The Baltimore Orioles‘ bid to fly atop the American League wild-card standings was thwarted by an emphatic series-opening loss to the Kansas City Royals. The Orioles, who were also denied in their quest for their season-best sixth straight win, will look to rebound on Friday in the second contest of the four-game set. Billy Butler belted a three-run homer and fell a single short of the cycle as Kansas City collected its seventh win in 10 outings with an 8-2 triumph on Thursday.
While the result was less than desired, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had reason to smile with regard to the major-league debut of Manny Machado. The third overall pick of the 2010 draft, Machado legged out a triple in his second at-bat and finished 2-for-4. The Orioles dropped a half game behind Oakland and into a tie with Detroit for the second wild card. Baltimore also fell 5 1/2 games in back of American League East-leading New York.
Royals Orioles Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, August 10, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSKC (Kansas City), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Luke Hochevar (7-9, 5.04 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Miguel Gonzalez (3-2, 3.80)
Hochevar has struggled in his career versus Baltimore, winning just one of six decisions while registering a gaudy 6.08 ERA. The 28-year-old struck out six in a pair of outings against the Orioles, suffering a 5-3 loss on May 17 while taking a no-decision after pitching 4 2/3 innings 10 days later. Hochevar also received a no-decision in his last start after yielding five runs in six innings versus Texas on Sunday.
Gonzalez settled for a no-decision after scattering two hits over seven scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The 28-year-old rookie issued four walks – one shy of his season high – to drive up his pitch count, however. Gonzalez has yet to face Kansas City in his brief career.
1. Butler has been feasting on Baltimore pitching this season, going 11-for-24 with three home runs.
2. Matt Wieters, who went 2-for-3 on Thursday, homered for the third time in as many contests. Wieters is 7-for-14 with three doubles and eight RBIs in his last three contests, but is just 3-for-11 in his career versus Hochevar.
3. Alex Gordon, who went 3-for-5 with a homer to lead off Thursday’s game, has 13 hits in his last nine contests.