KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nick Markakis homered, Jake Arrieta pitched seven strong innings and the rejuvenated Baltimore Orioles got a lucky landing Wednesday night to beat Kansas City 3-2, snapping the Royals’ four-game winning streak.
It was 3-1 in the eighth when Alcides Escobar singled with one out against Orioles reliever Jim Johnson. Mike Aviles followed with a drive past center fielder Adam Jones that wedged under the fence, in plain sight.
Aviles circled the bases with what fans thought was a tying, inside-the-park home run. But second base umpire and crew chief Tim Welke made Aviles return to second with a double and sent Escobar back to third.
The crowd booed and Royals manager Ned Yost went to Welke for an explanation. Melky Cabrera drove in one run with an infield out, but reliever Michael Gonzalez retired Alex Gordon on a flyball.
It was the 14th victory of the season for the Orioles, who did not ring up No. 14 last year until May 21. It was also road win No. 7, putting them six weeks ahead of last year’s pace.
Arrieta (4-1) gave up only three hits and one run, a homer by Jeff Francoeur. He walked two and struck out eight.
Counting the last two decisions of his rookie campaign in 2010, the 25-year-old right-hander is 6-1 in his last seven decisions. Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven opportunities.
Kyle Davies (1-4) went a season-long 6 1-3 innings and was charged with three runs on seven hits. He had three walks, three strikeouts, gave up a home run and hit two batters.
Brian Roberts doubled into right-center leading off the game, moved up on Markakis’ deep flyball and scored on Derrek Lee’s sacrifice fly. In the second, Mark Reynolds singled, went to second when Davies hit No. 9 hitter Robert Andino and scored on Markakis’ single. Markakis homered with one out in the seventh.
Aviles led off the Royals first with a single and Francoeur homered leading off the second, making it 2-1. But after issuing a pair of two-out walks in the second, Arrieta struck out Aviles and retired 11 straight batters until Gordon singled up the middle with one out in the sixth.
But the next batter, Billy Butler, grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Davies, who came in with an ERA of 7.98, also settled down after getting roughed up the first two innings.
After Markakis’ RBI single in the second, the right-hander shut out Baltimore on two hits until Markakis homered.
Careless baserunning cost both teams. Aviles was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a fielding error and late throw to first. Andino was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Markakis’ RBI single.
NOTES — Francoeur has three home runs in his last five home games. ... Royals are increasing the number of public address announcements telling fans to be wary. A 64-year-old woman was struck in the face by a shattered bat on opening day and a 4-year-old girl was hurt last week by a foul ball. ... Davies lowered his ERA to 7.32. ... Johnson had to get a new glove after Matt Treanor’s grounder went for a 1-6-3 out in the eighth. ... Reynolds was 3 for 3 with a walk.