Orioles pound Royals

Chris Davis hit a homer and knocked in three runs, helping the Baltimore Orioles dominate the Kansas City Royals, 8-2, in the opener of a three-game series.

Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy both had two RBI and a run scored for the Orioles, who had lost three of four. Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.

Jason Hammel (6-1) tossed six scoreless innings, giving up five hits. He struck out seven and walked one despite continuing to deal with some pain in his right knee.

"It was a good mix of being effectively wild and then bearing down when I needed to," Hammel said. "I got myself into trouble in deep counts, but made big pitches."

Friday's walk-up attendance was nearly 11,000, the largest in the history of Camden Yards. The total attendance for the game was 28,954.

Jeff Francoeur went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Royals, who have lost three in a row.

Bruce Chen (3-5) gave up six runs on seven hits over four-plus innings to take the loss.

The Orioles got on the board in the first inning. Robert Andino walked, Hardy singled and Markakis was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to left. After Matt Wieters popped out, Wilson Betemit singled to fill the bases again. Chen got Davis swinging to keep it a 1-0 game.

Kansas City put men on second and third with one out in the fourth, but Alex Gordon and Brayan Pena struck out.

The Royals also left runners on second and third in the fifth. This time around, Eric Hosmer struck out swinging to record the second out. Billy Butler followed with a sharp liner to shortstop Hardy, who made a nice grab to end the inning.

"That would have put two runs on the board for us," Butler said. "I thought it was going to get over his head and into the gap."

Baltimore broke the game open in the bottom of the frame by scoring five runs. Xavier Avery walked, stole second and moved to third on Andino's bunt single. After Andino stole second, Hardy hit a two-run double off the wall in right. Markakis added an RBI double to left-center field. Jones followed with an RBI single up the middle. Kelvin Herrera came in from the bullpen and got two quick outs. Jones stole second and scored on Davis' single to right to make it a 6-0 game.

Davis and Francoeur exchanged two-run homers in the seventh and eighth, respectively.

Game Notes

The Orioles swept a two-game series from the Royals last week...Chen fell to 2-2 in five starts versus the O's...Hammel improved to 1-2 in four career starts against the Royals...Jones extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He is on the cusp of becoming the richest player in club history. According to a Baltimore newspaper, the finalized deal is expected to be in the $80-90 million range for either five or six years...The Orioles are 8-3 when their opponent starts a left-hander in 2012...Baltimore recalled pitcher Stu Pomeranz and catcher Ronny Paulino from Triple-A Norfolk. Pomeranz gave up two runs on three hits in two innings of relief Friday. The Orioles also optioned catcher Luis Exposito to Norfolk and designated infielder/outfielder Bill Hall for assignment.