May 26, 2012
Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy had two RBIs apiece for the Orioles,
now 28-1 when hitting a home run. Davis hit Baltimore's
league-leading 70th homer of the season in the seventh inning with
a man on to make it 8-0.
The crowd of 28,954 included nearly 11,000 walk-up fans, a
Camden Yards record. The attendance was a testament to the
excitement the first-place Orioles have generated after a run of 14
straight losing seasons.
Part of the buzz centered around Jones, who appears to be
closing in on a multi-year contract extension. Jones hit a
sacrifice fly in the first inning and stretched his career-high
hitting streak to 16 games with an RBI single in a five-run fifth.
Hammel (6-1) gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Obtained in an offseason trade with Colorado, Hammel is one big
reason why Baltimore (29-17) owns the best record in the AL.
Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur had three hits, including an
eighth-inning homer off Stu Pomeranz. The Royals' inability to
complete a relay from first base to second following a pickoff
throw contributed to their third straight defeat.
The Orioles benefited from that shortcoming during the
game-turning fifth inning. Xavier Avery led off with a walk and
broke for second as starter Bruce Chen threw to first. Avery
reached second before the throw from first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Robert Andino followed with a perfectly placed bunt to put runners
on the corners. This time it was Andino who broke for second as
Chen threw to first. Andino avoided the tag, and Hardy hit a
Nick Markakis doubled in a run before Jones chased Chen with an
RBI single. With two outs, Jones stole second and scored on a
single by Davis for a 6-0 lead.
Chen (3-5) gave up six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings.
The left-hander had won each of his previous three starts.
Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning but
got only one run, on a sacrifice fly by Jones.
The Royals missed a chance to draw even in the second. With one
out and Francoeur on third, the Orioles moved the infield in and
got the desired result -- a grounder to second baseman Andino, who
threw out Francoeur at the plate.
In the fourth, a double by Francoeur put runners at second and
third with one out. Hammel then struck out Alex Gordon and Brayan
One inning later, the Royals again had runners at second and
third with one out. Hammel struck out Hosmer before Brett Butler
hit a rising liner to shortstop that Hardy leaped to grab.
NOTES: Francoeur is 11 for 21 in his last five games. ... The
Orioles designated OF Bill Hall for assignment, recalled Pomeranz
and C Ronny Paulino from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned C Luis
Exposito to the same minor league club. ... KC RHP Blake Wood
underwent successful elbow ligament replacement surgery Thursday.
LHP Danny Duffy is due to have Tommy John surgery next Thursday,
manager Ned Yost said. ... Orioles 3B Mark Reynolds and LF Endy
Chavez, who are both sidelined with left oblique injuries, are
slated to begin their minor league rehabilitation assignments with
Double-A Bowie on Saturday.