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Witt hits go-ahead blast in 8th to send Royals past A's

OAKLAND -- Freddy Fermin homered twice and Bobby Witt Jr. hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Fermin also singled for his first three-hit game of the season.

Witt homered off Oakland reliever Vinny Nittoli (0-1) to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth, his 12th longball of the year.

Zack Gelof homered for the third straight game, but Oakland failed to sweep Kansas City for the first time since 2016.

The Royals (42-34) haven't been swept this year.

Fermin took A's rookie Mitch Spence deep to left in the second inning and victimized Spence again in the fourth for his second career multi-homer game. He doubled his home run total this season.

Spence had a solid outing otherwise. He struck out a career-high seven, allowing two runs and six hits with a walk in six innings.

Gelof tied the game in the seventh with a two-run homer to center off Royals starter Seth Lugo. Following a two-out walk by Kyle McCann, Abraham Toro doubled down the right-field line against reliever James McArthur (4-3), but McCann was thrown out at the plate to keep the game tied.

Lugo permitted two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking two.

The A's put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth. Chris Stratton came in and got two flyouts to secure his fourth save.

McCann was ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn in the bottom of the ninth for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout following a called third strike to Gelof.


Athletics: Toro (shoulder soreness) was held out of the starting lineup for the third straight game, but entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and finished the game at third base.


Athletics: RHP Joey Estes (2-2, 5.97) opens a three-game home series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night opposite RHP Chris Paddack (5-3, 5.25).

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