KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning, the Kansas City bullpen bailed out starter Jackson Kowar and the Royals rallied from an early six-run hole to beat the Oakland Athletics 10-7 on Tuesday night.
Kyle Isbel hit his first career homer and Hunter Dozier also went deep, helping the Royals continue Oakland’s late-season slide. The A’s have lost three straight and seven of 10 to fall farther out of AL wild-card contention.
Perez finished with four RBIs, most coming on his towering homer off Yusmeiro Petit (8-2) over the visiting bullpen in left field. It was the 43rd homer of the season for Perez, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani for the big league lead, and it moved him within five home runs of Jorge Soler’s single-season club record.
Ervin Santana, Joel Payamps, Jake Brentz (5-2), Domingo Tapia, Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow surrendered just one run over the final eight innings. Barlow walked the first two in the ninth before finishing for his 13th save.
The A’s have struggled on the mound during a September swoon, and Kowar did just about all he could to stake them to a lead too big to blow. His pitching line: five runs on three hits, four walks and a wild pitch while retiring three batters.
The A’s still managed to give the lead away.
Frankie Montas, who’d been 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in his last four starts, promptly coughed up three runs on a string of hits in the third inning. Then in the fourth, Dozier took the Oakland starter deep to pull the Royals within 6-4.
The A’s got a run back in the fifth, but the Royals kept coming. Isbel’s one-out single off Petit began the go-ahead rally, Whit Merrifield added his third base hit, Nicky Lopez got on board with an RBI single and Perez cleared the bags and gave Kansas City the lead with his three-run shot into the cool night sky.
Isbel’s two-run homer off Sergio Romo in the seventh provided the Royals all the cushion they needed.
The Royals promoted GM Dayton Moore to president of baseball operations and elevated longtime assistant J.J. Picollo to fill his previous role Tuesday. Moore has been general manager since 2006, the year Picollo arrived in Kansas City.
“We’re going to be more strategic in different areas at different times that requires more attention,” Moore said, “and we have the manpower to do that but, ultimately, it’s my responsibility to have the right people in the right places.”
BEYOND THE K
Royals owner John Sherman announced Tuesday the club was discussing future stadium options that could include a new downtown ballpark. The club’s lease on 53-year-old Kauffman Stadium expires in 2031.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a drop-dead date (for a decision),” said Sherman, who purchased the Royals two years ago. “It would depend on how the process goes forward and what type of feedback we get from the community.”
Athletics: RHP Domingo Acevedo’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas and RHP Burch Smith was designated for assignment. Acevedo pitched a scoreless eighth inning Tuesday night.
Royals: Payamps was reinstated from the injured list in place of RHP Scott Blewett, who was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
The A’s send former Royals LHP Sean Manaea (9-9, 3.79) to the mound Wednesday night against LHP Mike Minor (8-12, 5.05). Manaea is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career appearances against Kansas City.
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