Oakland, CA – Brandon Moss tripled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Tommy Milone got his first win in more than a month, as the Oakland Athletics edged the Kansas City Royals, 2-1, in the middle portion of a three-game series.
Milone (4-5) dropped his previous five starts, with the A's scoring a total of six runs in those games. But on Saturday, the left-hander was able to barely get enough support when the hosts came through with two runs in the sixth.
Milone, who pitched despite an upset stomach, gave up five hits, walked three and fanned four.
"That was (Harry) Houdini," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Milone's performance. "I think he had 50 pitches with three outs and I think 70 with seven outs. To do that you have to be a pretty clear thinker out there. I've been impressed with a lot of his outings before, but I think not any more than that one."
Grant Balfour worked around a leadoff walk to Eric Hosmer in the ninth and notched his eighth save of the year.
Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly to center plated Eric Sogard to tie the game in the sixth for the A's, who have won both games of this series by identical scores.
Billy Butler singled in Alex Gordon in the opening inning for the Royals, who have dropped six of their last eight contests.
Ervin Santana's (3-3) bid for his 100th career win was derailed despite the righty giving up only four hits and a pair of runs in seven frames. He fell to 14-6 lifetime against the A's.
"He really threw the ball good," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Santana. "Right now there's just no room for error for any of them. He was just fantastic again."
Alex Gordon doubled to left-center with one out in the first and Butler followed with a bloop single to right.
Milone threw 26 pitches in the first inning and then filled the sacks in the second with nobody out, but escaped the game by striking out Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar to cap the frame.
The Royals got a leadoff double from Salvador Perez in the fourth and he was on third with one out, but Milone again worked out of trouble. Jeff Francoeur and Elliot Johnson fanned to end the inning.
Sogard doubled to the gap in right-center leading off the sixth and advanced a base on a wild pitch. After Coco Crisp walked, Lowrie lifted a fly ball to center. With two down, Moss sent a drive over the head of Cain and the one-hop triple off the wall accounted for the lead.
Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle worked a perfect seventh and eighth, respectively, for the A's.
Before the game, the A's reinstated outfielder Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list and designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment ... Each team had five hits ... Hosmer is in a 2-for-20 slump during KC's current nine-game road trip ... Balfour has converted 27 straight saves going back to last season ... Milone threw 111 pitches and Santana 101.