Adam Jones took a huge risk in the bottom of the eighth inning by holding up his arms and calling for time as the ball Mike Aviles hit wedged underneath the padding on the left-center field fence.
Jones wanted a ground-rule double, which would have forced Alcides Escobar to stop at third base and Aviles to hold at second with one out and the Orioles clinging to a 3-1 lead. Both runners crossed the plate while Jones waited for the umpires to make the call.
Jones turned out to be right, and much braver than myself.
Melky Cabrera grounded out, with Escobar scoring. Michael Gonzalez replaced Jim Johnson and retired Alex Gordon on a fly ball to left field.
Orioles 3, Royals 2.
Johnson is charged with one run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. More bullpen issues. But Gonzalez hasn’t allowed a baserunner in his last three appearances covering 3 1/3 innings, and he’s struck out five.
Gonzalez needed only two pitches to retire Gordon. Jones needed a firm grasp of the rule book to stand in left-center field with his arms raised.
Update: Closer Kevin Gregg went to a full count to the first two batters he faced in the ninth, and he issued a walk with one out that put the tying run on base. But he got out of the jam for his sixth save, and the Orioles held on for a 3-2 win.
Jake Arrieta improves to 4-1 with a 4.35 ERA.