Orioles win again in effort to keep slim playoff hopes alive
BALTIMORE -- With 20 games left this season, the Baltimore Orioles want to win every one of them.
Chris Davis hit his league-leading 42nd home run, Jonathan Schoop added two solo shots and the Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Sunday night.
The Orioles have won four of their past five as they try to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Royals lost seven of nine and dropped their third straight series for the first time this season.
"Every time we go out there we want to win, but we went through a tough stretch, losing a lot of games but we're still in there," Schoop said. "We're going to play hard because we're hungry. We want to get to the playoffs. We got a taste last year of what it feels like so we want to be there again."
Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (9-7) kept the Royals off-balance with his slider and changeup. He allowed two runs on six hits with two strikeouts over seven innings.
Schoop had th ree hits and has 14 home runs on the season. Adam Jones had two hits, including his 27th homer, with four RBIs.
"We're not mathematically eliminated, so there's still something to play for," Jones said.
Royals right-hander Johnny Cueto (2-6) lost his fifth straight start, allowing a season-high eight runs and 11 hits with three strikeouts and one walk over 6 1/3 innings. He tied a career-high by allowing four homers and has given up 28 runs over his past 26 1/3 innings.
Cueto's struggles began in the first when Manny Machado walked and Chris Davis singled before Jones delivered a towering 450-foot shot to center. The Royals pulled to 3-2 in the second when Salvador Perez and Alex Rios hit a pair of two-out doubles followed by a single by Alcides Escobar.
"He needs to establish his fastball then his secondary stuff, it opens a whole world of different possibilities," Royals manager Ned Yost said about Cueto's struggles.
Schoop responded by delivering sol o homers in the second and fourth innings to boost Baltimore's lead to 5-2. Cueto has given up three home runs in a game twice this season - both times against the Orioles.
"I think (Schoop) is just starting to figure it out in a lot of ways," Showalter said. "The thing I like about him is he is very humble and he doesn't take anything for granted."
Davis added the fourth homer against Cueto with another solo shot in the sixth and Baltimore led 6-2. Meanwhile, Chen retired 10 in a row before allowing a double to Perez in the seventh.
The Orioles added a seventh run that inning on a fielder's choice by Machado that ended Cueto's night. Louis Coleman entered and allowed an RBI-single to Jones.
"What I've got to do is keep my head and up and just keep moving forward," Cueto said. "I can't be looking back at the negatives that have happened here in the last few weeks. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to keep my head up and keep moving."
Royals: Right-hander Louis Coleman left with two outs in the eighth with an undisclosed injury. Manager Ned Yost did not provide an update after the game.
Orioles: C Matt Wieters was behind the plate for the second straight night after missing the previous two games with a sore left wrist. It was just the third time this season Wieters caught back-to-back games.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez opens the four-game series Monday at Cleveland looking to extend his team-leading 13 wins. He also has a 3.49 ERA with 130 strikeouts over 29 starts.
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman faces Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez in the series opener between the AL East foes. Gausman is looking for his first victory since Aug. 1.