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Baltimore (67-89) «00002001x370

Markakis' tiebreaking home run leads Orioles to season sweep of Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- In a season filled with negatives, the Baltimore Orioles can perhaps derive a bit of consolation from one noteworthy accomplishment: They never lost to the Kansas City Royals.

Nick Markakis hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Orioles completed a season sweep of the Royals with a 3-2 victory Monday night.

Baltimore went 7-0 against Kansas City. It's only the sixth time in club history that Baltimore swept a season series from an AL opponent.

The Orioles are assured a 10th consecutive losing season, and they still have a chance to finish in last place in the AL East. But they sure knew how to handle the Royals.

"They scored more runs than we have," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said with no small degree of irritation.

The game was a makeup of a rainout on April 15. The announced attendance was 15,769, but there were no more than a few thousand fans in the stands.

Bell wasn't exactly thrilled about leaving Detroit for Baltimore before going to Chicago in the span of three days. He was less enamored with playing at night.

"I'm still trying to figure out why we didn't play a day game," Bell said before the game.

The Orioles probably would have preferred a day off, but they played hard anyway.

"This is the final week for us at home, and it's a good way to get it started," manager Dave Trembley said. "I thought the guys showed a lot of hustle tonight. They played hard. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the first inning."

Markakis hit his 22nd homer on an 0-1 pitch from Gil Meche (9-13), who allowed seven hits in his first complete game of the season.

Markakis struck out twice and hit a weak grounder to second base before driving a curveball over the center-field wall.

"I was a bit frustrated my first two at-bats, but I was able to see all his pitches, and then in my last at-bat I was able to put a pretty good swing on it," Markakis said.

Said Meche: "He hit a great pitch. I don't remember the last time I've seen a guy hit my curveball that hard. He was sitting on it, and he got it."

Meche struck out five and walked one in his second loss to Baltimore this season.

"Gil pitched great. We scored two runs. You're not going to win a lot of games doing that," Bell said.

Kansas City trailed 2-1 in the eighth before Mark Grudzielanek tied it with his first career pinch-hit home run in 1,682 major league games. The drive came against Jamie Walker (3-2), who was making his club-record 80th appearance of the season.

Chad Bradford pitched the ninth for his second save.

Returning from a six-game suspension, Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. He left with a 2-1 lead, but the no-decision made the right-hander 0-5 in seven starts since Aug. 14.

Cabrera was suspended for his actions in a game against Boston on Sept. 7, when he threw a pitch at Dustin Pedroia and had to be restrained by umpires and teammates as both dugouts emptied.

Meche retired 11 consecutive batters before Ramon Hernandez hit a one-out single in the fifth. One out later, Tike Redman delivered an RBI double for a 1-0 lead, and Brian Roberts walked before Melvin Mora singled in a run.

The Royals scored a run in the sixth when Esteban German singled and scored on a two-out double by Mark Teahen.

The victory enabled the Orioles to move three games ahead of last-place Tampa Bay in the AL East. Kansas City, bidding to avoid a last-place finish for a fourth consecutive season, fell a game behind fourth-place Chicago in the AL Central.

Notes

  • KC's Billy Butler went 0-for-4, ending his career-high 10-game hitting streak.
  • Kevin Millar went 0-for-4 against Meche and is 1-for-21 lifetime against him.
  • Baltimore RHP Jeremy Guthrie, sidelined since Sept. 9 with a strained muscle in his rib cage, will start Thursday against Toronto.
 
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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Miguel Tejada congratulates Nick Markakis on his game-deciding home run in the eighth inning.  (AP)
Miguel Tejada congratulates Nick Markakis on his game-deciding home run in the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

N. Markakis
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Kansas City

M. Grudzielanek
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3000111 .264
Esteban German, 2B-3B4120014 .268
Ross Gload, 1B3000003 .287
   a- Mark Grudzielanek, PH-2B1111000 .300
Billy Butler, DH4000022 .296
Mark Teahen, RF4031000 .285
Alex Gordon, 3B-1B4000003 .251
John Buck, C3010001 .229
    Justin Huber, PR0000000 .000
    Jason LaRue, C0000000 .150
   b- Shane Costa, PH1010000 .230
Joey Gathright, LF0000200 .307
Tony Pena, SS2010001 .258
   c- Jason Smith, PH-SS2000012 .204
Totals3129235  
a-homered for Gload in the 8th
b-singled for LaRue in the 9th
c-struck out for Pena in the 7th
Batting
2B - Esteban German (15, Cabrera), Mark Teahen (30, Cabrera)
HR - Mark Grudzielanek (6, Walker)
SH - David DeJesus (7), Joey Gathright 2 (10)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (51), Mark Teahen (58)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teahen (26)
CS - Joey Gathright (8, 2nd base by Cabrera/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - David DeJesus (4, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche (L,9-13) 8733151 3.69
WP - Gil Meche (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 124-84
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 9-10
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 32
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B3000110 .293
Melvin Mora, 3B4021000 .276
Nick Markakis, RF4111023 .290
Miguel Tejada, SS4020000 .297
Kevin Millar, DH4000003 .255
Aubrey Huff, 1B3000011 .279
Ramon Hernandez, C3110011 .251
Jay Payton, LF3000000 .251
Tike Redman, CF3111000 .318
Totals3137315  
Batting
2B - Tike Redman (7, Meche)
HR - Nick Markakis (22, Meche)
RBI - Melvin Mora (54), Nick Markakis (109), Tike Redman (14)
2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (16), Tike Redman (7)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Huff-Tejada
Baltimore Orioles
Daniel Cabrera 7611350 5.36
Jamie Walker (BS,6; W,3-2) 1211001 3.34
Chad Bradford (S,2) 1100000 3.41
IBB - DeJesus by Daniel Cabrera
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Cabrera 106-60, Jamie Walker 11-7, Chad Bradford 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Cabrera 7-8, Jamie Walker 1-1, Chad Bradford 3-0
Batters Faced - Daniel Cabrera 29, Jamie Walker 4, Chad Bradford 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15769
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Adam Dowdy, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom