Danny Duffy earns first win, Royals beat A's 7-4
Originally published June 15, 2011 at 1:07 a.m., updated June 15, 2011 at 4:22 a.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kansas City pitcher Danny Duffy didn't see much need to celebrate his first victory in the major leagues. His teammates thought otherwise and gave the Royals rookie a milk shower.
What else would you expect from the youngest team in the big leagues?
Duffy pitched six innings, Alcides Escobar had three hits and two RBIs and Kansas City beat Oakland 7-4 on Tuesday night to spoil the home debut of Athletics interim manager Bob Melvin.
Pitching before more than 100 friends and family members, Duffy (1-2) gave up two runs and four hits. The left-hander worked out of jams with two runners on and less than two outs in three innings and overcame four walks to win for the first time in six starts.
"It was awesome. I couldn't pick a better night to get a win," said Duffy, who began the season in the minors. "It's a milestone, but at the same time I'm ready to finish out the season strong. We've got a lot of baseball left and we're trying to get into the playoffs."
Mike Moustakas singled twice and scored both times, and Billy Butler added a two-run double while helping the Royals to their fourth victory in five games.
Kansas City remains in a deep hole in the AL Central, but things look much better after improving to 3-1 on its road trip following a 4-7 homestand.
"That was good for us to get away for a bit," said first baseman Eric Hosmer, who had two hits and an RBI. "It was big for us to be able to go down to L.A. and take two of three from a good Angels team. If we can get out of here with a few more victories and head into St. Louis with some momentum, that will be big for us."
Kansas City's latest road win didn't come easily.
After the Royals scored two runs in the eighth to take a 6-2 lead, the A's scored twice with two outs against reliever Greg Holland in the bottom half. Aaron Crow got the final out of the inning and Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 15 chances.
Hideki Matsui homered and scored twice for the A's.
Melvin, who took over when Bob Geren was fired June 9, was greeted warmly by the Coliseum crowd during pregame introductions. But those cheers turned to boos as the A's lost for the 13th time in 14 games and fell a season-high 12 games under .500.
The Royals didn't get much going early and scored their first run without a hit, but took advantage of Trevor Cahill's wildness.
Cahill had a career-high seven walks and two wild pitches, continuing a troubling trend for A's starters who have not won in 14 consecutive games.
"That's not what we were looking for our first game home," Melvin said. "Trevor was a little out of sorts. You're not going to see him walk that many. He has to let it go and not try to muscle it. He has to let it work naturally for him."
Jeff Francoeur and Butler drew consecutive walks in the second against Cahill and both moved up on a sacrifice. Matt Treanor grounded out, scoring Francoeur.
Kansas City failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the third but got to Cahill for another run in the fourth despite hitting only one ball out of the infield. Moustakas singled, took second on first baseman Daric Barton's throwing error and moved to third on a sacrifice before Escobar's RBI groundout made it 2-0.
Escobar, who also doubled home a run in the ninth, has nine hits in his last four games. The four straight multihit games are a first for the Royals shortstop.
Oakland cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Matsui's fifth home run. It was the 498th homer of his professional career, including Japan.
Cahill's command problems cost him again in the fifth. The right-hander issued consecutive one-out walks to Hosmer and Francoeur before Butler doubled over the head of left fielder Josh Willingham. Hosmer and Francoeur both scored, making it 4-1.
Cahill (6-5) was done two batters later despite giving up only four hits. He looked like a potential Cy Young Award candidate after starting the year 6-0, but is winless in his last seven starts.
Duffy had his own command problems but kept the damage to a minimum. He gave up a triple to rookie Jemile Weeks in the fifth, and Weeks scored on Coco Crisp's sinking single to right. Beyond that, Duffy was solid while pitching his way to his first win in the majors.
Afterward, he received a milk shower courtesy of his teammates. Team tradition calls for beer showers, but the Athletics do not provide beer in the Coliseum clubhouses.
"That was the Duffy I know," Hosmer said. "He was pounding the strike zone all day."
NOTES: Oakland RHP Rich Harden (muscle strain) will throw a simulated game Wednesday and hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. ... Cahill did not strike out a batter for the first time since July 23, 2010. ... Weeks' triple was his third since being called up from the minors last Tuesday. ... Escobar has a season-high seven-game hitting streak. ... Hosmer's single in the sixth snapped an 0-for-20 skid on the road.