OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Trevor Cahill and the Oakland Athletics are still looking for answers.
Cahill walked a career-high seven batters and lost his fifth straight decision, his longest personal skid, and the Kansas City Royals beat the struggling A's 7-4 on Tuesday night.
``Trevor was a little out of sorts,' A's interim manager Bob Melvin said. ``We'll work to get that sorted out for next time.'
Cahill (6-5) gave up four runs on four hits. He did not strike out a batter and was charged with two wild pitches, giving him nine, third in the AL. He hasn't won since beating the Rangers in Texas on May 9.
``I didn't know where the ball was going,' Cahill said. ``At one point, I tried to throw it down the middle and it still wouldn't go right. My bullpens have been good, I just haven't translated it yet.'
As bad as its getting for Cahill, its worse for the A's, who lost their 13th in 14 games and are 1-4 under Melvin. They have the worst record in the major leagues since May 17, winning six of 26 games to fall 12 games under .500, their most since being 13 games behind after play on Sept. 14, 2009.
``When it's not working, there's a tendency to overcompensate and try to do too much,' Melvin said.
And, it's not just Cahill. The A's starting rotation has lost 11 consecutive decisions overall, the longest streak since dropping 13 straight between July 29-Aug. 12, 1977.
``I'm not worried about mechanics during the game,' Cahill said. ``I'm just trying to get outs. I look at video from last year and something looks different. I'm not going to let it affect me. It's about me finding my comfort zone.'
Hideki Matsui had two hits, including a home run, and is batting .353 (6 for 17) over his last five games. Scott Sizemore also had two hits and drove in a run and is hitting .471 (8 for 17) with runners in scoring position. Coco Crisp also drove in a run.
Jeff Francoeur and Butler drew consecutive walks in the second against Cahill and both moved up on a sacrifice. Matt Treanor grounded out, scoring Francoeur.
Kansas City failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the third, but got to Cahill for another run in the fourth despite hitting only one ball out of the infield. Mike Moustakas singled, took second on first baseman Daric Barton's throwing error and moved to third on a sacrifice before Escobar's RBI groundout made it 2-0.
Escobar, who also doubled home a run in the ninth, has nine hits in his last four games. The four straight multihit games are a first for the Royals shortstop.
Oakland cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Matsui's fifth home run. It was the 498th homer of his professional career, including Japan.
Cahill's command problems cost him again in the fifth. The right-hander issued consecutive one-out walks to Eric Hosmer and Francoeur before Butler doubled over the head of left fielder Josh Willingham. Hosmer and Francoeur both scored, making it 4-1.
Cahill was done two batters later, despite giving up only four hits. He looked like a potential Cy Young Award candidate after starting the year 6-0, but is winless in his last seven starts.
Notes: Oakland RHP Rich Harden (muscle strain) will throw a simulated game Wednesday and hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. ... Cahill did not strike out a batter for the first time since July 23, 2010. Weeks' triple was his third since being called up from the minors last Tuesday. ... Escobar has a season-high seven-game hitting streak. ... Hosmer's single in the sixth snapped an 0-for-20 skid on the road.
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