Kansas City (40-59) at Orioles (42-57)
The Kansas City Royals were struggling when they arrived in Baltimore on Monday. They had just completed a 1-8 road trip and had lost 11 of 12 games.
They have the worst record in the American League.
But they have posted back-to-back, 5-3 and 4-3 wins over the Orioles. Tuesday’s win came in 11 innings as KC tied it 3-3 in the 8th and won it on John Buck’s RBI single in the 11th.
Seven of the O’s last eight losses have been by two runs or less.
The Orioles, who had won six of their last nine series before the All-Star game, have now lost seven of eight, nine of 11 and 20 of the last 30 games.
Baltimore has fallen a season-worst 15 games under .500.
Tonight, in the third game of this series, 21-year-old right-hander Chris Tillman (8-6, 2.70 at Triple-A) will make his Major League debut vs. KC’s Zack Greinke (10-6, 2.04) the Major League ERA leader.
The O’s continue to struggle to get the clutch hit in recent games. In this series, they are just three for 18 with runners in scoring position and have left 19 men on base.
Over the last eight games, the O’s are batting just .157 (11 for 70) with runners in scoring position. The team average with RISP has dipped from .304 to .291 in those eight games.
The Royals bullpen, which gave up 27ER in 26 innings on their last homestand, has pitched nine scoreless innings in this series.
On the plus side, Nolan Reimold’s bat remains red hot. He has now recorded five consecutive multi-hit games, going 11 for 17 (.647) in that stretch. He has reached base in 15 of his last 21 and 24 of his last 43 plate appearances.
Matt Wieters has a six-game batting streak riding, during which he is 10 for 21 (.476) with three RBI.
The Royals, now 4-2 on the year vs. the Birds, have won three of their last four games.