OAKLAND, Calif.—Kansas City's Luke Hochevar was unhittable for five innings.
A single by Oakland's backup catcher and a controversial call on rookie Jemile Weeks' bunt changed all that and kept the Royals' right-hander winless in seven career starts against the Athletics.
Hochevar allowed five hits and both Oakland runs but got little help from Kansas City's offense, which failed to score with the tying runner on base twice in the final three innings and lost to the A's 2-1 on Wednesday night.
"It just comes down to pitch quality, making quality pitches when I need to make them," said Hochevar, who did not record a strikeout for the first time since July 26, 2008. "I still need to get better at that. It burned me tonight."
Hochevar (4-7) sailed through the first five innings, allowing only two walks to designated hitter Hideki Matsui. Oakland's only hit off him early came on Hochevar's third pitch of the game when David DeJesus lined a shot off the pitcher's right forearm.
The ball deflected to second baseman Chris Getz for an easy groundout. Hochevar was inspected by a team trainer and threw a few light tosses before staying in the game.
"It got me pretty good, right on the back of the forearm," Hochevar said. "But it didn't bother me throwing-wise. It really wasn't sore. It was just sore from the impact."
The hard-throwing right-hander showed no effects from the bruising shot. Matsui's two walks were the only time an Oakland player reached base until Landon Powell's line-drive single to center leading off the sixth.
Then it all came unraveled.
Weeks followed with a bunt up the first-base line, Hochevar fielded the ball and tossed it to first baseman Eric Hosmer hustling back to the bag. Television replays appeared to show Hosmer tagging Weeks just before he reached the base, but he was called safe by first base umpire Jeff Nelson.