Well, the Royals' good fortune at home had to end at some point. So it might as well happen because the opposing pitcher is dealing, the opposing team is hitting and the Royals made some uncharacteristic mistakes.

That was absolutely the formula the Oakland Athletics used to hand the Royals a 5-2 loss on Sunday, one that marked the first time in seven tries a road team has been able to come into Kauffman Stadium and take a series this season.

And for all of the Royals' recent spunk, particularly at home — where they still own the most victories in the majors — this was a day in which the A's won the three-game series in front of an announced crowd of 22,435 by outclassing the Royals in every phase of the game.

For instance, Royals starter Jeff Francis was good, but Oakland starter Tyson Ross was better. The Royals' offense hit a few balls hard, but Oakland produced a 12-hit attack. The A's were better defensively, committing only one error to the Royals' two.

The victory was convincing enough that by the time it was over, the Royals had already turned the page, preferring instead to focus on the 6-3 homestand that outfielder Jeff Francoeur correctly predicted would happen a little more than a week ago.

"Seven and two would have been nice," Francoeur said, "but Oakland has got a heck of a pitching staff. They always say good pitching beats good hitting."

And that was never more evident than it was Sunday, when Ross, 2-2, used a mid-90s fastball and a sharp slider to limit the Royals to two runs and six hits over six innings. He outdueled Francis — who dropped to 0-4 and allowed two earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings — and even provided the play of the day in the second inning.

That's when the Royals, who trailed 2-0 thanks to RBI singles from Conor Jackson and Josh Willingham in the first inning, appeared to be on the verge of mounting a rally.