OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Frankie Montas has somehow had an easier time succeeding as a starter in the big leagues than he did in the minors.
Montas pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning to win his third straight start since being called up to the majors and Khris Davis homered twice to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
“I always trusted myself and I always believed in myself,” Montas said through an interpreter. “Now things are going well.”
It wasn’t that way in the minors this season when Montas (3-0) had a 1-5 record in nine starts at Triple-A Nashville. But he is 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA with the A’s this season, including eight shutout innings against Kansas City last Friday.
Montas was sharp once again, allowing six hits and holding Kansas City scoreless until Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth. He relied heavily on his hard sinker.
“It’s very unpredictable,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “For me behind the plate, I don’t know where it’s going to be at. It’s a good thing, because if I don’t, a hitter definitely doesn’t. He pitches to contact and just attacks. He has a great mentality out there.”
Dustin Fowler also homered and Lucroy drove in three runs to help the A’s send the Royals to their sixth straight loss and drop them to a season-worst 22 games under .500.