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A’s keep pace in AL wildcard race

TAKE THAT Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha hits an RBI single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) in Kansas City, Mo. AP PHOTO


Matt Olson hit a two-run homer, Josh Harrison drove in three runs and Elvis Andrus had four hits as the Oakland Athletics held on through a nervy ninth inning to beat the Kansas City Royals 12-10 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

The A’s ended a three-game skid and remained 3 1/2 back of Toronto, Boston and New York in the American League (AL) wildcard chase.

Oakland’s Sean Manaea (10-9) was far from flawless against his former team, allowing five runs in five innings. And their beleaguered bullpen coughed a run in the seventh, three more in the eighth and loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth before Andrew Chafin finally managed to lock down the win.

Chafin surrendered an RBI groundout, struck out Kyle Isbel and retired Ryan O’Hearn with the bases still loaded to pick up his fourth save.

Mark Canha and Tony Kemp also drove in runs off Carlos Hernandez (6-2) and the beat-up Kansas City bullpen.

Salvador Perez hit his 44th homer in the fifth inning for Kansas City, moving into a tie with Shohei Ohtani and within one of big-league leader Vladimir Guerrero Jr. It also was the 196th of the affable catcher’s career – all of them with Kansas City – putting Perez one behind Mike Sweeney for second on the club’s career list.

“When we were down, I mean, at that point all you can ask for is to give yourself a shot,” said the Royals’ Andrew Benintendi, who went 5 for 5 and drove in four runs. “In those situations, it’s easy to fold. We fought back and had a shot.”

The Royals were charged with only one error – officially – but they made plenty of blunders.

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