BALTIMORE — Things fell apart in the fifth inning for the Kansas City Royals, and the Baltimore Orioles held on for a 5-3 win on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
The Royals (17-13, 7-8 away) have now lost three straight. It’s their longest losing streak of the season thus far, and the first time they’ve lost a series since April 13th.
It was a tight contest early, as Alex Gordon crushed his fifth home run of the year to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fifth. J.J. Hardy gave the Orioles (21-13, 9-5 home) a 2-0 lead with a two-run HR in the second.
It was later in the fifth that the wheels fell off, as Nate McLouth scored on a throwing error by George Kattaras to make it 4-1. Manny Machado advanced to third on Alcides Escobar’s throwing error, before scoring on a wild pitch by Luis Mendoza.
Mike Moustakas crushed a two-run home run to right to cut the deficit to 5-3 in the sixth, but the O’s bullpen killed any potential rally the Royals had in mind. Closer Jim Johnson (1.00 ERA) recorded his 13th save, and starter Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.76 ERA) got the win.
Mendoza (0-2, 6.38 ERA) had a tough night, surrendering five runs on five hits in six innings, striking out two and walking three. Bruce Chen tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
The Royals try to avoid the sweep as former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie (4-0, 2.40 ERA) takes the mound against Freddy Garcia (0-0, 2.70 ERA) for game three on Thursday night at Camden Yards.