Eventually, the Major Leagues' highest-scoring offense just touched the plate too many times for the Kansas City Royals. Josh Donaldson homered twice on Tuesday night and the Oakland Athletics put a stop to Kansas City's eight-game winning streak with an 11-3 victory.
The A's pounded out 20 hits in the game. Brandon Moss recorded four base knocks and a trio of A's got three. Donaldson's long balls were the team's only two. They were also both solo shots. One came in the seventh, while he got right back at it in the very next inning. The second homer - a 425 bomb to center field - punctuated the 11-3 victory.
First class pitching
The Royals have been the beneficiaries of terrific pitching all season, and especially all throughout their most recent eight-game winning streak. Kansas City had allowed just 17 runs in those eight games (just over two runs allowed per game) and had done it with solid starting pitching and an equally as good bullpen. The Royals had neither of this Tuesday night.
Jeremie Guthrie got the start and held the A's to just a run in the first two innings before the wheels came off. The veteran right-hander gave up five runs in the next 2.2 innings and did not get much assistance from his defense. Only four of Guthrie's six runs allowed were earned, but Oakland certainly did enough to knock Guthrie out of the game - good defense behind him or not. He surrendered 11 hits in those 4.2 innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Jon Lester continues to roll
Meanwhile, Jon Lester made his third start in an Oakland uniform and did what Jon Lester does. He moved to 3-0 as an Athletic by doing what he had to do. Staked to a big lead, Lester recorded outs in volume and got through six innings with only six hits and three runs to help his team cruise. Lester stayed under the 100-pitch mark after throwing 122 his last time out against the Minnesota Twins in a complete game shutout effort.
Lester did allow all of his damage in the fifth inning when Kansas City struck for three runs. The mini rally made it 6-3, but Lester would deal one more shutout inning before handing it over to the more than reliable Oakland bullpen. Ryan Cook and Dan Otero threw the last three innings and gave up just one hit without a walk. Cook struck out two batters in his inning, while Otero fanned one in two innings.
These two division leaders will play two more games to complete a four-game series.