Saturday, March 27
A's at the plate: Kevin Kouzmanoff lofted a two-run homer over the left-field bullpen in a three-run first inning that began with Coco Crisp's single and Daric Barton's RBI double. Crisp had two hits and is 9-for-22 (.409). Kouzmanoff's three RBIs gave him the club lead with 12. Cliff Pennington and Mark Ellis each went 3-for-4 and Ellis boosted his average to .389.
Royals at the plate: Mitch Maier banged a three-run homer and a two-run double, each contributing to a five-run inning. Maier has 14 RBIs and upped his average to .426 (20-for-47). Mike Aviles was 3-for-5 and is batting .514 (19-for-37). David DeJesus was 3-for-4 and raised his average to .333. Brayan Pena drove in three runs with a triple and a single. Kila Ka'aihue snapped a 12-12 tie in the eighth with a solo homer to right field, his club-high fourth.
A's on the mound: Justin Duchscherer, who had four scoreless innings in his first start, this time was charged with 11 runs (eight earned) on nine hits in three-plus innings. Edwar Ramirez, acquired from the Rangers, gave up one run in two innings.
Royals on the mound: Josh Rupe, hoping to win a bullpen job, was clipped for six runs and six hits in two innings as the starter. Brad Thompson and Bryan Bullington each gave up three runs in three innings.
Cactus League records: A's 11-12-2, Royals 11-10-3.
Worth noting: Neither played, but entering Saturday's games, the Royals' Alberto Callaspo and Billy Butler were 1-2 in hits by AL players with 22 and 21 respectively. ... Rick Ankiel's return to the KC lineup from a 16-day absence because of a sore ankle was scratched. ... The Royals traded Minor League catcher Steve Lerud to the Orioles for a player to be named.
Up next: The Royals' Luke Hochevar will make his fourth start of the Cactus League against the Chicago White Sox at 3:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Camelback Ranch. Hochevar last faced the Windy City's other club, the Cubs, and held them to one run in five innings. He has a 1.64 ERA, giving up seven runs but just two earned in 11 innings. Blake Wood and Robinson Tejeda also are scheduled to pitch. Charlie Leesman is the White Sox starter.
Brett Anderson and the A's will host the Rockies on Sunday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. PT. In three spring starts, the A's lefty has compiled a 3.24 ERA having surrendered three runs in a combined 8 1/3 innings. Relievers Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow, nursing sore elbows, could both potentially make their return to the mound and appear against Colorado as well.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.