Posted May 17, 2012 on
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Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Adam Jones hit a two-run homer, J.J. Hardy also drove in a pair of runs and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Thursday for their seventh straight road win.
The Orioles also improved to 12-1 when Jones goes deep, including a victory over the Royals the previous night, when his homer in the 15th inning decided the game.
Jones has homered 13 times this year; he didn't hit No. 13 until June 25 last season.
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.
Reliever Aaron Crow came into the game and got two quick outs, but then walked No. 9 hitter Luis Exposito and leadoff hitter Xavier Avery to load the bases. Hardy followed with a two-run single that broke the tie and sent the Orioles on to yet another road victory and their longest streak of them 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.
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.
BEST OF MAXIM
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