Dini's first MLB HR carries Royals past skidding Orioles 5-4

BALTIMORE (AP) To most of the 11,659 fans in attendance and the rest of the baseball world, it was little more than a meaningless game between two teams long out of contention.

For Nick Dini, his family and friends, it was an unforgettable experience.

Dini hit his first major league homer in the seventh inning, and the Kansas City Royals stretched Baltimore's latest losing streak to eight games, defeating the Orioles 5-4 Monday night.

The 26-year-old Dini played high school ball in New Jersey, and when he learned he was going to be playing at Camden Yards, he had his family spread the word. Around 40 people, including his parents, grandparents and sister, showed up to watch the rookie catcher.

They did not go away disappointed. One pitch after Nicky Lopez went deep off Gabriel Ynoa, Dini sent a drive over the center-field wall to make it 5-2. Never mind that it ended an 0-for-10 skid; more importantly, it was his first long ball in 15 plate appearances as a major leaguer.

''It was a good moment. You dream about it, you think about it all the time coming up through the minor leagues then it happens and you're just floating around the bases,'' Dini said. ''To be able to do it so close to home and have so many people here made it really special.''

Royals manager Ned Yost, who turned 65 Monday, loved watching the 2015 14th-round draft pick hit it out.

''It is nice to see because they've worked so hard to get here and it's been a lifelong dream to play in the big leagues,'' Yost said. ''It's always a pleasure and a privilege to see a kid hit his first big league home run.

Kansas City (45-80) won for only the sixth time in its last 22 games, and Baltimore (39-86) absorbed its 13th loss in 14 games. The only team with fewer wins than these two struggling clubs is Detroit.

Orioles starter John Means (8-9) kept Kansas City hitless until Lopez led off the sixth inning with a single to spark a three-run uprising that wiped out a 1-0 deficit.

Jorge Lopez (2-7) allowed one run and two hits over five innings and Ian Kennedy, the last of five Kansas City relievers, gave up a home run to Rio Ruiz in the ninth before recording his 22nd save.

Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles, who have endured skids of five games (twice), six games and 10 games this season.

SKIDDING CUTHBERT

Royals 1B Chestor Cuthbert went 0 for 4 and is hitless in last 34 at-bats since Aug. 8.

HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

Means and KC's Bubba Starling, who played together at Gardner-Edgerton High in Kansas, faced each other in the big leagues for the first time. After their senior year, Starling signed with KC as the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft and Means went to college after nixing a chance to sign with Atlanta.

Means got the better of his old friend in the reunion, retiring Starling on a grounder and strikeout.

''It was a cool experience,'' Means said. ''You never see two small-town Kansas kids go at it in the big leagues.''

FORGET NO. 1

Should the Orioles finish with the worst record in the majors, they will again get the No. 1 pick in the draft next June. That has absolutely no bearing on how they play over the final six weeks, manager Brandon Hyde said.

''We're not going to stop fighting and competing,'' Hyde said. ''If you ask any player in (the clubhouse), they could care less about the No. 1 draft choice. It's about trying to win every single night. Our coaching staff feels the same way.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: SS Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is slated to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. He's been out since July 17 and has missed 30 games. ''We're in no hurry to rush him back. We need to make sure he's good,'' Yost said. ... LHP Danny Duffy (right oblique strain) plans to continue his rehab stint Tuesday at Omaha. ''He's going to go four innings and limit his pitch count to around 15 per inning,'' Yost said.

Orioles: C Chance Sisco was sore but available after being hit in the groin by a foul ball on Sunday in Boston. Earlier in the same inning, Sisco was struck on the left arm by a foul ball. ... OF Dwight Smith Jr. (left calf strain) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk as a DH and is poised to play the outfield on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Brad Keller (7-13, 4.10 ERA) attempts to break a career-high, four-start losing streak in the second game of the series Tuesday night. In his last outing, Keller pitched six innings of no-hit ball before St. Louis tagged him in the seventh.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (5-13, 5.25) seeks his first win in five starts since beating Arizona on July 23.

