Jon Lester won his Oakland debut while pitching into the seventh inning and Jonny Gomes got two hits during an eight-run burst in his return to the Athletics as they beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 Saturday.
Two days after being traded from the sagging World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Lester and Gomes teamed up to boost the club with the best record in baseball.
The 6-foot-4 Lester (11-7) instantly became an imposing presence on the mound in the pitcher-friendly Coliseum. Fans in the crowd of 30,097 cheered the lefty as he went through his warmup routine in left field, then Lester tipped his cap to a roaring ovation when he left after throwing 6 2-3 innings.
Back with the AL West-leading A's, Gomes delivered in an eight-run fifth inning. He singled and scored off Jason Vargas (8-5), then hit a hit a two-run single off Aaron Crow.