A's hitters tested in series with Royals

A's hitters tested in series with Royals

KANSAS CITY -- A's hitters will be happy they don't have to see Royals pitching after Thursday night's series finale.

Oakland hitters batted just .171 against the Royals in the nine-game season series, the lowest mark against any opponent they've seen at least six times this year. They only scored 20 runs against the Royals, too. Only one lower run total has come against teams they've played more than three games against: 19 runs in seven games vs. the Yankees. Comparatively, the A's have scored 20 runs in four games against Detroit and 26 runs in just three games against Colorado.

Oakland won just four of the nine games against Kansas City, while four of the five losses were shutouts. The A's were held to three runs and 14 hits in the most recent series at Kauffman Stadium.

"I think earlier in the season we weren't swinging the bats real well. We have been recently, now we're short a couple of guys -- [Brandon] Inge and [Seth] Smith. Now you have to give them credit, too, and the way they pitched us," manager Bob Melvin said.

"I think they're a little different. Most teams, you're like 'all right, let's get in the bullpen.' Where with this team, you really don't want to get in the bullpen, so you want to do a little bit more damage to the starter before you get to the bullpen. We haven't been able to do that. We had some opportunities [in Wednesday's 3-2 loss]. And then the bullpen's come in and shut us down. We know they have an awfully good bullpen and to beat these guys, a lot of times you have to do the damage off the starter."