KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The losses piling up, injuries mounting, the Baltimore Orioles needed to find some way, any way, to win on the road.
A trip to Kauffman Stadium was all it took.
Cesar Izturis and Nick Markakis each drove in three runs and the Orioles won again in their favorite road ballpark, beating the Kansas City Royals 9-5 Thursday night.
"We were looking to kind of get back on track -- we haven't played real well on the road," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "This is a 10-day road trip and this is a very good way to start that trip."
Of course it came against the Royals.
Baltimore has won 15 of 18 against Kansas City and is 43-15 against the Royals since 2001, including 24-7 at Kauffman Stadium. The Orioles did it this time with a big night offensively -- 12 hits -- despite a depleted lineup, superb defense from Izturis at shortstop and a just-good-enough start from Jeremy Guthrie (3-3).
Izturis had three RBI for the first time in four years, Aubrey Huff homered and Melvin Mora had two RBI for the Orioles, who won for just the second time in 11 road games overall.
"Tonight, I feel we won almost in spite of me," said Guthrie, who matched a season low with two strikeouts. "But it's nice to get one in the win column."
The Royals had hoped a return to the New K would re-energize them after a miserable California road trip that included five consecutive losses to the Angels and Athletics.
Even with 24,431 fans screeching for Girls Night Out, the trip home didn't do any good.
For once, it wasn't the offense's fault.
Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs. David DeJesus broke out of a 1-for-18 slump with a run-scoring double after Coco Crisp's RBI triple in the third inning. The Royals had 11 hits and got four runs and six hits in five innings against Guthrie after scoring nine runs the previous five games.
What hurt the Royals was pitching.
Kansas City entered with the majors' best ERA at 3.63, but gave up six extra-base hits and walked seven to see its six-game home winning streak end.
"We've got to match it up," Royals manager Trey Hillman said of the offense and defense. "A couple of balls one way or another and it could have been a different story. We've got to be able to put those things together."
Starter Gil Meche (2-4) had another shaky outing against the Orioles, allowing five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander hasn't beaten Baltimore since 2005, a span of nine starts, and has allowed 15 runs in 15 1/3 innings over three outings the past two seasons.
Huff got the Orioles started, hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning, the first allowed by Meche in 67 2/3 innings, dating to last season. Izturis hit a two-run triple in the fifth, followed by Markakis' run-scoring double that chased Meche. Melvin Mora made it 5-2 with a run-scoring single off Robinson Tejeda.
Baltimore kept it going against Tejeda in the sixth inning, getting an RBI single from Izturis and a two-run double by Markakis that made it 8-4.
"I was everywhere," Meche said. "You can make mistakes when you do that. It's unacceptable."
Guthrie wasn't exactly sharp, allowing two runs in the third inning, nearly blowing a 5-2 lead by giving up a two-run single to Butler in the fifth. Baltimore's offense made up for it with seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings, giving the right-hander his first win since April 11.
"The thing about Guthrie is he competes," Trembley said. "Even when he doesn't have his best stuff he's going to compete."
Hillman said he hopes RHP Brian Bannister can still make his next start after leaving in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game against Oakland with a stiff shoulder. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones, third in the AL with a .370 average, sat out after straining his hamstring against Tampa Bay Wednesday night. He's day to day. ... Trembley said LF Luke Scott still isn't ready to take live batting practice. He's missed the past three games with a bruised shoulder.