OAKLAND (AP) — Athletics manager Bob Melvin tried to downplay suggestions that there would be any lingering bitterness between his ballclub and Kansas City Royals after the two teams engaged in three bench-clearing scraps earlier this season.
Melvin didn’t sound so sure Friday night after Oakland’s best hitter, Stephen Vogt, was struck on the right wrist and knocked out of the game by a pitch from Kansas City reliever Franklin Morales in the ninth inning.
“You have to ask them,” Melvin said curtly following the A’s 5-2 loss to the Royals that ended Oakland’s five-game winning streak. “They hit our guy.”
Vogt was batting with one out in the ninth when he was hit by a 2-2 pitch from Morales. The A’s catcher took a few steps toward first base, stopped and stared at Morales, then bent over in pain clutching his wrist as Melvin and a team trainer rushed out.
X-rays were negative, and Vogt was relieved.
“Fortunately it’s not broken,” said Vogt, who was a teammate of Morales’ in winter ball. “I doubt he would do that (intentionally). I know him really well.”
Losing Vogt for any length of time would be crippling to an already struggling offense.
The A’s managed just three hits off Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez and one off Morales — an RBI double by Ben Zobrist.
Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon homered for the Royals.
Pitching against the A’s for the first time since 2007, Volquez (8-4) gave up three hits and one run in seven innings. Volquez also reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career when he fanned Brett Lawrie in the sixth.
Sam Fuld had an RBI double for Oakland, which had its five-game win streak snapped.
It was these teams’ first meeting since that wild series in April.
Lawrie was at the center of much of it when the teams played in Kansas City. His hard slide into second base knocked Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar out of the first game. Two days later, Kelvin Herrera was ejected after throwing a 100-mph fastball behind Lawrie.
Herrera was booed heavily when he entered Friday’s game but pitched the eighth without incident.
Until Morales hit Vogt in the ninth, there was nothing to suggest there was any animosity left between the teams. Oakland slugger Billy Butler hugged former teammate Eric Hosmer behind home plate during batting practice, and both managers were reluctant to even discuss the incident.
“Nobody on my team has even mentioned it or thought about it, and I doubt very seriously anybody over there has,” Royals manager Ned Yost said before the game. “There’s been a lot of time since that series and a lot of water under the bridge.”
Kendrys Morales homered off A’s starter Jesse Hahn in the second, his ninth of the season.
Lorenzo Cain’s two-out single in the third made it 2-0, and Hosmer followed with an infield single to drive in Escobar. Oakland first baseman Ike Davis fielded Hosmer’s grounder but made a botched flip to Hahn (5-6) covering first base for an error, allowing Cain to score from second.
Fuld doubled in Marcus Semien in the third.
Gordon hit his ninth homer with two outs in the sixth.
Hahn allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Royals: Cain was back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s game in Seattle with a sore hamstring. ... LHP Jason Vargas (flexor strain) is scheduled to throw on the side again and “continues to make progress,” according to Yost.
Royals: RHP Chris Young (6-3) starts the middle game of the series and is coming off his worst outing of the season, when he gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings against Boston.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (4-4) has a 1.27 ERA in six starts at the Coliseum this season, the lowest mark at home in the majors.