BALTIMORE (AP) — Luke Hochevar threw 90 pitches, 87 of which he found satisfactory. The other three cost him dearly.
Hochevar yielded three home runs and didn’t make it out of the sixth inning in the Kansas City Royals’ 7-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
In his previous 22 starts, Hochevar (7-10) gave up a total of 13 homers. In this one, Omar Quintanilla hit a two-run drive in the second inning, and rookie Manny Machado connected in the fifth and sixth.
Machado’s second home run, with two aboard, gave Baltimore a secure 7-1 lead and ended Hochevar’s night.
“That’s what it falls on: three mistakes that they didn’t miss,” Hochevar said. “Hitters don’t usually miss mistakes at this level.”
Not even the 20-year-old Machado, who was playing in his second big league game. They were the first homers of his career.
“These last two games he’s played really well,” Hochevar said. “He’s hit mistakes, he’s hit good pitches. He’s having some really, really good at-bats. Plays good defense and obviously swinging it well right now.”
Hochevar limited the top five batters in Baltimore’s lineup to three hits in 18 at-bats. But Machado and Quintanilla, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters, combined to go 5 for 8 with three homers and six RBIs.
“He threw the ball good against (Adam) Jones, (Nick) Markakis, (J.J.) Hardy, those guys, but the bottom of the order got him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Salvador Perez homered for the Royals, who lost for the second time in six games.
After going 2 for 4 in his debut on Thursday, Machado hit a solo shot in the fifth inning and a three-run drive in the sixth. Both homers landed in the left-field seats.
The first one will likely be forever imprinted in Machado’s memory.
“It was the best feeling ever,” he said. “The crowd here loves me, and for them to support me like that after my first home run, it just felt great.”
At 20 years and 35 days old, Machado is the youngest Oriole ever to have a multihomer game. Boog Powell was 20 years and 258 days old when he homered twice against Minnesota in May 1962.
Machado also became the 12th youngest major leaguer since 1918 to hit at least two home runs in a game.
Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, went 2 for 4 in his second straight start at third base. He had never played above the Double-A level before Thursday night.
Miguel Gonzalez (4-2) allowed one run and six hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander was 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in two home starts.
Baltimore led 2-1 before Machado notched his first home run and RBI with one swing at a 3-2 pitch in the fifth. In the sixth, after Nate McLouth doubled in a run, Machado connected on a 1-2 pitch.
Many in the crowd of 17, 277 clamored for a curtain call, and Machado complied, emerging from the dugout with his right index finger extended.
Machado’s heroics overshadowed a fine performance by another Baltimore rookie, Gonzalez, who went eight innings for the first time.
In his previous two starts at home, Gonzalez twice gave up a home run to the first batter he faced and yielded a combined six first-inning runs. He reversed that trend by striking out leadoff hitter Alex Gordon to begin a 1-2-3 first.
Perez hit a drive over the right-field wall in the second inning to put the Royals up 1-0. It was the 10th homer allowed by Gonzalez in 48 2-3 innings, although nine of those 10 home runs have been solo shots.
In the bottom half, Wilson Betemit led off with a double, and Quintanilla homered with two outs.
NOTES: The same fan ended up with both of Machado’s home-run ball. Adam Corder traded the first ball for several signed baseballs and a bat. He opted to keep the second ball. … Royals CF Jarrod Dyson left in the eighth inning with a twisted left ankle. Yost said he should be available Saturday. … Orioles LHP Chris Tillman (5-1, 2.38 ERA) pitches Saturday in the third game of the series. KC will start Luis Mendoza (5-8, 4.36), who hasn’t faced Baltimore since 2008 with Texas. … The Orioles set the starting time for their Aug. 30 game against the Chicago White Sox at 12:35. The early start is because the Baltimore Grand Prix begins the following day. … Quintanilla had three hits to up his batting average to .333.