Hosmer goes hitless, Royals lose to A’s 3-2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Eric Hosmer did not see pitchers like this in the minors.
Hosmer made his heralded major league debut Friday night, but it failed to produce a Kansas City Royals victory as Oakland left-hander Gio Gonzalez and two relievers allowed just five hits in a 3-2 Athletics victory.
After demolishing Pacific Coast League pitching with a .439 average and .525 on-base percentage, the Royals promoted the 21-year-old from Triple-A Omaha. Hosmer drew walks in his first two plate-appearances, but struck out looking in his final two.
“I wouldn’t say nervous,” said Hosmer, who drew standing ovations in his at-bats. “I was excited more than anything. I’m sure there were some butterflies in there, but I was just so excited to get out there and put on a Royals uniform in front of these fans in Kansas City. It was awesome.
“I got here around noon today, so it felt like I was here all day. It seemed like the game went by real fast. I’m glad I can get that debut out of the way and move on from this. I’m definitely never going to forget this day.”
Sean O’Sullivan (1-2) went a career-high eight innings, holding the A’s to five hits, but four of the five came right after one another in a three-run fifth inning.
“That’s a tough one to lose, a tough one to swallow,” O’Sullivan said. “If we get one of those ground balls to go right at somebody in the fifth, it’s a different ball game. If a ball goes a foot to the left or a foot to the right it’s a different game.”
O’Sullivan had retired 11 in a row entering the fifth. He also retired nine straight after the fifth.
“The fifth inning was kind of a hiccup for him, gave up four straight hits,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Outside of that, he had some quick innings and could have gone back out in the ninth. His pitch count (88) was where he could afford it.”
Gonzalez (4-2) settled down after allowing Alex Gordon’s homer in the first, holding Kansas City to two runs and four hits. He lasted at least six innings for the sixth time in seven starts.
Grant Balfour pitched a hitless eighth and Brian Fuentes finished for his eighth save in 10 opportunities. With two out, Wilson Betemit singled and pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson stole second. But Matt Treanor grounded out to end the game, sending first baseman Conor Jackson to the ground when appeared to run into his arm.
O’Sullivan was cruising until Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney and Andy LaRoche singled leading off the fifth. LaRoche’s hit drove in Suzuki and Mark Ellis followed with a liner to left that glanced off Gordon’s outstretched glove. The runners had held up to see if the ball would be caught, so the bases were loaded with nobody out.
Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded to third baseman Betemit, who got a forceout at second as Sweeney scored. Then Coco Crisp’s infield out brought in another run, putting the A’s on top 3-2.
Crisp was then thrown out trying to steal second, ending the inning with an argument from Oakland manager Bob Geren.
After that, O’Sullivan retired nine in a row before Tim Collins came in.
With two out in the first, Gordon hit Gonzalez’s 2-1 pitch over the fence in left. Matt Treanor walked leading off the third and scored on Mike Aviles’ triple.
NOTES: Hosmer’s mother, father, brother, aunt and uncle flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to see his major league debut. … The A’s have not been shut out by Kansas City in 138 games. … Oakland’s David DeJesus has not committed an error in 269 consecutive games, longest active streak among major league outfielders. … The Royals moved C Jason Kendall from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.