Four-run seventh helps Royals pull away to beat Orioles
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There wasn't a whole lot Mike Wright wanted to change about Sunday other than the result.
The Orioles right-hander only thought he made a couple of mistakes, on homers by Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, before the game got away from Baltimore in a 6-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
"It felt a lot better than my last game. I felt like I worked my changeup really well, I worked my slider in there really well, changed speeds a lot," Wright said. "It felt really good today. It stinks to come out with an 'L' after throwing that good."
The reason he got dinged with a loss? Yordano Ventura was better.
While Wright (1-2) still allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, the hard-throwing Ventura (2-0) allowed just one run on three hits and two walks over seven innings for the Royals.
"I have a lot of confidence right now," Ventura said through a translator. "I'm executing pitches, I'm concentrating hard on working hard on and off the field."
Ventura got into a spot of trouble in the first, walking Manny Machado before giving up a weakly hit infield single and an RBI knock to Mark Trumbo. But he settled down quickly, retiring the next 11 batters he faced before Caleb Joseph's single with one out in the fifth.
Ventura worked around some shoddy fielding to escape that inning, then induced four groundballs in working through two more spotless frames and turning it over to his bullpen.
"He's more consistent," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's always had the great change-up, the great curveball. Now he's throwing all three of his pitches consistently."
Meanwhile, Wright started out strong after his shaky starts against Boston and Toronto.
He left a pair of runners aboard in the second inning, then stranded a runner at third base by retiring Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain in the third. Wright didn't allow a run until Gordon's shot to left in the fourth, and that barely cleared the wall with the help of a stiff breeze.
"I thought he pitched pretty well. Mike did hit part," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I loved the fact he walked nobody. That's a quality start for us. We had four guys we weren't going to use in the bullpen today, so we needed that from Mike. We just didn't do much offensively."
Hosmer finally gave Kansas City the lead with his homer to right with two outs in the sixth, and things got away from Wright in the seventh. Christian Colon, Drew Butera, Moustakas and Cain each drove in a run to give the Royals a buffer over the AL East leaders.
"I felt I attacked them very well," Wright said. "I didn't fall behind in many counts. I tried to take it to them, just like they were trying to take it to me. Ultimately, they came out on top."
STATS AND STREAKS
Machado was 0 for 3, ending his AL-best 16-game hitting streak. ... Baltimore had four hits a day after a season-high 14. ... Hosmer had a hit in 14 straight games. ... Cain was in a 3-for-24 slump before his RBI single in the seventh. ... The Orioles last won a series in Kansas City in May 2012.
The Orioles were still awaiting an MRI result Sunday on RHP Yovani Gallardo. He went on the DL on Saturday with right shoulder tendinitis. If the MRI confirms the diagnosis, Showalter said Gallardo could receive an injection and rejoin the club in Tampa to begin rehab.
The Orioles open a three-game set in Tampa Bay on Monday night with RHP Kevin Gausman on the mound, while the Royals send RHP Ian Kennedy out to start a six-game road trip against the Angels.