Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 5/17/12
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It wasn't the two-run single by J.J. Hardy in the seventh inning that caused the most angst for Royals reliever Aaron Crow, even though they wound up being the deciding runs. It was the two walks that he issued before Hardy stepped to the plate. They loaded the bases for the Orioles' shortstop, whose single snapped a tie and allowed Baltimore to squeak out a 5-3 victory over Kansas City on Thursday. "I just didn't get the job done. Putting those two guys on gave them an extra run," Crow said. "In that situation, I need to go out and attack those guys, and if they beat you, so be it. I just can't give guys free bases and it ended up hurting me today." It certainly hurt the Royals, whose bullpen squandered a two-run cushion in the ninth inning the previous night, and then gave up a homer to Adam Jones in the 15th inning for a 4-3 loss. Jones added a two-run homer in the fourth on Thursday to jumpstart the Orioles' comeback. It was his third straight game going deep. Baltimore is 12-1 when Jones hits a home run, and his 13 homers on the year matches what he had by June 25 last season. "He's hot right now. He's really hot," Hardy said. "He's been swinging the bat impressively." Brian Matusz (3-4) won for the third time in four starts after enduring a career-worst 12-decision losing streak. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings. Relievers Luis Ayala and Pedro Strop made it through two innings unscathed, and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 14th save. He's converted 22 straight since Aug. 14, 2011. Luke Hochevar (3-4) pitched well for six innings. His only real miscue was the two-run homer by Jones in the fourth. But the right-hander ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing back-to-back singles by Wilson Betemit and Chris Davis, the start of a three-run inning for the Orioles. Hochevar was pulled after Davis' base hit, which center fielder Jarrod Dyson grossly misplayed. The ball bounced in front of him and went to the wall, allowing Betemit to score. "I want him to be aggressive, but I don't want the ball getting by him in that situation," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had a shot at it and realized the ball had some topspin on it, and stopped and it skipped right by him. In that situation you do not want the ball to get by you. That opened up a whole different can of worms for us." Crow came into the game and got two quick outs, but then walked No. 9 hitter Luis Exposito and leadoff hitter Xavier Avery. Hardy followed with a two-run single that broke the tie and sent the Orioles to their seventh straight road win, their best stretch since 1999. Kansas City had ample opportunities to pick up a couple wins against Baltimore, but instead wound up with a pair of frustrating losses in the two-game, midweek series. Jonathan Broxton blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning of the opener Wednesday night, and the Royals eventually lost their third straight extra-inning game. They jumped out to a three-run lead after three innings Thursday before the Orioles mounted their comeback. Humberto Quintero's two-run double and Johnny Giavotella's RBI single to right brought in the runs for Kansas City, but that's all that Matusz allowed in an otherwise strong outing. Hochevar was just as good most of the afternoon. After watching his ERA balloon to a run per inning, the former No. 1 overall draft pick put together seven innings of three-hit ball in his last start against the White Sox. Hochevar ran his scoreless innings streak to 10 before making a mistake on a 3-2 pitch to Jones. "My focus has not changed from the beginning of the year to now," he said. "Still going out with the mindset of executing quality pitches and fight like crazy to get this team a win." NOTES: There was a three-man umpire crew after Ed Rapuano left prior to the game for family reasons. ... The fire department was called to Kauffman Stadium when smoke was seen atop the scoreboard, where fireworks are shot off. Firefighters climbed up and extinguished the residue causing the smoke. ... Royals RHP Luis Mendoza will start Friday night's opener against Arizona. Orioles RHP Jake Arrieta will take the mound Friday night at Washington.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker