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LAA@OAK: Straily fields bunt, flips to first for out

Entering his third Major League start, A's right-hander Dan Straily has one superb outing and a frustrating one under his belt.

Straily gave up one run on five hits in his big league debut on Aug. 3, striking out five and walking one in a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays. But he struggled in his second start of the season, allowing five runs on eight hits -- four of them home runs -- in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-5 loss to the Angels on Aug. 8. He'll try to prevent the A's from getting swept by the Royals on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.

"I don't think he's that comfortable yet," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He certainly has the stuff to be successful. It's just being comfortable and getting in a rhythm and not thinking about a lot of the outside distractions that come with getting to the big leagues for the first time."

Royals starter Luke Hochevar didn't last long in his last outing against the A's, surrendering six runs on five hits while striking out three and walking three in 4 2/3 innings of a 9-3 loss on June 2. He is 0-7 with a 6.96 ERA in eight career starts against the A's, his worst record against any of the 22 teams he's faced in his career.

Hochevar gave up seven runs on seven hits, including three home runs -- two by rookie Manny Machado -- over 5 1/3 innings of a 7-1 loss to the Orioles last Friday, matching a season-low with two strikeouts. He is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA in his last four starts and has won just twice in his last eight outings.

"Hitters usually don't miss mistakes at this level," Hochevar said after his last start. "Three unexecuted pitches and that's what cost me. That's all on me. I've got to execute better in big situations."

Athletics: Reddick misses game with tooth issue
Outfielder Josh Reddick missed Wednesday's game against the Royals after his recovery from having a tooth removed did not go as planned. He had been wearing a mouth guard this year and had a tooth extracted on Monday. Jonny Gomes went 0-for-3 in place of Reddick in right field. Reddick is batting .251 this season with 25 home runs and 60 RBIs, both team highs, but is hitting .134 since July 29.

• Brett Anderson gave up three runs on eight hits, striking out seven and walking one in his fifth rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday, throwing 60 of his 96 pitches for strikes. Anderson, who tossed six scoreless innings in his last rehab start, could return to the A's soon after recovering from Tommy John surgery that has kept him out since last June.

Royals: Former mates stunned by Melky's suspension
Melky Cabrera, the former Royals outfielder and this year's All-Star Game MVP, was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for testing positive for the banned substance testosterone. Cabrera batted .305 with 18 home runs and 87 RBIs in 155 game for the Royals last season and many of his former teammates were saddened to hear the news that he will miss the rest of the regular season for a Giants team battling for the National League West title.

Cabrera was hitting .344 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 113 games this year and had a Major League-best 159 hits.

"I think everyone was pretty surprised," Royals second baseman Chris Getz said. "It was unfortunate for him, for the Giants, for baseball. He was a great teammate here. He worked hard and obviously had a great season last year, and he continued on over there. But it's still very shocking."

"He brought a lot of life here and you can tell he did the same for [the Giants] this year," Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "The thing that I'm at least happy for Melky is that he was a good guy and came out and admitted it. Everybody knows he was in the wrong to do it... but for him to admit it says a lot."

Worth noting
• Despite winning 11 of their previous 13 one-run games and leading the Majors with 13 walk-off wins, two shy of the team record, the A's fell, 3-2, to the Royals on Wednesday. The Royals, who lost their first five one-run games this year, have since won 17 of 25 games decided by one run.

• The A's, who are 40-32 against right-handers this season, fell to 21-23 against southpaws on Wednesday as Will Smith held them to two runs in seven innings.

• Tim Collins struck out the side in the eighth inning of the Royals' 5-0 win on Tuesday, giving him 77 for the year, the most by a left-handed reliever in Royals history. Comments