Donaldson, Moss bats finally come alive

Some of the key components of the Oakland Athletics lineup have been cold of late -- very cold.

Josh Donaldson was homerless in his past 11 games and is hitting only .216 in his past 55 games.

Brandon Moss had a two-RBI game on Monday but was 4-for-44 in the 12 games prior to that.

Tuesday they took care of that and took care of the Kansas City Royals' eight-game winning streak in the process.

Donaldson and Moss were a combined 7-for-9 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Both homers came from Donaldson, who has managed an excellent season despite this prolonged offensive slump. He entered the day ranked second to Mike Trout in Wins Above Replacement among American League position players, with 5.9.

When Donaldson was going well last season, he drove pitches on the inner half of the plate (and off the inside corner) to the tune of a .329 batting average. Seventeen of his 24 home runs came against pitches to that area.

Donaldson hadn’t drilled those pitches well throughout this offensive drought. But he got back to doing so on Tuesday. All three of his hits, including both homers, came against inner-half pitches.

In Moss’ case, he’d seen a steady diet of outside pitches the past couple of weeks, and that served as an easy means of getting him out. But the past two days, he’s gotten four hits against pitches on the outer half of the plate, or just off the outside corner, three of which he took to the opposite field.

Donaldson and Moss weren’t the only ones with breakthrough games. DH John Jaso, who was 2-for-his-past-28, had two hits and a pair of runs scored and Josh Reddick, who was 2-for-his-past-18, had three hits and a run scored.

It was as if the Athletics had been cured of some sort of malady that befell the entire team. They entered the day hitting only .204 over their previous 12 games but managed 20 hits for the first time all season.

Note of the Night

Athletics starter Jon Lester was the beneficiary of this offensive barrage, as he improved to 9-3 against the Royals for his career.

Lester is 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA against the Royals since July 20. Other starting pitchers are 3-12 with a 4.60 ERA against the Royals over that span.