OAKLAND, Calif. — Nothing new for Jonny Gomes getting hit by a pitch to win a game in extra innings. Strangely, it happened to him just last season when he was plunked by Brad Lidge to hand the Washington Nationals a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Been there, done that,” Gomes quipped.
Jonathan Broxton got Gomes this time, hitting him on the first pitch he threw with the bases loaded in the 12th inning and forcing Jemile Weeks home for the winning run in the Oakland Athletics’ 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
Moments earlier, Broxton (0-1) plunked new A’s cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes on the first pitch to load the bases and the closer received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Eiland.
“I wasn’t very good today, with the walks and everything else. It started out good but I just didn’t have it,” Broxton said. “One was a sinker and one was a four-seam fastball.”
It marked the third time the A’s won on a game-ending hit by pitch in Oakland history and first since Olmedo Saenz on July 20, 2002, against Texas.
“You can hit me four times if we win,” said Gomes, nearly hit earlier on a heater from Kelvin Herrera. “We have to write that down and keep it in the back of our minds because 98 mph could end your season.”
Coco Crisp’s RBI groundout earlier in the 12th tied it at 4 after Billy Butler doubled home the go-ahead run in top half of the inning against Andrew Carignan (1-1).
A day after rain shortened the Royals’ 3-0 win following seven-plus innings, fans got their share of baseball in the finale.
Cespedes already has been hit three times, and his teammates are taking notice. While Cespedes didn’t think Broxton intentionally fired at him — “Everybody could see he was wild” — he was glad to hear starter Brandon McCarthy had spoken up on his behalf and that the pitchers would consider retaliation if it comes to that point.
Kansas City heads home for the first time since the start of spring training in mid-February at 3-3, but without the same momentum it would have had with a second winning road series after taking two of three at Los Angeles.
Oakland closer Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th. He allowed Alcides Escobar’s leadoff single in the 10th and a two-out walk to Jeff Francoeur on four pitches before striking out Mike Moustakas.
The A’s now head out for their first real road trip — a seven-gamer — considering the two matchups with the Mariners in Tokyo two weeks ago counted as Oakland home games. They get Seattle ace Felix Hernandez for the third time Friday at Safeco Field.
Kansas City’s Alex Gordon hit a tying home run off Brian Fuentes in the seventh.
Jose Mijares hit Josh Reddick with a breaking ball in the right shoulder area leading off the eighth, and the ball ricocheted into Reddick’s neck and jaw as he tried to raise his arm to protect himself. He went down for a couple of minutes before leaving the game. Crisp came in to run and Greg Holland relieved Mijares, but the A’s couldn’t capitalize.
Gomes hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put the A’s ahead and McCarthy in position for his first victory of the season before Fuentes gave it up.
Cespedes doubled, swiped third for his first steal and scored on catcher Brayan Pena’s throwing error to make it 1-0 in the second. Pena threw wildly into left field trying to get Cespedes at third on his steal.
Cespedes hit his first career single in the 11th after his initial five hits went for extra bases. The Cuban rookie wrapped up his first homestand 4 for 16 with two home runs and eight strikeouts.
Gordon also singled in a run in the third for the Royals, who squandered a chance when they left the bases loaded in the fifth.