KC’s losing streak reaches five after loss to Baltimore
Thursday, May 26, 2011
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mired in a five-game losing streak, Kansas City’s Alex Gordon said the Royals need to refocus their frustration.
“We don’t want to lose and now we’re finding ways to lose,” Gordon said after the Royals absorbed a 6-5, 12-inning loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. “So we need to take some of that anger and just put it all into the game and come out intense tomorrow.”
The Royals are in the midst of a six-game trip that continues Friday in Arlington, Texas. After three games against the Rangers, an 11-game homestand awaits.
Thursday’s loss wasn’t the springboard Kansas City was hoping for after dropping the first two games of a series at Camden Yards.
After Everrett Teaford wiggled out of a none-out, bases-loaded predicament in the 11th by getting a fielder’s choice and a double-play grounder, Louis Coleman couldn’t catch a break in the 12th. With one down and Robert Andino on second after a leadoff double, Royals manager Ned Yost ordered Nick Markakis intentionally walked to set up a double play.
Vladimir Guerrero foiled the strategy with a seeing-eye single up the middle off an 0-1 pitch from Coleman (0-2), the sixth Kansas City pitcher.
“I was just trying to get a double play, just get in position to get out of the inning,” Coleman said. “It was an all right pitch, but I guess it could have been better. It found a way through.”
Guerrero’s decisive hit bounded over second base just out of the reach of shortstop Alcides Escobar and second baseman Chris Getz, who were charging toward the middle of the diamond after playing the slugger straight up.
The turn of events left Coleman dejected.
“I was a little aggravated that it got through,” Coleman said. “It’s very frustrating. It’s just part of the game though. It will be a steppingstone and something that hopefully brings out more character and we’ll learn from it next time.”
Nolan Reimold had four hits, including two homers, and four RBIs for the Orioles.
“It feels real good,” Reimold said. “You never know really what to expect for the game. I was happy to have a good game, very happy that we got the win. So I’ll just enjoy it.”
At 24-24, the Orioles are at .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 on May 1 and their hot streak coincides with Reimold’s return. Since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on May 20, Reimold is 6-for-11 with three home runs.
“We’ve got a little win streak going, so it feels very good,” said Reimold. “Now we’ve got to get on the road and keep it going.”
Jeremy Accardo (3-1) worked two perfect innings for the win.
“Early in the year we were finding ways to win extra-inning games,” Gordon said. “We’d come up big somehow. Now we’re not finding ways to win at the end of the game. We just didn’t capitalize today.”
The Royals took a 4-0 lead in the second, sending nine to the plate against Jeremy Guthrie.
Jeff Francoeur led off with a single, went to third on Wilson Betemit’s single and scored on Mike Aviles’ grounder. After a single by Brayan Pena, Getz lined an RBI single to left, Gordon reached on catcher’s interference and Melky Cabrera hit a two-run single to center.
“Earlier in the year, we had a lot of success because we had four or five guys hot,” Yost said. “Now it’s a grind offensively. We did a good job putting together a four-spot, but for the most part, we’re in a struggle getting guys on and getting guys in.”
The lead didn’t last long.
Reimold hit an 0-1 changeup off Jeff Francis in the second for his second homer of the year. The shot ended Francis’ scoreless streak at 16 innings.
A four-run third put the Orioles ahead. Andino and Jones singled, Mark Reynolds hit a two-out RBI single and Reimold launched an 0-2 pitch into the left-field stands for a three-run home run and the first multiple-homer game of his career.
Since being recalled from Triple-A on May 20, Reimold is 6-for-11 with three home runs.
Consecutive two-out doubles by Getz and Gordon tied the score in the fourth, and it remained that way until the game went to extra innings.
Getz had three hits for Royals.
Francis worked six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. Guthrie yielded five runs — four earned — on nine hits in seven innings.
NOTES: The Orioles recalled C Craig Tatum from Triple-A. ... Betemit has hit safely in 31-of-37 starts. ... A funeral for ex-Royals pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff will be May 31 in Blue Springs, Mo. Splittorff died Wednesday of complications from melanoma.
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