Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer, Jeremy Guthrie tossed six shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game series.
Guthrie (7-9) gave up three hits while striking out six and walking two for the Royals, who have won three in a row. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland each pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
"If you get a 1-0 win, you should be very excited," Guthrie said. "Because it means you pitched well, you played great defense, and you got a big hit from somebody. That guy was Raul tonight."
Oakland starter Sonny Gray (12-4) took the hard-luck loss after allowing one run on thee hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings. The right-hander saw his six-game winning streak come to an end.
The Athletics solidified possibly the best rotation in baseball by adding Jon Lester hours before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. Lester is scheduled to start Saturday's game.
Oakland, which owns the best record in baseball at 66-42, had already bolstered its rotation with the early July acquisitions of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but general manager Billy Beane felt you could never have enough pitching and obtained Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for power-hitting outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
The A's, meanwhile, hold a one-game edge over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL West.
"We haven't been that good offensively here regardless, the past three games," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "Tonight it was debatable whether it was our at-bats or the pitching. A lot of it had to do with their pitching."
Oakland's first hit of the game came in the fourth. Sam Fuld led off with a double and moved to third on John Jaso's groundout. Josh Donaldson walked to put men on the corners. But Guthrie retired the next two batters.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead on Ibanez's homer in the fifth. In the process, Ibanez broke his own record to become the oldest Royal (42 years, 59 days) to ever hit a home run.
The A's put men on first and third with one out in the sixth. But Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie struck out looking to end the threat.
Holland worked around a two-out double in the ninth to record his 30th save of the season.
Guthrie improved to 4-4 lifetime against the A's ... The Royals went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.