Whit Merrifield’s sacrifice fly in the eighth drove home the go-ahead run as the Kansas City Royals defeated the visiting Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Saturday night.
The Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, thanks to some help from the Orioles. Meibrys Viloria bunted for a single. Brett Phillips tried to sacrifice him to second, but Viloria beat the throw. Nicky Lopez then tried to bunt both runners over, but catcher Chance Sisco’s throw was wild at third.
Merrifield drove home the go-ahead run with his second sacrifice fly of the night. Hunter Dozier picked up an RBI with a groundout. Both runs in the inning were unearned.
Scott Barlow (3-3) picked up the win for Kansas City. He pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings, striking out two.
Ian Kennedy pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.
Paul Fry (1-6) didn’t retire a batter in the eighth and was the losing pitcher.
Bubba Starling opened the scoring for the Royals with a leadoff home run in the second. The ball traveled 382 feet, or approximately 35 miles and 382 feet from his boyhood home of Gardner, Kan. It was Starling’s first career home run at Kauffman Stadium.
Anthony Santander tied it for the Orioles with a leadoff home run in the fourth. He hit a no-doubter into the Royals bullpen in right field.
The Royals scored three runs in their half of the fourth. Ryan O’Hearn and Starling singled and Viloria walked. Phillips hit a flyball to center, but Stevie Wilkerson dropped it. Two more runs scored on a fielder’s choice by Lopez and a sacrifice fly by Merrifield.
The lead didn’t last long as Baltimore got four runs in the fifth inning. The rally started with two outs as Sisco hit a solo home run to left. Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini singled to end the night for Kansas City starter Jorge Lopez. Santander greeted reliever Tim Hill with his second home run of the night. It was the first multi-homer game of his career.
But when Hunter Dozier hit Hunter Harvey’s fastball 425 feet to right center in the seventh, the score was tied at 5-all.
Jorge Lopez gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, three walks and seven punchouts in six innings.
—Field Level Media