Kemp, Brown, Murphy lead A’s over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tony Kemp hit a two-run homer, Seth Brown and Sean Murphy combined for four RBI’s, and the Oakland Athletics defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-7 on Saturday.

Kemp hit his second home run of the season in the eighth inning to end a 3-for-5 afternoon.

“I pulled in a fastball and I felt like it was going to go back to the slider and it did,” Kemp said of his fight with Taylor Clarke. “I was just trying to put a good swing on it and hit it off the ballpark.”

Brown singled in the first and a fielder’s choice in the third. Murphy had an RBI single in the seventh. Nick Allen and Jonah Bride collected RBI’s in a fourth inning with two runs.

The A’s were a season high with 14 hits. Oakland allowed the leadoff-man to reach base in six innings. Four of the six were leadoff doubles and they all came to score.

“Obviously every inning you can start with a man on base builds momentum,” said A’s manager Mark Kotsay. “We had some big hits from young guys like Jonah Bride and Nick Allen. It was good to see it from our young guys as well as the older guys.”

Jared Koenig gave up three runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings and scored a career-high four with three walks.

The Oakland bullpen of AJ Puk, Zach Jackson (2-2), Sam Moll and Lou Trivino gave in four points. Trivino earned his third save with a scoreless ninth and ended two scoreless innings.

“We won as a team today,” Kotsay said. “Each man picked each other up, worked by leading by four and losing a lead to only be ahead of one. Everyone on the team was just grinding.”

Brad Keller (2-9) gave up five runs, earned four, on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

“Brad wasn’t as sharp as he’d like to be, but he didn’t get much help getting him through,” said Royals manager Mike Matheny. “He could have gotten deeper into that game with less damage. We need to pick each other up. This is one of those rare days when we weren’t on our toes.”

Michael A. Taylor hit his fifth homerun of the year for the Royals with a three-run blast in the eighth to make it 8-7.

Bobby Witt Jr. hit a wall-scraping solo homerun to the left in the third inning to open the score for Kansas City. It was his eleventh of the season, in which Salvador Perez equaled the team leadership.

Cam Gallagher went 2 for 3 with three RBI’s on a pair of doubles. Gallagher scored two in the fourth and Taylor scored in the sixth. The RBI’s were his first since he returned from a 45-game stint on the injured list on June 20.

TRAINERS ROOM

Athletics: Kotsay said Chad Pinder was kept out of the lineup due to a neck problem.

NEXT ONE

Oakland will start James Kaprielian (0-5, 5.98 ERA) in the series final on Sunday. Brady Singer (3-2, 4.34 ERA) climbs the mound for Kansas City.