KANSAS CITY – Relying on A’s lifters enclosure carries a risk of delay. The group woke up on Thursday allowing nearly a point of an inning in September. Starter Paul Blackburn reached the sixth of their series final in Kansas City. Manager Bob Melvin turned to his relief corps with a two-point lead, requiring 12 strikeouts.
Deolis Guerra got six. Guerra entered with the Royals in the first and second and no outs. He’s been among Melvin’s best options recently, with a 2.61 ERA since the end of July. His inherited runners have not budged. Guerra got one strikeout, one strikeout and one ground ball on 10 pitches, just two above 90 mph. He came back for the seventh and blocked two men by taking out Salvador Perez, the majors’ co-leader in the home circuits, who rolled to the ground on a first-pitch slider.