BALTIMORE— Nolan Reimold and Steve Clevenger hit grand slams during a 10-run eighth inning, carrying the Orioles to a 14-8 victory over the stunned and suddenly slumping Royals on Friday night.
The Royals now have lost six of seven as their magic number to clinch the American League Central remained at 13, with the Twins’ 6-2 win over the White Sox. The Royals’ lead for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs was reduced to three games over the Blue Jays.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he doesn’t have a big level of concern.
“We’ve had a bad week,” he said. “I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. It’s a credit to them it took this long.
“They don’t need any speeches. They don’t need any rah-rah stuff.”
Reimold’s homer, off the left-field foul pole, came during a wild eighth that featured a rare meltdown by Kelvin Herrera, who worked with a 6-4 lead. After Franklin Morales replaced Herrera, Manny Machado homered, Adam Jones singled and Chris Davis was hit by a pitch -- Davis pounded his bat angrily and both benches were warned, which prompted Orioles manager Buck Showalter to argue and eventually get tossed. Clevenger’s grand slam came off Joba Chamberlain.
“I didn’t see the second one. I watched it,” Showalter said of Clevenger’s ball. “It was a big inning for us, obviously. I thought we’d make a run at them. We had to do some things different from what you normally do because of how good they are at the end of the game.
“Turned the odds around tonight against one of the better relievers in baseball in that situation.”
Both starters lasted just five innings -- the Orioles’ Mike Wright gave up four hits and four runs, while the Royals’ Danny Duffy gave up two runs, but struck out eight.