The Royals showed no ill effects after their 10-game winning streak was snapped, as they bounced back with a 5-0 win over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
Starter Andy Hassler and reliever Doug Bird combined to hold the Orioles to five hits, four of them singles. Hassler struck out three and walked three before leaving after the sixth, when his left leg began bothering him after taking a Rich Dauer line drive off of it in the first inning.
Hassler walked two batters after that line drive, which did result in the second out, but struck out Andres Mora to end the inning. He then retired six straight batters and did not allow a runner past second base before being pulled from the game.
Baltimore starter Ross Grimsley kept the Royals off the board for three innings, despite allowing one hit in each of those frames. Kansas City grabbed the lead in the fourth when Amos Otis drew a one-out walk. With two outs, John Wathan hit his second home run of the season, and second in four days, to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
The Royals manufactured a run in the fifth. Frank White led off with a walk and took second on Joe Zdeb’s sacrifice bunt. With two outs. George Brett singled to score White.
Then the Royals added to the lead in the sixth. Otis led off with a single. With one out, Wathan doubled, with Otis stopping at third. Scott McGregor took over for Grimsley, but Freddie Patek singled to drive in both runners for a 5-0 lead.
Although Bird allowed three hits over the final three innings, the Orioles never had a serious scoring threat. Bird picked up his eighth save of the season.
With the win, the Royals improved to 75-52. Chicago, Minnesota, and Texas all lost, so the Royals increased their lead in the AL West to three games over the White Sox and four games over the Twins and Rangers.
Box score and play-by-play:
Today’s birthdays: Lou Piniella (1943), Mark Ryal (1960), Jay Witasick (1972), Kit Pellow (1973), Ryan Madson (1980), Kelvin Gutierrez (1994)