That's why the Oakland third baseman insisted Friday night that there was no intent when he slid late into second base, colliding with Escobar and knocking the shortstop out of what turned into a 6-4 victory for Kansas City.
"I'm trying to break up a double play there," Lawrie said. "No one is trying to hurt anyone there. It's the seventh inning in a 4-4 ballgame. I hope they realize that. There's no intention of hurting anyone. That's just playing the game hard."
Both dugouts emptied after the play but no punches were thrown. Escobar was helped off the field with what the team called a sprained left knee, and manager Ned Yost said he was day to day.
"It looks like it's going to be a bruise more than anything," Yost said.
In the first meeting between the teams since last September's dramatic wild-card game, Paulo Orlando delivered a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning for the Royals. Omar Infante also drove in a pair of runs, while the Kansas City bullpen came through once again.
Dan Otero (0-1) gave up both runs in the eighth inning for the A's.
"We hit a lot of balls on the nose, which was frustrating," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Stephen Vogt hit a pair of solo homers, and Ike Davis also went deep for the A's, whose team bears little resemblance to the one that lost that playoff game at Kauffman Stadium. For one thing, their designated hitter these days is Billy Butler, who was playing for the Royals then.
"I was trying to do too much," said Butler, who went 1 for 4 after receiving a standing ovation in the first inning. "I don't do well when I'm trying to do too much."
The A's jumped in front on Lawrie's sacrifice bunt in the second inning, and Kansas City pulled ahead with five straight two-out singles in the third.
Oakland quickly answered when Davis homered on the first pitch he saw in the fourth, and Vogt tied it at 3 with his first homer just two pitches later.
Kansas City went in front again in the sixth on Infante's single, but Yost elected to leave Guthrie in rather than go to Herrera at that point. Vogt made him pay with a drive to right for his first career multihomer game.
Later in the inning, Lawrie was on first base when Josh Reddick lined a pitch off Herrera toward third, where Mike Moustakas fielded it. He flipped to Escobar covering second, but Lawrie's late slide over the bag caused a collision that left Escobar crumpled on the dirt.
He was helped off the field without putting any weight on his left leg, while Lawrie had to be escorted by his teammates through a horde of angry Royals and back to the Oakland dugout.
"I was making sure he was OK," Lawrie said. "Things just got heated in the moment. That's just your teammates picking you up in that situation. I feel like that would be vice-versa over here. You see one of your guys go down and it rubs a team the wrong way."
Butler received his AL championship ring before the game. Royals C Salvador Perez, 1B Hosmer and LF Alex Gordon received their Gold Glove awards. Gordon also received a Platinum Glove as the American League's best defensive player.
Athletics: RHP Jarrod Parker (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw three innings in extended spring training Saturday. On Monday, LHP Sean Nolin (sports hernia surgery) will throw two innings, and RHP A.J. Griffin will throw one inning.
Royals: Escobar was replaced in the lineup by Christian Colon, who is likely to start at shortstop Saturday. The Royals also intend to make a roster move to add another infielder.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn faces the Royals for the first time in his career.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura makes his third start of the season. He left his first two with cramps, first to his right thumb and then to his right calf.