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123456789RHE
KC45-80
000003200562
BAL39-86
010001101471
  • W: J. Lopez (2-7)L: J. Means (8-9)S: I. Kennedy (22)
  • HR: KC - N. Lopez (2), N. Dini (1), BAL - J. Villar (16), R. Ruiz (8)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield DH51110010.299.352.475.8272.5
A. Gordon LF40100000.258.331.404.7351.0
H. Dozier 3B30120100.290.368.559.9274.0
J. Soler RF30000111.257.350.545.8950.5
C. Cuthbert 1B40000023.257.295.393.688-1.0
B. Starling CF30000113.210.252.295.5470.5
H. Arteaga SS40000024.183.232.204.437-1.0
N. Lopez 2B42211010.227.267.304.5717.5
N. Dini C42111001.143.200.357.5577.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Villar SS41211123.276.347.449.7957.0
    T. Mancini 1B30000113.275.346.531.8771.5
    A. Santander CF-LF40000006.281.320.477.7970.0
    R. Nunez DH30000111.241.308.476.7840.5
    J. Peterson LF21100000.229.270.361.6312.0
    a- S. Wilkerson PH-CF20000012.220.266.392.658-0.5
    H. Alberto 2B41100001.319.340.429.7693.0
    D. Stewart RF40220000.162.184.189.3735.0
    P. Severino C30000022.254.330.421.7500.0
    R. Ruiz 3B21111201.245.317.372.6898.0
    • a-hit into fielder's choice for Peterson in the 6th
    BATTING
    • HR - N. Lopez (2), N. Dini
    • RBI - W. Merrifield (64), H. Dozier 2 (69), N. Lopez (20), N. Dini
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soler, H. Arteaga 4 (4)
    BATTING
    • 2B - H. Alberto (18), D. Stewart
    • HR - J. Villar (16), R. Ruiz (8)
    • RBI - J. Villar (55), D. Stewart 2 (2), R. Ruiz (34)
    • 2-Out RBI - R. Ruiz (21)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Mancini, A. Santander 4 (4), R. Nunez
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Dozier-Cuthbert; Lopez-Dozier-Cuthbert)
    • E - H. Dozier (6), J. Soler (3)
    FIELDING
    • E - H. Alberto (10)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Lopez (W, 2-7)5.02112206.251.5118.0
    J. Newberry (H, 4)0.11111013.211.29-3.0
    T. Hill (H, 7)0.20000003.321.290.0
    S. Barlow (H, 9)1.02112205.151.54-1.0
    K. McCarthy (H, 5)1.00000205.271.664.0
    I. Kennedy (S, 22)1.02110113.101.287.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Lopez (W, 2-7)5.0
    J. Newberry (H, 4)0.1
    T. Hill (H, 7)0.2
    S. Barlow (H, 9)1.0
    K. McCarthy (H, 5)1.0
    I. Kennedy (S, 22)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Means (L, 8-9)5.04322403.751.214.0
    G. Ynoa2.02220226.111.393.0
    M. Castro2.00001204.571.446.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Means (L, 8-9)5.0
    G. Ynoa2.0
    M. Castro2.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Lopez (6)
    • HBP - J. Lopez (7), J. Newberry
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lopez 63-36, J. Newberry 21-11, T. Hill 4-3, S. Barlow 35-21, K. McCarthy 15-11, I. Kennedy 26-17
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lopez 8-3, T. Hill 1-0, K. McCarthy 1-0
    • Batters Faced - J. Lopez 18, J. Newberry 4, T. Hill, S. Barlow 7, K. McCarthy 3, I. Kennedy 5
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Means 94-61, G. Ynoa 20-17, M. Castro 30-17
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Means 5-7, M. Castro 2-2
    • Batters Faced - J. Means 22, G. Ynoa 8, M. Castro 7
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    KC45-80
    000003200562
    BAL39-86
    010001101471
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield DH51110010.299.352.475.8272.5
    A. Gordon LF40100000.258.331.404.7351.0
    H. Dozier 3B30120100.290.368.559.9274.0
    J. Soler RF30000111.257.350.545.8950.5
    C. Cuthbert 1B40000023.257.295.393.688-1.0
    B. Starling CF30000113.210.252.295.5470.5
    H. Arteaga SS40000024.183.232.204.437-1.0
    N. Lopez 2B42211010.227.267.304.5717.5
    N. Dini C42111001.143.200.357.5577.0
    Total3456523812-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      J. Villar SS41211123.276.347.449.7957.0
      T. Mancini 1B30000113.275.346.531.8771.5
      A. Santander CF-LF40000006.281.320.477.7970.0
      R. Nunez DH30000111.241.308.476.7840.5
      J. Peterson LF21100000.229.270.361.6312.0
      a- S. Wilkerson PH-CF20000012.220.266.392.658-0.5
      H. Alberto 2B41100001.319.340.429.7693.0
      D. Stewart RF40220000.162.184.189.3735.0
      P. Severino C30000022.254.330.421.7500.0
      R. Ruiz 3B21111201.245.317.372.6898.0
      Total3549625719-----
      • a-hit into fielder's choice for Peterson in the 6th
      BATTING
      • HR - N. Lopez (2), N. Dini
      • RBI - W. Merrifield (64), H. Dozier 2 (69), N. Lopez (20), N. Dini
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Soler, H. Arteaga 4 (4)
      BATTING
      • 2B - H. Alberto (18), D. Stewart
      • HR - J. Villar (16), R. Ruiz (8)
      • RBI - J. Villar (55), D. Stewart 2 (2), R. Ruiz (34)
      • 2-Out RBI - R. Ruiz (21)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Mancini, A. Santander 4 (4), R. Nunez
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Dozier-Cuthbert; Lopez-Dozier-Cuthbert)
      • E - H. Dozier (6), J. Soler (3)
      FIELDING
