OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jared Koenig pitched into the sixth inning for his first career win and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter, helping the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 on Sunday to end an eight-game home losing streak.
Koenig grew up about 75 miles south of Oakland and had several friends and family in attendance. That included his dad Greg, who got to watch his son on Father’s Day.
“I’m happy he was able to be here,” Koenig said. “I’m sure he was nervous as can be, too. It’s awesome to have that support and to be able to do it today of all days.”
Seth Brown had three hits, including his first home run at the Oakland Coliseum in nearly a year. Sean Murphy also connected to help the A’s avoid a three-game sweep.
Oakland, which won for the third time in 18 games overall, still owns the worst record in baseball at 23-45.
The Royals stranded six runners in scoring position and were shut out for the ninth time this season.
Koenig (1-2) gave up two hits over 5 2/3 innings. The A’s left-hander walked four and had to pitched around traffic much of the afternoon to avoid becoming the fourth pitcher in Oakland history to lose his first three starts.
Not bad for a pitcher who spent 2017-19 in independent leagues. The 28-year-old was pitching in Australia when he caught the attention of an A’s scout last year and was signed to a minor league deal.
“His stuff today was exactly who he’s been described as,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “He didn’t strike anyone out but he got through 5 2/3 with a lot of contact and a good defense behind him. For him, his journey through independent ball, through Australia, through the minor leagues, it’s a great reward for him.”
Kansas City loaded the bases against…