• Summary: Dan Johnson hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning, scoring Shannon Stewart, as the A's took care of the Royals.
• Turning point: Stewart and Nick Swisher hit consecutive one-out singles in the 11th to start the rally.
• Hero: Johnson also increased his hitting streak to 15 games.
• Do you see that: Both teams blew bases-loaded chances, the A's in the ninth and the Royals in the 10th.
• Quotable: "Stew, as fast as he is, he got in there. It was the perfect throw and the catcher made an unbelievable catch." -- Johnson
-- ESPN.com news services
Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The way he's been going lately, Dan Johnson has no idea why he didn't swing the bat one pitch earlier.
He still gave the Oakland Athletics just what they needed. Johnson hit a game-ending sacrifice fly to center in the bottom
of the 11th that scored Shannon Stewart on a tight slide at the
plate for the winning run, lifting the A's to a 5-4 victory over
the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. Stewart got his right leg under catcher Paul Phillips' tag
attempt after a great throw home by David DeJesus. "I was fortunate to get it just deep enough," Johnson said.
"Stew, as fast as he is, he got in there. It was the perfect throw
and the catcher made an unbelievable catch." Lenny DiNardo (1-1) pitched the 11th for the victory in a game
that went 3 hours, 43 minutes. Stewart and Nick Swisher hit consecutive one-out singles against
Joakim Soria (1-2) before Eric Chavez was intentionally walked to
bring up Johnson, who earlier extended his AL-best hitting streak
to 15 games with a single to start the sixth. Stewart knew the Royals would have to pull off the perfect play
to get him. "I was going no matter what. I figured if anybody had a good
chance, he had a chance to make that play right there," Stewart
said. "Any time a ball is hit to the outfield, you have to make a
perfect throw." Phillips, meanwhile, thought he got Stewart _ a different view
than plate umpire Dale Scott. "I had my foot in front of the plate," Phillips said. "I
honestly thought I tagged him out before his foot came off my foot.
I think we should still be out there, but it doesn't matter what I
think. The umpire thought he was safe and his opinion is the one
that counts." Both teams missed their share of chances. Oakland's Jack Cust, who hit six home runs in his first eight
games with the A's, came up with the bases loaded in the ninth but
struck out swinging to end the inning. Alex Gordon did the same thing in the top of the 10th, leaving
the bases loaded after Chavez threw Mark Grudzielanek out at home
from third for the second out. Each of Oakland's last three games have been decided in the last
at-bat and nine of the A's last 13 games have been have been
decided in the seventh or later. Tony Pena Jr. hit a tying two-run triple in the ninth that took
a funny bounce in center field, his career-high fourth hit. After David Riske allowed a one-out walk to Shannon Stewart in
the ninth, Zack Greinke relieved to face Swisher and he singled up
the middle to put runners on first and second. Johnson followed
with a walk to load the bases. "We got a big hit from Tony, but we couldn't execute later in
the game," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. Just when Joe Kennedy seemed poised to beat the Royals in
back-to-back starts, the bullpen couldn't hold it -- an immediate
sign how much the A's will miss injured closer Huston Street. Bobby Crosby singled in two runs to break up a scoreless tie in
the fourth, and Kennedy struck out four in 7 2-3 innings and
allowed three of his six hits to Pena Jr. Chavez and Mark Ellis
each drove in runs in eighth for the A's. John Buck hit his seventh homer to start the eighth for Kansas
City's only run against Kennedy, who retired eight straight batters
between Pena's first two singles. Marco Scutaro, who started in right field because of Oakland's
injury-depleted outfield, doubled among his two hits and stole his
first base of the season. Chavez's run-scoring double made it 3-1,
and Ellis added an RBI single. Kennedy, coming off his first win of 2007 in a 17-3 victory May
10 at Kansas City, had done the relievers a big favor by working
deep into the game. Earlier in the day, Oakland placed Street on
the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right elbow. And the
team's ninth-inning replacement for the 2005 AL Rookie of the Year,
Justin Duchscherer, wasn't available to pitch because of an
arthritic right hip. Alan Embree allowed a run-scoring single to Emil Brown in the
ninth before Jay Witasick entered and walked Buck. Then, Pena's
triple skipped over Swisher and traveled to the wall in center. The A's won despite grounding into double plays in each of the
first three innings and again in the sixth. They got to Brian
Bannister in the fourth, when Swisher led off with a single and
Johnson walked two batters later. After Cust's groundout, Crosby
singled in two runs. Crosby is batting .313 (15-for-48) in 12 May
games after hitting .215 in April. Bannister, who hasn't won since April 16 last year against
Milwaukee, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck
out three and walked three in his second-longest start of the
season. The Royals had won two straight for just the third time this
season after taking Monday night's series opener 2-1.
Game Notes Buck has hit in eight of his last nine games, batting .321
(9-for-28) with three home runs and six RBIs. ... The gametime
temperature was 48 degrees, the lowest road temperature this season
for the Royals. ... Street is scheduled to be examined by Angels
orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday.