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A’s slugger made sure he could attend Oakland Arena concert before it ended

A’s slugger made sure he could attend Oakland Arena concert before it ended

OAKLAND — Brent Rooker hit a two-run home run off Dylan Coleman in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Oakland Athletics a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night in a matchup of teams with the worst records in the major leagues.

Zack Gelof, Jordan Diaz, and Shea Langeliers also went deep for the MLB-worst Athletics (35-90), who snapped a three-game skid and won for the second time in 10 games.

The A’s led most of the game, but squandered a 4-2 lead in the eighth when the Royals scored twice off Lucas Erceg, tying the game.

Kansas City had another runner in scoring position when Michael Massey singled and appeared to steal second with two outs. Massey was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned after a video replay, ending the inning.

Ryan Noda, just activated off the disabled list, led off the ninth and was hit by a pitch from Coleman (0-2). Rooker then slammed a 2-0 slider into the seats in left field for his second game-ending homer of the season.

Oakland Athletics’ Brent Rooker (25) celebrates after hitting a walk-off two-run home run in the ninth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-4. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

As the baseball game was going on, musical artist Zach Bryan was playing close by at the Oakland Arena. Rooker, hitting .364 (8-for-22) with three extra-base hits in his last six games before Monday, made sure the game with the Royals didn’t last any longer than it had to with his 21st homer of the season.

“Rook’s been swinging the bat pretty well of late,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I know he really wanted to get to this concert next door … so he took it into his own hands.

“It’s a good feeling to win tonight after we coughed up a 4-2 lead. I would have hated to be on the other end of that.”

The Athletics won in front of their fifth-smallest crowd of the season (3,095) and avoided falling 56 games under .500 for the first time since 1920.

Bobby Witt Jr. hit his 25th home run for Kansas City. The Royals (40-87) have dropped six of seven.

Gelof broke a 1-1 tie when he crushed a first-pitch slider from Alec Marsh over the wall in center leading off the third. It was Gelof’s sixth home run this month and ninth in his first 32 games, making Oakland’s hard-hitting rookie the quickest player in franchise history to reach that mark.

An Oakland Athletics fan holds a sign in left field at the start of the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Gelof entered the game tied for fourth in the major leagues with 12 extra-base hits in August, and was fifth in batting average (.385).

After Witt’s solo home run off starter Paul Blackburn in the sixth trimmed Oakland’s lead to 3-2, Langeliers countered in the bottom of the frame with his 12th home run, a 456-foot drive.

Trevor May (4-4), the fifth — and last — pitcher used by the A’s, retired three batters and earned the win.

FOR STARTERS

The Royals used Tucker Davidson as an opener in the game and he became the 20th starting pitcher the Royals have used this season, a franchise record and two more than the A’s (18).

Blackburn had six strikeouts, four looking, and allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Former Oakland Athletics player Rickey Henderson says hello to Oakland Athletics manager Mark Kotsay (7) while in the dugout before their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: 1B Nick Pratto went hitless in two at-bats with two walks in a rehab game with Triple-A Omaha on Sunday. Pratto has been on the injured list with a left groin strain and has missed 23 games. RHP Brad Keller (right shoulder impingement) allowed two runs and two hits in one inning during his first rehab outing with Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Athletics: 1B Ryan Noda was activated off the IL where he’s been since mid-July with a fractured jaw. RHP Spencer Patton was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. RHP Luis Medina (blister) was put on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Aug. 19. C Tyler Soderstrom was optioned to Las Vegas. RHP James Kaprielian was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

A Coliseum crew member mops up rain water in the visiting team dugout after a rain storm before the start of an MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)