Orioles-Royals Preview

Three losses to the AL Central leaders last week ended a rough

trip for the Kansas City Royals. Four straight wins at Kauffman

Stadium have helped them smooth things out.

Kansas City goes for its first five-game winning streak in two

seasons Wednesday night when its series against the Baltimore

Orioles continues.

Since an 0-6 trip ended Thursday with a third consecutive loss

to Cleveland, the Royals (16-13) are undefeated to begin their

nine-game homestand. Jeff Francoeur hit a game-tying solo homer in

the sixth inning and delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly in the

10th on Tuesday as Kansas City won its season-high-tying fourth in

a row, 6-5 over the Orioles (13-15).

“With our road trip the way it was, it’s huge to come here and

get these four games,” Francoeur said.

The Royals’ last five-game winning streak was Sept. 7-11,

2009.

They’ll try to hand Baltimore its fifth straight loss in Kansas

City as Kyle Davies (1-3, 7.98 ERA) looks to rebound from

back-to-back road defeats. In his last outing, the right-hander

went a season-low 3 1-3 innings, giving up eight runs and nine hits

in Thursday’s 8-2 loss to the Indians.

Davies also surrendered a career-high-tying four homers – three

more than in his first five starts combined.

“I got my butt kicked by a good team who’s hot,” he said.

“There’s no excuses. I have to get more swings and misses. I

couldn’t stop it.”

Davies, 2-1 despite a 6.28 ERA in five starts against Baltimore,

could get more run support Wednesday the way the Royals have been

swinging the bats. Kansas City is hitting .336 and averaging 7.8

runs during its homestand after batting .244 and scoring 22 runs

during its winless trip.

Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta (3-1, 5.01) will try to prevent the

Royals from their first 6-0 home stretch since Sept. 7-22,

2009.

Despite battling hip soreness, the Orioles right-hander earned

the victory in Friday’s 10-4 win at the Chicago White Sox.

“I’ve had (the soreness) for a couple weeks, that’s why it’s not

really a big concern,” Arrieta told the Orioles’ official website

after allowing three runs and five hits over five innings. “I think

tonight maybe just staying warm was the issue, I tried to stay by

the heater in the tunnel, moving around as much as I could, but it

was really tightening up on me.”

This will be Arrieta’s second start against the Royals. He did

not earn a decision in a 7-5 loss at Kansas City on July 30 after

walking a career-high five and giving up three runs in 4 1-3

innings.

Royals left fielder Alex Gordon had his 15-game hitting streak

against Baltimore snapped Tuesday, but he is still batting .414

with 16 RBIs in his last 14 home games.

Kansas City’s Wilson Betemit, 2 for 2 against Arrieta, will try

to extend his hitting streak to eight after going 2 for 4 with two

doubles in the series opener.

Orioles left fielder Luke Scott, who hit a three-run shot

Tuesday for his fourth homer in six games, has one hit in eight

at-bats against Davies.