      • E - H. Alberto (10)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Lopez (W, 2-7)5.02112206.251.5118.0
      J. Newberry (H, 4)0.11111013.211.29-3.0
      T. Hill (H, 7)0.20000003.321.290.0
      S. Barlow (H, 9)1.02112205.151.54-1.0
      K. McCarthy (H, 5)1.00000205.271.664.0
      I. Kennedy (S, 22)1.02110113.101.287.5
      Total9.0744572---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Lopez (W, 2-7)5.0
      J. Newberry (H, 4)0.1
      T. Hill (H, 7)0.2
      S. Barlow (H, 9)1.0
      K. McCarthy (H, 5)1.0
      I. Kennedy (S, 22)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Means (L, 8-9)5.04322403.751.214.0
      G. Ynoa2.02220226.111.393.0
      M. Castro2.00001204.571.446.0
      Total9.0654382---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Means (L, 8-9)5.0
      G. Ynoa2.0
      M. Castro2.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Lopez (6)
      • HBP - J. Lopez (7), J. Newberry
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lopez 63-36, J. Newberry 21-11, T. Hill 4-3, S. Barlow 35-21, K. McCarthy 15-11, I. Kennedy 26-17
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lopez 8-3, T. Hill 1-0, K. McCarthy 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Lopez 18, J. Newberry 4, T. Hill, S. Barlow 7, K. McCarthy 3, I. Kennedy 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Means 94-61, G. Ynoa 20-17, M. Castro 30-17
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Means 5-7, M. Castro 2-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Means 22, G. Ynoa 8, M. Castro 7
      • 9TH INNING
        Ruiz homered to right center54
      • 7TH INNING
        Stewart singled to deep right, Alberto scored, Stewart to second on right fielder Soler throwing error53
        Dini homered to center52
        Lopez homered to right42
      • 6TH INNING
        Villar homered to center32
        Dozier singled to left, Dini and Merrifield scored, Gordon to second31
        Merrifield singled to center, Lopez scored, Dini to second11
      • 2ND INNING
        Stewart doubled to deep right, Peterson scored01
      • 9TH INNING
        • M. Castro Pitching:
        • N. Lopez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Lopez struck out swinging
        • N. Dini: Ball, Ball, Dini popped out to third
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Merrifield grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Ian Kennedy relieved Kevin McCarthy
        • D. Stewart: Stewart flied out to deep center
        • P. Severino: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul tip, Severino struck out on foul tip
        • R. Ruiz: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ruiz homered to right center
        • J. Villar: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Villar singled to shallow right
        • T. Mancini: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Mancini lined out to center
        • End of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Miguel Castro relieved Gabriel Ynoa
        • J. Soler: Ball, Ball, Soler grounded out to shortstop
        • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Cuthbert struck out looking
        • B. Starling: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Starling walked
        • H. Arteaga: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Arteaga popped out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Kevin McCarthy relieved Scott Barlow
        • R. Nunez: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Nunez struck out swinging
        • S. Wilkerson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Wilkerson struck out swinging
        • H. Alberto: Foul, Alberto grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 7TH INNING
        • G. Ynoa Pitching:
        • N. Lopez: Lopez homered to right
        • N. Dini: Dini homered to center
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
        • A. Gordon: Strike swinging, Gordon flied out to left
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Dozier lined out to left
        • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Scott Barlow relieved Tim Hill
        • H. Alberto: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Alberto doubled to shallow left center
        • D. Stewart: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Stewart singled to deep right, Alberto scored, Stewart to second on right fielder Soler throwing error
        • P. Severino: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Severino struck out swinging
        • R. Ruiz: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ruiz walked
        • J. Villar: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Villar struck out swinging
        • T. Mancini: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Mancini walked, Stewart to third, Ruiz to second
        • A. Santander: Strike swinging, Foul, Santander flied out to shallow left
        • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 6TH INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • N. Lopez: Foul, Lopez singled to left
