Birds’ Eye View: What we saw in Orioles' 9-4 loss to the Royals  -

Birds’ Eye View: What we saw in Orioles’ 9-4 loss to the Royals 

Photo credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports


What happened? Adley Rutschman hit his first career grand slam to reduce a 6-0 deficit to 6-4 in the seventh inning, but the Orioles failed to capitalize on two earlier scoring opportunities and relievers Keegan Akin and Dillon Tate faltered in a 9-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals in the series opener on Friday night.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Orioles, who are 12-7 and 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East.

Oriole starter Dean Kremer retired 11 consecutive batters before allowing a solo homer to Vinnie Pasquantino in the fourth.

Akin took over for Kremer in the sixth with two outs and two runners on. He allowed both to score.

The first scored on an RBI single by MJ Melendez, who hadn’t had a hit in his last 20 at-bats. It gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. The Royals then scored three more times in the inning on an RBI single by Michael Massey and a two-run double by Hunter Renfroe.

The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh. Royals reliever Will Smith was close to escaping the jam after Ramón Urías fouled out and Gunnar Henderson struck out before Rutschman hit a towering bases-clearing homer to left that cut the margin to 6-4.

The Orioles’ comeback hopes were quickly extinguished when Tate gave up a three-run homer to Melendez in the last of the seventh to put the Royals up, 9-4.

Missed opportunities: Gunnar Henderson was picked off third base with Rutschman at second and one out in the first, which took away a scoring opportunity. It was the second time this week that Henderson was picked off base. The Orioles then loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Royals starter Alec Marsh retired Cedric Mullins on a shallow fly ball to left field and Colton Cowser on a groundout.

Not clutch: The Orioles were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Rutschman had three of their eight hits.

Tough outing: Kremer was charged with three runs, yielding just two hits, striking out three and walking three in 5 2/3 innings. He pitched well, but it was a rough night for the bullpen.

Royals starter is all right: The Orioles had seven left-handed hitters (including switch-hitters Rutschman and Anthony Santander) in the lineup against the right-handed Marsh, who shut down everyone but Rutschman. Marsh threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Home advantage: Kansas City won its ninth straight game at Kauffman Stadium and improved to 9-2 at home.

Homer streak ends: The Orioles’ streak of hitting at least three home runs ended at five consecutive games. Henderson also did not homer for the first time in three straight games. DJ Stewart was the last Oriole to hit a home run in four consecutive games from September 5th-9th, 2020. Henderson went 0-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.

Much-needed hit: Orioles outfielder Austin Hays delivered a pinch-hit single in the seventh and is 4-for-42 on the season. He was also hit by a pitch in the eighth.

To Top