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For the second day in a row, the Orioles fell behind in the game at Kansas City. But, for the second day in a row, the Orioles won. The Birds beat the Royals 5-3 today as they rallied from a 3-0 deficit to sweep the brief two-game series.
The Orioles, who began the day tied for first with Tampa Bay at 24-14, have now won three in a row, five of seven and 11 of their past 16 games. The Orioles are now 17-7 over the last 24 games.
At 25-14, the Orioles are 11 games over the .500 mark for the first time in 2012.
The Orioles have now won seven straight road games for the first time since the 1999 season.
Buck Showalter talks about Brian Matusz's start in the Orioles' 5-3 win over the Royals
After Brian Matusz retired the side in order on 25 pitches over the first two innings, the Royals took a 3-0 lead against him in the third. Humberto Quintero plated two runs with a double and scored on a Johnny Giavotella single.
Adam Jones came through again for the Orioles to get them back in this game. He hit a 411-foot, two-run homer to center off Luke Hochevar in the fourth to make it a 3-2 game.
For Jones, it was his third homer in three games, his seventh over the last 13 games and his 13th on the year. He hit his 13th in game 74 last season and the Orioles are now 12-1 when Jones homers.
A three-run seventh put the O's into the lead for the first time in the game. The first run scored on an error and then J.J. Hardy's two-run single broke the 3-3 tie. Hardy now has eight RBIs in his last four games.
The seventh-inning rally allowed Matusz to get the win. He gave up just three runs over six innings with seven hits. Matusz improves to 3-4 with an ERA of 5.36.
Over his last five starts, Matusz is 3-1 with an ERA of 4.03.
As we have seen often this season, if you give the Orioles the lead after seven innings this year, they can shut down their opponent for those last six outs with Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson.
They did that again today to improve to 16-0 when leading after seven as Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Johnson, working for the first time this year in three straight games, got the final three outs.
Johnson is now 14-for-14 in save chances on the season and has saved 22 straight games dating to last August.
The Royals had a four-game win streak and were coming off a two-game sweep of Texas when the Orioles got to town. They were also 12-6 over an 18-game stretch before these back-to-back losses.
The Orioles improve to 13-5 in road games, 8-1 against the AL Central and 14-4 in games decided by two runs or less.
Now the Orioles head back East to play three at Washington over the weekend. On Friday night, Jake Arrieta (2-4, 5.21 ERA) pitches against the Nats' Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.71 ERA).