KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eric Hosmer was looking to make amends for his error that led to two unearned runs.
Hosmer hit two homers and Alcides Escobar drove in the winning run in the ninth to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
After Hosmer failed to handle Adam Jones’ bouncer in the fourth, Matt Wieters hit a two-run, two-out homer off Ervin Santana.
“It stinks when you make an error and two batters later a guy hits a two-run homer,” Hosmer said. “I wanted a chance to redeem myself.”
Both of Hosmer’s home runs were off left-hander Wei-Yen Chen. Hosmer is hitting .333 against left-handers.
“I guess so,” Hosmer said. “That’s what the numbers say.”
But he entered the game with only one home run in 104 at-bats off left-handers.
Hosmer homered in the first and his two-run home run in the eighth tied the score at 3. It was Hosmer’s third career multi-homer game and his second this season.
David Lough singled and scored the game-ending run when Escobar doubled off the fence in left-center with one out in the ninth.
“When I hit it, I thought there was a chance it was gone,” Escobar said. “I wasn’t trying to hit a home run.”
Instead, Nate McLouth nearly caught it at the wall.
“I was about 3, 4, 5 inches away from catching it,” McLouth said. “I didn’t miss it by very much.”
Instead, the ball kicked away off the top padding, giving Lough enough time to score from first.
Darren O’Day (5-1) took the loss, while Luke Hochevar (3-1), picked up the victory after working a scoreless ninth.
“I was trying to throw away and it got in,” O’Day said of Escobar’s first-pitch double. “Nate gave it a good try.”
Chen, who went on the disabled list May 13 with a right oblique strain before returning July 10, departed after Hosmer’s second home run with Lorenzo Cain aboard with one out in the eighth.
Chen gave up a home run to Hosmer on a full-count pitch in the first inning. Chen had not permitted a home run in his previous four starts.
He retired the next 12 hitters after Hosmer’s first home run until Escobar’s single in the fifth.
“He just made a couple of mistakes and the ball ran back over the plate,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They were very similar pitches. He was really good.
“He threw the ball really well. For us not to score much and still have the lead, that’s a tribute to Santana and Chen, both. I thought Wei-Yin pitched as well as Santana did, or better.”
A bevy of scouts were in attendance to watch Santana. The right-hander can be a free agent after this season and it has been reported he would be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline without a player having to clear waivers.
“Not at all,” Santana said of the attention he pays to trade rumors. “If anything is going to happen, it’s going to happen no matter what.”
Santana gave up three runs, only one earned, on seven hits in eight innings to lower his ERA to 3.06, which ranks eighth in the American League.
“Santana is a good pitcher,” McLouth said. “That run in the eighth I thought was going to be big. He throws three pitches for strikes. His slider is one of the best. He keeps it low. He’s throwing in the low 90s and he doesn’t walk anybody.”
The Orioles added a run in the eighth to take a 3-1 lead. Brian Roberts and McLouth led off with singles. After Manny Machado bunted them over, Santana walked Nick Markakis intentionally to load the bases. Roberts scored on Jones’ fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.
NOTES: LF Alex Gordon, a first-time All-Star Game selection this year, was not in the Royals’ lineup. He is hitting .201 with only four extra-base hits in his past 41 games. … Utility player Elliot Johnson made his first outfield start of the season. … The Orioles optioned DH-3B Danny Valencia, who was 0 for 22 since June 17, to Triple-A Norfolk to make roster space for RHP Francisco Rodriguez, who was acquired Tuesday from Milwaukee. … Cain batted leadoff for only the fourth time this season. … The Orioles signed Cuban OF Dariel Alvarez, 24, to a minor league contract. He will report to the Orioles’ complex in Sarasota, Fla., before being assigned to Single-A Frederick. After defecting in 2012 to Mexico, Alvarez hit .317 for Tuxpan in the Mexican League.