Homestand ends with a loss as Royals top Matusz, O’s 4-2

Brian Matusz provided the Orioles with a decent outing and a quality start today, but this time it didn’t lead to a win. Kansas City scored twice off Matusz in the top of the sixth to break a 2-2 tie this afternoon on its way to a 4-2 win over the Orioles in front of 33,919 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles lost the rubber game of this series to the Royals and have now lost back-to-back series’ for the first time all year.

In 2011, the Orioles had lost back-to-back series by their fourth series in mid-April. This year that didn’t happen until their 16th series of the year.

Matusz gave up seven hits and four runs (three earned) over six innings and threw 100 pitches today, falling to 4-5 with an ERA of 4.82. Over his last seven starts, Matusz has an ERA of 3.70 and five quality starts.

Jeff Francoeur began the sixth with a solo homer off Matusz to give the Royals a 3-2 lead, and Humberto Quintero’s RBI double made it 4-2. Francoeur went 7-for-12 with two homers in this series.

The Orioles scored on a Nick Markakis RBI double and a Xavier Avery RBI single. Avery’s single in the fourth snapped a 2-for-22 stretch for the rookie, who knocked in his fourth run of the season.

On the day his new six-year contract was announced, center fielder Adam Jones did go 1-for-4 with a fifth-inning double to extend his batting streak to a career-best 18 games. That is the longest in the AL this year.

The Orioles, who began the day leading the American League East by one game over Tampa Bay, fall to 29-19 on the year, 14-13 at home and 9-3 versus the AL Central.

The Orioles have now lost five of their last seven games and have completed a 2-4 homestand. They also lost for just the third time on the year when getting a quality start to fall to 22-3 in those games.

The Birds begin a three-city, nine-game road trip in Toronto on Monday night when Tommy Hunter (2-2, 5.07 ERA) pitches against Drew Hutchinson (3-2, 5.73 ERA).

The Orioles are 14-9 against the AL East and 5-1 against Toronto.

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