Royals lose to Orioles 4-1, extending skid to 5 games
BALTIMORE (AP) Danny Duffy certainly pitched well enough to get Kansas City a victory.
Unfortunately for the Royals, there's been a common theme lately with their offense, and it was all too apparent Monday night.
''The bats are a little silent right now,'' manager Ned Yost said after the defending World Series champions managed only five hits in a 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
After Duffy (1-1) blanked the hard-hitting Orioles for six innings, Kansas City took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the seventh.
But Mark Trumbo led off the bottom half with a home run, and Matt Wieters connected with one out to send the Royals to their fifth straight defeat.
The skid comes after Kansas City won six in a row to temporarily climb into first place in the AL Central.
''That's the funny thing about this game,'' Yost said. ''You couldn't have been any hotter than we were five days ago. Now, it's hard to be much colder than we are right now. You just keep showing up every day and keep plugging away.''
The Royals have scored only seven runs during the losing streak, including three in the last four games.
Duffy was outpitched by rookie Mike Wright (3-3), who allowed five hits over seven innings.
Brad Brach struck out the side in the eighth and Zach Britton got three straight outs for his 18th save.
Wright gave up four home runs in 2 2/3 innings against Boston last Wednesday and was optioned to the minor leagues the following day. But the 6-foot-6 rookie was recalled Friday when reliever Darren O'Day was placed on the disabled list.
Wright was inserted back into the rotation for this game. Given a second chance, the right-hander cashed in on the opportunity.
''He got a do-over,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''Not many people do. I think he would have eventually gotten one anyway, but it came a little faster.''
Duffy gave up five hits in 6 1/3 innings and matched his career high with nine strikeouts.
''I feel I really made one bad pitch: That was to Wieters,'' the left-hander said. ''I didn't feel the Trumbo pitch was too bad. What can you do?''
After Duffy left, Adam Jones capped the Baltimore seventh with an RBI double. Manny Machado homered off Kelvin Herrera in the eighth after striking out three times against Duffy.
Paulo Orlando and Cheslor Cuthbert hit singles in the Kansas City seventh before Jarrod Dyson chopped a grounder to Machado at shortstop. After Jonathan Schoop got the force at second base, he changed his mind about throwing to first while his arm was in motion. He released the ball, which bounced off the right elbow of the sliding Cuthbert and rolled away, allowing Orlando to score.
Cuthbert left with a bruised elbow.
''Everything is going to be OK. It just hit my crazy bone,'' Cuthbert said.
Earlier, Duffy took a line drive off his left calf but stayed in the game.
Royals: Kris Medlen (shoulder) threw batting practice in Arizona ''and everything went great,'' Yost said. The right-hander will do it again Tuesday in preparation for a rehab assignment. ... OF Brett Eibner (ankle) took batting practice with the team. ... OF Alex Gordon (wrist) is improving to the point where he can begin to catch and throw, Yost said.
Orioles: RHP Yovani Gallardo (shoulder) will make his second rehab start Tuesday, this time with Triple-A Norfolk. If all goes well, he could be activated Sunday in Toronto.
Royals: Yordano Ventura (4-3, 4.82 ERA) pitches the second game of the series Tuesday night. He's 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (2-6, 6.59) seeks to strengthen his shaky spot in the rotation after going 0-3 with 16 walks and a 9.97 ERA in his last five starts.