A’s struggles continue in 3-1 series opening loss in Kansas City


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The A’s were handed their fourth straight loss Friday night, thanks to Edward Olivares’ two solo homers and Zack Greinke’s six innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 Royals victory.

The defeat marked the 10th straight time the A’s have lost the opening game of a series.

A’s starter Cole Irvin (2-5) gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, with four strikeouts and a season-high three walks.

“It was another good outing for Irvin,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “It was one hitter who was the result of two home runs. He pitched well and efficient.”

Unfortunately for the A’s, their ongoing offensive troubles made Irvin’s outing moot. Friday marked the seventh time in the last 10 games that Oakland has scored one or fewer runs.

Meanwhile, the Royals got some much-needed reinforcements from Olivares and Greinke (1-4), both of whom were activated from the injured list from rehab assignments on Friday. After missing 43 games with a right quad strain, Olivares belted homers to left field in his first two at-bats — in the third and fifth innings — for his first career multi-homer game.

“I was super excited,” Olivares said. “I had been waiting for this day for a long time. I’m here and happy to contribute.”

Greinke allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts in his first start since May 29, his longest outing since May 5 against St. Louis and the first win in his second stint with Kansas City.

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