OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Daniel Lynch had a career-high 10 strikeouts in five innings to win for the first time in nearly two months, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Friday night in a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the major leagues.
Salvador Perez doubled and homered for the Royals. Whit Merrifield added three hits while Andrew Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor each had two to send the plummeting A’s to their 21st loss in their last 24 home games.
The Royals (22-41) began the day percentage points ahead of the A’s, who fell to 22-44 with the loss and dropped 19 games behind the first-place Astros in the AL West.
Lynch (3-6) was knocked around in his five previous starts and walked Oakland’s second batter before settling in for his first win since April 26. The left-hander allowed four hits and struck out the side in the third and fifth. Lynch’s 10 strikeouts are the most by a Royals starter this season.
Elvis Andrus had two hits for Oakland and scored the A’s only run on Lynch’s second wild pitch in the second inning.
Perez hit an RBI double over the head of center fielder Cristian Pache in the first inning. After the A’s got within 2-1, Perez crushed another fastball to center from Frankie Montas (3-7) that traveled 422 feet leading off the third. They were the two hardest hit balls by either team.
Perez has homered in six of his last nine games against the A’s, including four straight, dating to last season.
Montas allowed 10 hits and five runs (three earned) in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
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One of Taylor’s hits came on a routine pop-up that landed on the infield dirt between confused A’s third baseman Matt Davidson and shortstop Andrus. Davidson appeared to be positioning himself…