Kansas City, MO – J.J. Hardy's two-run single in the seventh inning lifted the Baltimore Orioles over the Kansas City Royals, 5-3, in the final test of a two-game series.
Adam Jones added a two-run homer for the Orioles, who used Jones' solo homer in the 15th inning to defeat Kansas City, 4-3, in the opener of this set on Wednesday.
Brian Matusz (3-4) gave up three runs on seven hits over six innings for Baltimore, which has won seven in a row on the road for the first time since 1999.
"With the lineup that we have, it doesn't matter what the score is," Matusz said. "We're still in the ballgame. As you saw last (Wed.) night, coming from behind, and today, down 3-0, we come back and get five and hold them."
The Orioles (25-14) are also 11 games over .500 for the first time since June 24, 2005 when they were 42-31.
Humberto Quintero knocked in two runs and scored once for the Royals, who came into this series riding a four-game winning streak. Johnny Giavotella had an RBI.
Luke Hochevar (3-4) allowed four runs on seven hits over six-plus frames. The right-hander struck out six and walked one.
The Royals scored all three of their runs in the third. Alcides Escobar and Irving Falu started the frame with consecutive singles. Quintero knocked in both runners with a double over the head of Jones in center field. After Jarrod Dyson went down looking, Giavotella hit an RBI single to right.
Baltimore made it a one-run game on Jones' two-run homer in the fourth. Nick Markakis led off with a single and scored on Jones' blast to left-center field.
The Orioles tacked on three more runs in the seventh to take the lead. Wilson Betemit led off with a single. Chris Davis followed with a base hit up the middle, and Dyson's fielding error in center field allowed Betemit to score. Aaron Crow took over on the mound and recorded two quick outs. But Luis Exposito and Xavier Avery worked walks to load the bases. Hardy followed with a broken-bat single to right that plated a pair of runs, making it a 5-3 game.
"There in the 7th inning, that's not what I want to have happen, a single to (Wilson) Betemit and then a double that scores him," Hochevar said. "That's my job to slam the door right there at the end."
Kansas City left a runner on third in the home half of the inning.
Luis Ayala, Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson all tossed a scoreless inning of relief to secure the victory.
The Royals optioned pitchers Nate Adcock and Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A Omaha and recalled pitchers Everett Teaford and Louis Coleman from Omaha. Coleman pitched a scoreless ninth inning...Hochevar fell to 1-5 in seven career meetings against the Orioles...Johnson picked up his 14th save of the season...Baltimore improved to 13-5 as the guest this season, while the Royals fell to 4-15 at home.