        • N. Dini: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Dini reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Lopez to third on 2nd baseman Alberto fielding error
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Merrifield singled to center, Lopez scored, Dini to second
        • A. Gordon: Foul, Foul, Ball, Gordon singled to right, Dini to third, Merrifield to second
        • H. Dozier: Foul, Ball, Dozier singled to left, Dini and Merrifield scored, Gordon to second
        • J. Soler: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Soler walked, Gordon to third, Dozier to second
        • Gabriel Ynoa relieved John Means
        • C. Cuthbert: Foul, Ball, Cuthbert popped out to second
        • B. Starling: Starling lined out to second
        • H. Arteaga: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Arteaga struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 1 Error)
        • Jake Newberry relieved Jorge Lopez
        • J. Villar: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Villar homered to center
        • T. Mancini: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Mancini hit by pitch
        • A. Santander: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Santander lined out to second
        • R. Nunez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Nunez walked, Mancini to second
        • Tim Hill relieved Jake Newberry
        • Stevie Wilkerson hit for Jace Peterson
        • S. Wilkerson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Wilkerson reached on a double play first to second to third, Mancini out at third, Nunez out at third on 3rd baseman Dozier throwing error
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Cuthbert flied out to shallow left
        • B. Starling: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Starling struck out swinging
        • H. Arteaga: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Arteaga struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Lopez Pitching:
        • D. Stewart: Strike looking, Stewart grounded out to first
        • P. Severino: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Severino hit by pitch
        • R. Ruiz: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ruiz grounded into double play second to third to first, Severino out at second
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Strike looking, Gordon lined out to shortstop
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Dozier flied out to left
        • J. Soler: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Soler struck out looking
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Lopez Pitching:
        • R. Nunez: Ball, Foul, Nunez grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Peterson: Strike looking, Ball, Peterson grounded out to first
        • H. Alberto: Strike looking, Alberto grounded out to third
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • N. Lopez: Strike looking, Lopez flied out to left
        • N. Dini: Dini popped out to second
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Lopez Pitching:
        • R. Ruiz: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ruiz walked
        • J. Villar: Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Villar struck out looking
        • T. Mancini: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ruiz to second on wild pitch, Strike swinging, Mancini struck out swinging
        • A. Santander: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Santander flied out to center
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Cuthbert struck out looking
        • B. Starling: Strike looking, Starling grounded out to second
        • H. Arteaga: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Arteaga flied out to left
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Lopez Pitching:
        • J. Peterson: Ball, Peterson singled to center
        • H. Alberto: Foul, Ball, Alberto flied out to right
        • D. Stewart: Pickoff attempt, Stewart doubled to deep right, Peterson scored
        • P. Severino: Ball, Ball, Foul, Severino grounded into double play third to first, Stewart out at third
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Means Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to shortstop
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Gordon grounded out to first
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Dozier walked
        • J. Soler: Ball, Soler popped out to second
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Lopez Pitching:
        • J. Villar: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Villar walked
        • T. Mancini: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike (foul tip), Mancini reached on fielder's choice to third, Villar out at second
        • A. Santander: Ball, Santander lined out to left
        • R. Nunez: Strike looking, Foul, Nunez grounded out to second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)