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Kansas City at Baltimore

Scoreboard
Kansas City000100000150
Baltimore «00030000x370

Orioles 3, Royals 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Sidney Ponson is faring far better than last season. Then again, it would have been extremely difficult for him to do any worse.

Ponson pitched eight innings of five-hit ball for his third straight win, and B.J. Surhoff had three hits and two RBI to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Kansas City Royals 3-1 Friday night.

Ponson (4-1) had a season-high eight strikeouts and two walks. He is 3-0 in his last four starts and already has more wins than he did at the All-Star break last season, when he was 3-12.

"I'm hitting the corners this year. Last year I wasn't," he said. "Did you expect me to go 3-12 this year? I guess so, huh? Last year I didn't start good. Seems like you guys expect me to do the same thing over and over again, but it's not going to happen."

Ponson gave up three straight hits opening the fourth inning and fell behind 1-0, but he avoided further damage by getting a double play and a strikeout.

"Last year, he just always seemed to get that one pitch that got him in trouble. This year, he's the opposite," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. "Every time he gets in a jam, it seems he makes the right pitch to get out of it."

B.J. Ryan struck out two in a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances.

Ponson started the season as the fourth pitcher in the rotation, but he now leads first-place Baltimore in wins. The Orioles have won 10 of 12 and has given up only three runs in their last three games.

With his first three-hit game of the season, Surhoff lifted his batting average from .206 to .263. His two-run single in the fourth inning gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead, and Ponson made the margin stand up by allowing only one runner over his final four innings.

"He was really aggressive out there, and late in the ballgame was even more aggressive," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "He did not lose any velocity in his fastball."

Ken Harvey drove in the lone run for the Royals, who have lost 13 of 15. Kansas City is 7-22, its worst record after 29 games, mainly because of an offense that is batting .233.

"We played great defense and our pitchers did a good job," Pena said. "We're going to hit. We need to find a way to score some runs."

Sammy Sosa was a late scratch from Baltimore's starting lineup with an abscess on the bottom of his left foot, and Melvin Mora left after a cramp developed in his right leg while he ran out a first-inning bunt. Sosa and Mora were two of four Orioles to have started every game this season, along with Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada.

Sosa had the abscess drained, and Mora was walking comfortably after the game. Mazzilli expected both to play on Saturday.

The Orioles trailed 1-0 before batting around in the fourth against Denny Bautista, who was traded from Baltimore last season for Jason Grimsley. Chris Gomez, who replaced Mora in the second inning, singled and Rafael Palmeiro walked before Javy Lopez hit an RBI double.

Surhoff followed by grounding a single under the glove of Harvey at first base. After Bautista loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Roberts, Kyle Snyder retired David Newhan on a grounder.

Bautista (2-2) entered with a 1.29 ERA on the road, but in his first outing against his former team allowed three runs, six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"I was not with them for that long," Bautista said. "I asked (Pena) why he took me out; he said I threw too many pitches in one inning."

Kansas City went up 1-0 in the fourth inning on successive singles by Mike Sweeney, Matt Stairs and Harvey. Stairs ended a 2-for-18 skid, and Harvey snapped a 2-for-17 drought.

The Royals got only one more hit, a bunt single by Ruben Gotay in the sixth.

"We're struggling," catcher John Buck said. "We need a win, period."

Notes

SS Tejada made sensational throw from deep in the hole to retire John Buck on a third-inning grounder. ... Ten of the Royals' last 13 losses have been by two runs or fewer. ... Ponson's nine wins against Kansas City are his most against any club.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Baltimore

B. Surhoff
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Baltimore

S. Ponson
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 2
K 8
 
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3010100 .264
Ruben Gotay, 2B4010011 .202
Mike Sweeney, DH4110012 .319
Matt Stairs, RF3010012 .233
   a- Joe McEwing, PH1000010 .364
Ken Harvey, 1B3011111 .273
Terrence Long, LF3000002 .224
Angel Berroa, SS3000022 .245
Mark Teahen, 3B3000011 .222
John Buck, C3000020 .171
Totals3015121011 
a-struck out for Stairs in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Ken Harvey (5)
CS - David DeJesus (3, 2nd base by Ponson/Lopez)
Team LOB - 4
Kansas City Royals
Denny Bautista (L,2-2) 3.2633200 4.86
Kyle Snyder 3.1100120 1.46
Jaime Cerda 1000010 6.14
WP - Denny Bautista (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Denny Bautista 74-43, Kyle Snyder 41-22, Jaime Cerda 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Denny Bautista 7-4, Kyle Snyder 3-5
Batters Faced - Denny Bautista 19, Kyle Snyder 12, Jaime Cerda 3
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B3010102 .371
David Newhan, LF4000014 .182
    Larry Bigbie, LF0000000 .254
Melvin Mora, 3B1000001 .304
    Chris Gomez, 3B3110000 .471
Miguel Tejada, SS4000002 .348
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B3100100 .222
Javy Lopez, C4111020 .323
    Geronimo Gil, C0000000 .226
B.J. Surhoff, RF4032000 .263
Luis Matos, CF2010101 .282
Jay Gibbons, DH3000004 .241
Totals313733314 
Batting
2B - Brian Roberts (4, D. Bautista), Javy Lopez (9, D. Bautista)
RBI - Javy Lopez (17), B.J. Surhoff 2 (5)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada-Palmeiro
Baltimore Orioles
Sidney Ponson (W,4-1) 8511280 5.50
B.J. Ryan (S,6) 1000020 2.30
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 105-67, B.J. Ryan 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 7-7
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 29, B.J. Ryan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30568
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Rob Drake