KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — In a series-opening 16-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Friday at Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals never had a chance.
Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy only lasted three innings. He allowed seven hits, issued three walks and yielded eight runs. A's first baseman Matt Olson barreled up a pair of high fastballs in consecutive innings to drive in four runs with two homers — the last of which scored three runs, landed in the right-center field fountains and traveled an estimated 456 feet. A's rookie outfielder Dustin Fowler, who entered hitting .186 (8 for 43) against right-handed pitchers, tacked on a solo homer to cap a seven-run third inning for Oakland.
Fowler later crushed a three-run homer of his own off Royals reliever Jason Adam to extend the A's lead to 15-0 in the ninth. The A's scored seven times in that frame, too.
While Kennedy labored, A's starter Frankie Montas breezed through eight scoreless innings. He allowed just seven hits, three of which Whit Merrifield knocked in extending his hitting streak to seven games.
The Royals grounded into three double plays, increasing their MLB-leading season total to 59.
Six A's batters reached and scored in the third inning before Kennedy recorded the first out of the frame. He threw 46 pitches in the inning as Royals rookie pitcher Scott Barlow warmed up in the bullpen in a hurry.
In four of his last five starts, Kennedy has allowed five or more runs and struggled to chew up innings — he only made it more than five innings in a loss in St. Louis. Friday's outing matched a season-low in innings.
Barlow provided three innings in relief of Kennedy and struck out five batters for the second outing in a row. Before allowing three straight singles and a run in the sixth inning — his final frame — he had recorded 6 2/3 hitless innings since being recalled from Class AAA Omaha on Tuesday.