Some notes and a look ahead to the KC series

The Orioles (12-26) will host the Kansas City Royals (14-24) the next two nights to wrap up a three-team, eight-game homestand.

The Orioles took two of three from Seattle, then lost two of three to Cleveland to go 3-3 on the homestand. The O's are 10-10 since the 2-16 start.

The pitching recently:
*O's starters have an ERA of 2.62 over the last five games.
*The O's bullpen has an ERA of 15.00 the last two games.

The Orioles, who went 7-0 vs. the Royals in 2007, went 4-4 vs. KC last year. They won 12 straight vs. KC between July 26, 2006 and May 10, 2008. The O's are 49-24 all-time vs. the Royals at Camden Yards.

The Royals have won three of four since a seven-game losing streak. This past Thursday, manager Trey Hillman was fired and KC hired Ned Yost.

Yost went 457-502 as Brewers manager from 2003 through September 15, 2008.

The Royals are 2-1 since Yost took over.

KC topped Chicago 5-3 Sunday as Jose Guillen, batting just .127 his last 18 games, drove in three runs. It gave KC its first home series win of the season.

The Royals are 7-13 on the road on the season.

Former Oriole John Parrish is on the Royals disabled list with left rotater cuff inflammation.

The Orioles inconsistent offense:
*Three games from 5-8 to 5-11: 18 for 96, two runs scored.
*Three games from 5-12 to 5-14: 34 for 101, 19 runs scored.
*The last two games: 15 for 64, three runs scored.

O's individual hitting notes:
Atkins: Is 3 for 22 at bat with just one RBI his last 19 games since April 17.
Izturis: One hit his last 17 at bats
Jones: Batting .343 his last nine games. Has just one extra-base hit his last 14 games.
Lugo: Hitless his last eight at bats.
Markakis: His last 18 games, batting .328-2-9.
Montanez: Has not played in ten straight games and is 0 for 18 since April 23.
Patterson: Is 0 for 7 the last two games after going 6 for 13 his first three contests.
Scott: Last five games is 10 for 20 with three homers and 8 RBI. Batting .333 in May after hitting .194 in April.
Tatum: Went 2 for 3 Sunday.
Tejada: Has 5 RBI his last five games.
Wieters: Is 0 for 8 his last three games with 0 RBI his last nine games.
Wigginton: Is batting .444-2-7 during seven-game hitting streak. He is 9 for 15 with two homers and four multi-hit games in his last four contests. Has raised his average from .280 to .320 in those four games.

AL home run leaders:
13 - Paul Konerko, CWS
12 - Ty Wigginton, Balt
10 - Jose Bautista, Tor
10 - Vernon Wells, Tor
10 - Alex Gonzalez, Tor

AL leaders, grounding into double plays:
46 - Minnesota
44 - Orioles
42 - Kansas City
37 - Cleveland
36 - Boston, Chicago

From the misery loves company department. Who is worse, the Orioles or the Cubs? Well, the O's are 14 games under .500 while the Cubs are 16-22. But Chicago sports a payroll of 144 million and, while the Orioles have played a very difficult schedule, the Cubs have a losing record and have yet to meet Philly, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado or St. Louis.

From the AL East is a beast department. The Texas Rangers, who host the O's later this week, are leading the AL West with a record of 20-18. Texas is 18-8 vs. the AL Central and West, but just 2-10 vs. the East.

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