J.J. Hardy shattered his bat tonight and drove in a run.
Another sign that his season-long slump is ending.
Oh, sure, there’s the three home runs in his last four games before tonight, but it’s also a positive development when the cheapies are on his side.
Hardy is 8-for-19 with six RBIs in his last six games.
Former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie’s scoreless innings streak ended at 18, but the run is unearned because of shortstop Alcides Escobar’s third error in two nights. It allowed Adam Jones to reach leading off the bottom of the second inning.
Matt Wieters singled with one out and Hardy followed with his broken-bat single. Wieters was thrown out at third base.
Ryan Flaherty walked before Nolan Reimold grounded into a force on Guthrie’s 32nd pitch in two innings.
Freddy Garcia has retired the first nine Royals on 32 pitches. He’s struck out one.
Garcia took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his Orioles debut Saturday in Anaheim.
Garcia is changing speeds again and getting ahead of hitters. In his battle with catcher Salvador Perez, he got two called strikes on an 88 mph four-seamer and 69 mph curveball, missed with an 88 mph sinker, got a foul ball with an 86 mph four-seamer and induced a slow roller to the mound with a 78 mph splitter.
Update: Garcia retired the first 10 batters before the wheels came off.
Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer hit two-run homers in the fourth inning to give Kansas City a 4-1 lead.
Lorenzo Cain reached on an infield hit, with Manny Machado backhanding the ball along the line and making a high throw, and Gordon followed with his third home run of the series. He’s homered in three straight games for the first time in his career.
Billy Butler singled and Hosmer followed with his first home run since Sept. 11, 2012, a streak of 144 at-bats.
Butler hit an 87 mph sinker. Hosmer hit an 82 mph slider.
Mike Moustakas walked with two outs, earning Garcia a visit from pitching coach Rick Adair, and Jeff Francoeur popped up on Garcia’s next offering.
Garcia threw 13, 12 and seven pitches in the first three innings, but he needed 25 to get through the fourth.
Update II: Chris Davis hit his first home run since April 28, and it reduced Kansas City’s lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
This one is far from over.
Ryan Flaherty has walked and reached on an infield hit.
Update III: Garcia allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, with one walk, three strikeouts and two home runs allowed He threw 77 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Garcia retired seven of the last eight batters he faced.
Mike Moustakas greeted McFarland with a home run.
Royals 5, Orioles 2.
McFarland is pitching for the first time since May 1 and the second time since April 25.
Update IV: The Orioles’ four-game winning streak came to an end tonight with a 6-2 loss to the Royals before 23,282 at Camden Yards.
McFarland was charged with two runs and three hits in one-plus innings. The second run scored after he left the game. Salvador Perez had a bloop RBI single off Alex Burnett, who replaced McFarland in the eighth inning and was making his Orioles’ debut.
Pedro Strop retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
The Orioles are 4-7 in the last game of a series.
Can someone please help CB Bucknor find the strike zone. And his car keys. Thanks.