KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ryon Healy’s long shot left the Kansas City Royals a longshot to return to postseason play.
Stephen Vogt drove in five runs, Healy hit a mammoth three-run homer and the Oakland Athletics routed Kansas City 14-5 on Thursday night.
Oakland put a huge dent in the Royals’ diminishing playoff chances, sweeping a four-game road series at Kansas City for the first time. The A’s outscored the Royals 43-12, the largest Oakland run differential in a four-game series in franchise history.
Vogt had a two-run double in a five-run third, walked with the bases loaded in the fourth and hit a two-run homer in the sixth. The five RBIs matched a career high.
Healy, who had three hits, homered in third with Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso on base. The ball traveled an estimated 480 feet, landing above the left-field fountains.
Has he ever hit a ball further?
“I really don’t think so,” Healy said. “It was a changeup. I saw it well. I kept my hands back and tried to drive the ball to the outfield to score those runs.”
Marcus Semien, who knocked in four runs and hit a three-run shot in the eighth for his 25th home run, could not believe the distance on Healy’s drive.
“I’ve never seen a ball hit up there,” Semien said.
Healy went 9 for 17 (.529) with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs in the series.
“I’d like to say I hit one out there in BP in 1992 (when he played for the Royals), but I didn’t,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “I never saw it land — 480 feet, that’s impressive.”
Joey Wendle had his first career four-hit game and scored three runs as the A’s banged out 16 hits.
Rookie right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-7), who was 0-4 with a 9.39 ERA in his previous seven starts, was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. He held the Royals to three hits over seven scoreless innings to pick up the victory, striking out six with no walks.
“Everything was down in the zone. I was locating really well,” Mengden said. “I got a lot of quick, early outs, weak contact, which is what we try to do. I went in every inning and tried to establish strike one, which has been one of my biggest I guess flaws since I’ve been up here.”
Royals starter Edinson Volquez (10-11) faced 22 batters and nine scored in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed nine runs on seven hits and four walks.
In his past four starts, Volquez has allowed 20 earned runs on 32 hits and nine walks in 18 1/3 innings for a 9.82 ERA.
“I was inconsistent,” Volquez said. “I’ve been getting hit with all my pitches. I think my changeup always gets me out of trouble, but I’m still getting hit with that pitch, so that’s a bad sign for me.”
Chris Young, the third Royals pitcher, yielded the home run to Vogt and has given up 28 in 85 innings.
Christian Colon hit a three-run homer in a five-run ninth as Kansas City avoided being shut out for the second straight game.
The Royals have lost eight of their past nine home games.
“It’s been tough,” Colon said. “We’re not used to this.”
VARGAS TO START
Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, who has not pitched in the majors since July 21, 2015, and needed reconstructive elbow surgery, will start Saturday against the White Sox. Vargas will be on a 45-pitch limit over three innings. Kansas City manager Ned Yost said the goal is for Vargas to pitch 10-15 innings before the season ends. Vargas was 5-2 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts before the injury last year.
The A’s recalled LHP Dillon Overton from Triple-A Nashville and he will be used out of the bullpen. Overton gave up all five runs in the ninth.
Athletics: RHP Henderson Alvarez will undergo another shoulder surgery Tuesday and won’t pitch this season. Dr. James Andrews will perform arthroscopic surgery. Alvarez was a 2014 All-Star with the Marlins, but made only four starts last season before needing shoulder surgery on July 28.
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain, who has appeared in only one September game because of a sore left wrist, probably won’t return this season. “He’s not making great progress,” Yost said. “He’s getting a little bit better, but we’re starting to run out of time.”
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman, who is 9-4 with a 3.64 ERA in his past 19 starts, will pitch the series opener Friday at Texas.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy, who is 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA since the start of August, will start Friday against the White Sox.