KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero drew his first walk of the season, putting Brad Bergesen in line for his first victory.
Guerrero led off Baltimore’s two-run sixth with his first walk in 115 plate-appearances, an Orioles record to start the season. The Orioles’ bullpen failed to hold the one-run advantage for Bergesen in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Bergesen was pulled after five innings and 94 pitches, allowing four runs — three earned — on six hits and a walk.
“He needs to get a little deeper into the game,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was at 90 pitches in the fifth inning, but was a chance to win. It looked like it took a little while for him to adjust. There were a lot of foul balls and not a lot of swing-and-misses. We’ve got to have something to put them away with.”
It was the first time in his five starts that Bergesen left with a lead. The Orioles had scored a total of three runs while he was on the mound in his first four starts.
“I knew I needed to get a few more innings in,” Bergesen said. “That’s my style, to keep a low pitch count and go deep. It’s frustrating that I can’t get deep into the game. I think one time I looked up there and I was at 44 (pitches). That made it tough to go deep. I never like going less than six (innings).”
Jeff Francoeur drove home the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th after hitting a tying homer in the sixth.
Alex Gordon walked on four pitches from Jason Berken (0-2) to lead off the 10th and went to third on Billy Butler’s single to center. Francoeur then lofted a fly to right for the winning run.
“In this situation and that part of the lineup, that’s the last thing you want to do, to walk the leadoff guy,” Berken said. “It’s a tough situation you put yourself in. I thought I made a pretty good pitch to Butler, but he was able to get his bat on it. But the key to the inning was you can’t walk a leadoff hitter in extra innings in that part of the lineup.”
Rookie left-hander Tim Collins (2-1) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the victory. Luke Scott hit a three-run homer, his fourth in six Baltimore games, to tie the score at 3 in the fourth. Scott homered to right after singles by Guerrero and Adam Jones.
Guerrero and Mark Reynolds walked to start the sixth. Jones hit an RBI single to tie it. The Orioles went ahead 5-4 on Matt Wieters’ sacrifice fly.
Francoeur led off the bottom of the sixth with his team-leading seventh home run on a 3-1 pitch from Jeremy Accardo.
The Royals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second, which included run-producing doubles from Wilson Betemit and Mike Aviles. Bryan Pena had a sacrifice fly for the other run.
Melky Cabrera’s double to the left-field corner in the fifth scored Chris Getz, who reached on a Cesar Izturis error.
Royals left-hander Jeff Francis was pulled after 5 1-3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four. Francis, who signed as a free agent in January, is winless in his first seven starts.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)