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Freddy Fermin, Bobby Witt Jr. go yard as Royals edge A’s

Freddy Fermin hit two early home runs, Bobby Witt Jr. broke an eighth-inning tie with one of his own and the Kansas City Royals avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the host Oakland Athletics with a 3-2 win Thursday afternoon.

Fermin, serving at the team’s designated hitter, had three of the Royals’ seven hits and MJ Melendez added a pair of doubles as Kansas City snapped a three-game losing streak.

Seeking his 11th win of the season, Royals right-hander Seth Lugo took a 2-0 lead into the seventh before Zack Gelof homered for the third straight day, a two-out, two-run shot that drew the A’s even.

Lugo was pulled one batter later after walking Kyle McCann, then watched as a relay from right fielder Dairon Blanco to second baseman Adam Frazier to catcher Salvador Perez nailed a sliding McCann at the plate while trying to score on pinch hitter Abraham Toro’s double.

Lugo was charged with two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out eight.

Eight pitches later, the Royals went back in front when Witt clobbered a pitch from Vinny Nittoli (0-1) deep into the left field bleachers for a 3-2 lead.

The A’s battled back in the eighth, but James McArthur (4-3) negated a walk to leadoff hitter Max Schuemann by picking him off first.

The out proved to be critical when, with two outs, Miguel Andujar walked and Brent Rooker singled, sending the potential tying run to third. But Angel Zerpa came on to get pinch hitter Tyler Nevin to ground out.

The A’s also got within 90 feet of a tie in the ninth after Lawrence Butler reached base on an error and Shea Langeliers singled. Chris Stratton entered to retire pinch hitter Daz Cameron on a fly to right that advanced Butler to third before inducing a flyout from Schuemann.

Stratton was credited with his fourth save.

Fermin accounted for all of the game’s scoring in the first six innings with his third and fourth home runs of the season, solo shots in the second and fourth innings.

The homers came off A’s starter Mitch Spence, who allowed just the two runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Gelof had two hits for the A’s, who saw a two-game winning streak come to an end.

–Field Level Media

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