Guthrie tops Garcia as Royals win to avoid series sweep

Orioles starter Freddy Garcia gave up just five hits tonight, but four of them came consecutively in the top of the fourth and two were homers as the Kansas City Royals beat the Orioles 6-2 to salvage the final game of a three-game series.

Winning pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was facing the Orioles for the first time and extended his consecutive unbeaten starts streak to 18. He is 10-0 since his last loss, which came last Aug. 8.

Guthrie, an Oriole from 2007 through 2011, went six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned) with three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches, 63 for strikes, and improves to 5-0 with an ERA of 2.28.

After a one-out single by Lorenzo Cain in the K.C. fourth, Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer to right. It was his third homer in three games in this series. A Billy Butler single was then followed by a Eric Hosmer two-run homer, which ended a 144-at-bat homer drought dating to last Sept. 11.

Garcia threw first-pitch strikes to seven of nine batters in pitching three perfect innings to start the game. He then failed to throw a first-pitch strike to the first five hitters in that fourth frame as the Royals scored four.

The Orioles scored on a J.J. Hardy RBI single in the second and a Chris Davis solo homer in the fourth. It was No. 10 for Davis, who had gone eight games without a homer, his longest stretch of the season.

This was the fourth time this season the Orioles needed to win a series finale to get a series sweep, but they lost to fall to 0-4 in such games.

They are now 21-14 overall and saw a four-game win streak end, as they hit the road for a three-game series in Minnesota that begins Friday night at 8:10 p.m. Eastern time.

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