Before tonight, the Orioles hadn’t trailed in 36 innings since the All-Star break and hadn’t fallen behind in the last 45 innings overall. Their last deficit came at the end of the July 13 loss to Toronto.
All good things must come to an end.
The Royals loaded the bases with no outs against starter Jason Hammel, and Alex Gordon scored on Billy Butler’s double play grounder to third.
Hammel is fortunate that he only surrendered one run after the first two Royals reached on singles and Lorenzo Cain walked.
Hammel has allowed 13 runs in the first this season, the most of any inning. It’s close, though. He’s given up 11 in the seventh and 10 in the second, fourth and sixth.
This month continues to challenge Hammel, who owns a 3-15 (.167) career record in July. According to STATS, that’s the lowest winning percentage in July for any pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920) with a minimum of 15 decisions.
Nate McLouth was called out on strikes leading off the top of the first inning. He’s batting .450 during his five-game hitting streak, going 9-for-20 with a double, two triples, an RBI, three walks and four runs scored.
McLouth has four straight multi-hit games.
Danny Valencia, who was 11-for-20 lifetime against Royals left-hander Bruce Chen, flied out in the second inning.
The Orioles are 39-25 (.609) in night games, the third-best record in the majors and second-best in the American League behind Oakland (39-22, .639). During the day, the Orioles are 18-18, which is the 10th-best mark in the AL.
The Orioles are 17-for-46 (.370) in the last three games with runners in scoring position. Nick Markakis singled with two outs tonight, but he didn’t get any further than first base.
Update: The Royals scored again in the second inning. Hammel was fortunate again that he only allowed one run.
Chris Getz delivered an RBI single and took second on the throw home. The Royals had two runners in scoring position with one out, but couldn’t add to their 2-0 lead.
Hammel has thrown 38 pitches in two innings. The Orioles are lucky that their bullpen is rested. T.J. McFarland hasn’t pitched since July 13.
Update II: Manny Machado cut the deficit in half with a solo home run in the top of the third inning - his first hit at Kauffman Stadium.
Machado hadn’t homered since July 9 against the Rangers.
Machado is wearing his batting gloves again tonight.
He’s just a glove machine.