- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Reymond Fuentes singled in a pair of runs in a four-run Kansas City first inning and the Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Saturday.

The Royals batted around in the first, which included Chris Bassitt walking Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon with the bases loaded.

“The first inning was a good inning for us,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Esky (Alcides Escobar) started it with a base hit down the right field line. Moose (Mike Moustakas) taking advantage of the shift with a perfect bunt, a couple of big walks and we score four runs.”

Bassitt limited the Royals to one run and three hits after the first inning.

“I got back to kind of what I was doing last year, making them as uncomfortable as possible,” Bassitt said. “In the first inning, that was exact opposite of what I was doing and they were able to do whatever they wanted and put the bat wherever they wanted.”

Fuentes is 8 for 16 with six RBIs amid a six-game hitting streak to raise his average to .419. He appears to be batting his way onto the Royals’ roster, possibly as the Opening Day right fielder.

Royals righthander Chien-Ming Wang, who has not pitched in the majors since six starts in 2013 with Toronto, tossed three scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 2.08 for seven outings.

Mark Canha had a RBI triple in the ninth for the A’s.

STARTING TIME

Athletics: Bassitt threw 34 pitches in the four-run first. “In the first inning, I beat myself kind of thing,” Bassitt said. “They are a team that will let you beat yourself if you’re wanting to. They did it all last year and won the World Series because of it. I pretty much messed up the first inning. The first inning you can’t let happen again for the rest of the year.”

Royals: Wang threw 27 strikes in 38 pitches with no walks. “He got through three innings with under 45 pitches, which is what we wanted him to do,” Yost said. “He got his work in and did it effectively and efficiently.”

WORLD SERIES REMATCH

Edinson Volquez will draw the opening assignment April 3 against the Mets, who will counter with Matt Harvey. The two started the final game of the World Series, which the Royals won 7-2 in 12 innings.

“It was an easy decision,” Yost said in announcing his rotation. “We weighted the year he had last year. And we thought it would be cool: When was the last time two starting pitchers pitched consecutive games? Game 5 starters are matching up again.”

Ian Kennedy will pitch the second game against the Mets, while Yordano Ventura, who was the 2015 Opening Day starter, will start the third game against the Twins. Chris Young and Kris Medlen complete the rotation.

BASE RUNNING BLUNDERS

Eric Sogard and Billy Burns opened the Oakland second with singles, but were both out on base-running blunders. Sogard went too far around second on Burns’ infield single and was out in a rundown. Burns attempted to go to second with Sogard trapped, but was tagged out by Raul Mondesi.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: LHP Sean Doolittle, who had been battling a triceps issue and food poisoning, pitched for the first time since March 13, throwing a perfect inning, needing only six pitches. “It happened at the right time in camp,” Doolittle said. “I knew I was going to have enough time to get back in some games before we left. I’m trying to make the most of it. It was good to have a good day.”

STARTING TIME

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman will start against the Royals.

Royals: RHP Chris Young, who threw 4 1/3 hitless innings against the Dodgers Tuesday, will start against the Athletics in Mesa.

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