Athletics 5, Royals 4(12)

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 11, 2012
Jonathan Broxton hit Jonny Gomes on the first pitch he threw with the bases loaded in the 12th inning, forcing Jemile Weeks home for the winning run in the Oakland Athletics' 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Moments earlier, Broxton (0-1) plunked new A's cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes on the first pitch to load the bases and the closer received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Eiland. It marked the third time the A's won on a game-ending hit by pitch in Oakland history and first since Olmedo Saenz on July 20, 2002, against Texas. Coco Crisp's RBI groundout earlier in the 12th tied it at 4 after Billy Butler doubled home the go-ahead run in top half of the inning against Andrew Carignan (1-1). A day after rain shortened the Royals' 3-0 win following seven-plus innings, fans got their share of baseball in the finale. Kansas City heads home for the first time since the start of spring training in mid-February at 3-3, but without the same momentum it would have had with a second winning road series after taking two of three at Los Angeles. Oakland closer Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th. He allowed Alcides Escobar's leadoff single in the 10th and a two-out walk to Jeff Francoeur on four pitches before striking out Mike Moustakas. The A's now head out for their first real road trip - a seven-gamer - considering the two matchups with the Mariners in Tokyo two weeks ago counted as Oakland home games. Kansas City's Alex Gordon hit a tying home run off Brian Fuentes in the seventh. Jose Mijares hit Josh Reddick with a breaking ball in the right shoulder area leading off the eighth, but the ball appeared to ricochet into Reddick's helmet and he went down for a couple of minutes before leaving the game. Coco Crisp came in to run and Greg Holland relieved Mijares, but the A's couldn't capitalize. Gomes hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put the A's ahead and starter Brandon McCarthy in position for his first victory of the season before Fuentes gave it up. Cespedes doubled, swiped third for his first steal and scored on catcher Brayan Pena's throwing error to make it 1-0 Oakland in the second. Pena threw wildly into left field trying to get Cespedes at third on his steal. Cespedes hit his first career single in the 11th after his initial five hits went for extra bases. The Cuban rookie wrapped up his first homestand 4 for 16 with two home runs and eight strikeouts. Gordon also singled in a run in the third for the Royals, who squandered a chance when they left the bases loaded in the fifth. McCarthy allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Oakland's opening-day starter also struck out four and walked two in his third appearance in the team's first seven games. The lanky right-hander retired his first seven batters and looked more in sync than he did in going only five innings his last time out, a 7-3 loss to Seattle in the A's home opener last Friday. Mitch Maier started in center field for the Royals as manager Ned Yost had planned. Maier entered Tuesday's game as an injury replacement for Lorenzo Cain, who left with a strained left groin following a double play in the second. Cain already was slated to sit out the day game, and the Royals listed him as day to day with the hope he would be ready for the club's home opener Friday against Cleveland. NOTES: The Royals will work out Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium before Luke Hochevar starts Friday against the Indians' Derek Lowe. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson felt fine a day after throwing his 45-pitch bullpen session. ''Any time my arm feels good it's a positive,'' Anderson said. He was set to travel to Arizona to resume his rehab from reconstructive elbow surgery, with the hope of beginning the process of pitching to live hitters in the next week or two. ''He's doing beautifully,'' manager Bob Melvin said, noting when Anderson returns, ''We'll look at that one almost like a midseason trade.'' ... The A's are offering free comp tickets for a field-level seat to another game for fans who attended Tuesday's rainy game.
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