Felipe Paulino and three other pitchers combined in a three-hit shutout as Kansas City downed Oakland, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game set.
Paulino (3-1) gave up three hits and three walks while striking out five and Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland and Jonathan Broxton each pitched a scoreless inning. In the process, Broxton picked up his 12th save of the season.
Yuniesky Betancourt, playing in his first game since May 1 after suffering an ankle injury, and Mike Moustakas each drove in a run for the Royals, who have won three straight and five of six.
Bartolo Colon (4-6) suffered the loss despite pitching well, as he gave up two runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts over seven innings. Jemile Weeks had two hits in the loss for the Athletics, who lost their ninth straight game and have scored just 12 times during the slide.
"We're just trying to do a little too much, obviously, with a couple of baserunning mistakes we made in situations when we're not running," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "Same story offensively, we're having some struggles."
Both of Kansas City's runs came in the first inning. Alex Gordon walked to start the frame and came home on Betancourt's double. After Billy Butler flied out, Moustakas singled to left for a 2-0 lead.
"He's an unbelievable pitcher," said Moustakas about Colon. "He's been doing it for a long time. We were talking about it today. We've never seen a fastball that moved across the zone like his does and he's just got great stuff. He was able to command it today. It's a good thing we got to him early in the game."
After Weeks doubled to start the game, Paulino retired the next eight batters before Weeks hit a two-out single in the third and Seth Smith walked. Weeks, though, was caught stealing third to end the frame.
KC loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but came away empty as Eric Hosmer hit a grounder that saw the force out at home and Alcides Escobar hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
After retiring Oakland in order in the fifth and sixth, Herrera did the same in the seventh and Holland worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth.
Broxton struck out the first two batters before getting Kila Ka'aihue to ground out to end the game.
The A's have been shut out four times during the recent string of setbacks, including consecutive blankings...The A's took two of three from the Royals in Oakland in early April...Colon fell to 1-5 over his last eight starts...Paulino dropped his earned run average to 1.70 on the season.