BALTIMORE (AP) Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer homered in a four-run fourth inning, Jeremy Guthrie pitched effectively against his former team and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Gordon and Hosmer both connected against Freddy Garcia (0-1) with a runner on. It was Gordon’s third home run in three games and Hosmer’s first in 145 at-bats dating back to last year.
Mike Moustakas also homered for the Royals, who snapped a three-game skid and averted being swept for the first time this season. The three home runs were a season high for Kansas City, which began the game with an AL-low 19 long balls.
Facing the Orioles for the first time since they traded him to Colorado in February 2012, Guthrie (5-0) allowed one earned run, seven hits and three walks in six innings to lower his ERA to 2.28.
During his five seasons with Baltimore, Guthrie won 47 games and started three times on opening day. The right-hander has been a star for the Royals since his arrival last July – he’s 10-0 since Aug. 8 and has gone a franchise-record 18 straight starts without a loss.
Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, whose season-high run of four straight wins ended. It was the fourth time this year that Baltimore missed a sweep by losing the final game of a series.
Making his second start with the Orioles, Garcia gave up four runs, five hits and a walk in six innings.
Baltimore got an unearned run in the second inning, courtesy of shortstop Alcides Escobar’s third error in two games. After Escobar’s poor throw enabled Adam Jones to reach first, Matt Wieters singled and J.J. Hardy drove in a run with a bloop single to center.
It was the first time in three starts that Guthrie gave up a run. He was coming off his first career shutout, a four-hitter against the White Sox
Garcia retired the first 10 batters he faced, a streak that ended when Lorenzo Cain got an infield single with one out in the fourth. Gordon followed with a shot over the right-field scoreboard, and after Billy Butler singled, Hosmer hit an opposite-field drive into the left-field seats.
Davis got the Orioles to 4-2 in the bottom half with his 10th home run.
Moustakas greeted rookie reliever T.J. McFarland with a leadoff homer in the seventh. Moustakas also homered on Wednesday night.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed for 31 minutes while the grounds crew waited for a shower that never arrived. … The Orioles placed RHP Miguel Gonzalez (thumb) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled RHP Alex Burnett from Triple-A Norfolk. Burnett made his Baltimore debut in the eighth inning … The Royals traded 3B Brandon Wood to Baltimore for cash. Wood, who was playing for Triple-A Omaha, will report to Norfolk. … Baltimore leadoff hitter Nate McLouth has reached safely in 21 of his last 26 starts. … Baltimore sends Jason Hammel (5-1) to the mound Friday night for the opener of a three-game series in Minnesota. The Royals head north to Yankee Stadium for three games against New York.