Fowler High School grad Luke Hochevar made his first major league start of 2008 on Sunday in Oakland.
The A's line up battered Hochevar with base hits throughout the order just as it did Kansas City's experienced starters the previous two days.
Hochevar (0-1), the No. 1 overall pick in 2006 and opening day starter at Triple-A Omaha this year, looked strong in his first start of the season before running into trouble in the fourth. He threw 32 pitches that inning but was sent out to start the fifth.
After strikeouts of Jack Cust and Crosby, Ryan Sweeney doubled and Bowen's single two batters later chased Hochevar. The right-hander allowed six runs and nine hits, struck out five and walked three in 4 2-3 innings.
''They had a little luck mixed in. Sometimes that's what it takes,'' Royals manager Trey Hillman said. ''We didn't have much of that at all. We weren't as selective as we need to be, especially against a pitcher like Dana. He pitched very effectively. It just snowballed on us and was a bad series. There's no other way to say it.''
The Royals called up Hochevar to make his second career big league start, clearing roster room by designating right-hander Hideo Nomo for assignment and perhaps ending his 12-year major league career.
Hochevar escaped trouble in the second. He allowed a leadoff walk followed by Crosby's single, but the 24-year-old calmly retired the next three batters he faced - striking out Denorfia and Bowen back-to-back to end the inning.
All of Oakland's runs came with two outs.
''That's the cost of doing business, I guess. You give up a hit with two outs, I'm not going to back down,'' Hochevar said. ''I'm not going to try to start nibbling. I'm going to stay aggressive and keep attacking them.''
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