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04/20/08 8:55 PM ET
Crosby gives Royals the treatment
Shortstop's three hits polish off 8-for-13, seven-RBI series
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby found himself surrounded by television cameras and reporters with notebooks. The former Rookie of the Year wouldn't even venture a theory as to why he hits Kansas City pitching so well. Crosby recorded his third consecutive multihit game on Sunday (3-for-4) in the Athletics' 7-1 victory over the Royals, completing a three-game sweep. The Royals are glad they won't have to see Crosby again until Sept. 1. All he did in the past three days was hit .615 (8-for-13) with seven RBIs. He's a .349 lifetime hitter against the Royals. He's hit seven home runs and driven in 30 runs in 32 games, his best against any team. "I guess so," Crosby said when asked about it. "They have good pitchers over there. I felt good this series." It's not just the Royals these days. Crosby, a .240 lifetime hitter entering the season, resides at the top or near the top of several offensive categories for Oakland. He's hitting .312 with a team-high seven doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Crosby had a cage built in the backyard of his offseason home in Southern California during the offseason and thinks his willingness to take advantage of it has carried into the regular season. "It's just good to see all the stuff I did being applied," he said. "It's made things easier. I realized I had to make a change, so I got into the cage and tried the stuff I wanted to do as a hitter. Basically, I was trying to minimize the movement of my lower body." The A's (12-8) have hit seven home runs this season, and yet are still off to their best 20-game start in 16 years. The A's opened 13-7 in 1992. "I know we have a good team," Crosby said. "We're getting guys on and getting guys to drive in runs. Without [injured Eric Chavez] in the lineup, you'd think that would make things more difficult. We're not popping it out of the yard, but we're still scoring runs." A's manager Bob Geren thinks the power source will be ignited before all is said and done. "I think there are home runs coming," said the second-year manager. "Jack [Cust] will hit his share. We have some power in the lineup; it just hasn't shown up yet. We're doing a lot of things right." Rob Bowen made the most of a rare start. The A's backup catcher added two hits and drove in two runs as Oakland recorded its first three-game home sweep over the Royals since May 21-23, 2004. "Any time you go in there, you can't try to do too much. Especially when you are not playing a whole lot. It's tough to step in there and hit against big league pitching," said Bowen, making only his second appearance and second start of the season. "I look for little things to take advantage of. I was fortunate to get a couple of pitches up in the zone to hit, and it worked out." The A's are 3-2 on their current homestand, which continues on Tuesday night when the Minnesota Twins come to town for three games. The A's went 3-4 on their first homestand, which included two games played in Tokyo. Left-hander Dana Eveland (2-1) allowed a run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings as he rebounded from a loss with a solid performance. He struck out three and walked four. "I felt better in Spring Training than now,' Eveland said. "I don't feel I had my best stuff. Four walks is unacceptable on my part. I have to be better than that. I feel my stuff is good enough so hitters can't put it in play real hard." Andrew Brown pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three, and Santiago Casilla finished it off. Eveland walked John Buck to open the third, and the Royals catcher eventually scored on a double-play ball. Eveland retired 10 of the next 11 hitters before issuing a walk and giving up a single with two outs in the sixth inning. The A's responded with five runs against Luke Hochevar, who was recalled from the Minors to make Sunday's start, in the fourth. All the runs were scored with two outs. With one out, Cust walked and Crosby singled. With two outs, five consecutive A's hit safely before Hochevar could end the rally. Chris Denorfia and Bowen singled home runs, Hannahan doubled in two more and Mark Ellis singled home another. Bowen added an RBI single in the fifth and Crosby drove in a run in the sixth.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.