He continues to set records, open eyes and make a statement that he belongs.”
After Witt’s solo home run off starter Paul Blackburn in the sixth trimmed Oakland’s lead to 3-2, Langeliers countered in the bottom of the frame with his 12th home run, a 456-foot drive.
Trevor May (4-4), the fifth — and last — pitcher used by the A’s, retired three batters and earned the win.
The Royals used Tucker Davidson as an opener in the game and he became the 20th starting pitcher the Royals have used this season, a franchise record and two more than the A’s (18).
Blackburn had six strikeouts, four looking, and allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. He left with a 4-2 lead.
“It was one of those days where I felt like I was executing well all day,” Blackburn said. “Even that home run that Witt hit was a good pitch. Sometimes good players hit good pitches.”
Royals: 1B Nick Pratto went hitless in two at-bats with two walks in a rehab game with Triple-A Omaha on Sunday. Pratto has been on the injured list with a left groin strain and has missed 23 games. RHP Brad Keller (right shoulder impingement) allowed two runs and two hits in one inning during his first rehab outing with Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Athletics: 1B Ryan Noda was activated off the IL where he’s been since mid-July with a fractured jaw. RHP Spencer Patton was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. RHP Luis Medina (blister) was put on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Aug. 19. C Tyler Soderstrom was optioned to Las Vegas. RHP James Kaprielian was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Royals LHP Angel Zerpa (1-1, 6.08 ERA) will make his second start of the season in his first career appearance against the A’s on Tuesday. Zerpa’s other start this year was last Thursday when he had six strikeouts and allowed one run and five hits in four innings. The A’s have not named a starter.
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