KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Rather than get steamed, Mark Reynolds got busy.
On a night when the gametime temperature was 107 degrees, Reynolds overcame a tough first at-bat to homer, double, single and drive in five runs as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Tuesday.
Reynolds could’ve done even more damage, but grounded into a double play with the bases loaded that ended the first inning.
“That first at-bat was real frustrating,” Reynolds said. “I had a chance to hit at least a sac fly.”
Manager Buck Showalter, however, had some encouraging words for Reynolds.
“I patted him on the back after he came in between innings and I said, ‘there will be another big at-bat here, let’s go,”‘ Showalter said. “He accepted the challenge. I thought the double was the key at-bat of the night.”
A hot night, for sure.
Research by the Royals media relations department could not find a hotter temperature to start a game at Kansas City. It was 106 for a game on July 30, 1980.
Reynolds, who leads the Orioles with 60 RBIs, stroked a two-out, two-run double in the third. The hit drove in J.J. Hardy, who snapped an 0-for-18 slide with a single, and Nick Markakis, who had walked.
“I had the bases loaded again, shortened up, tried to hit the ball into the gap,” Reynolds said. “He threw me a fastball down the middle and I was able to get a good swing.”
Reynolds hit his 24th home run in the ninth with Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero aboard to break open a 5-2 game. The shot to left field hit off the Royals’ 2012 All-Star Game logo, which was unveiled before the game.
“I didn’t know I hit it, but I don’t feel bad about it,” said Reynolds, who matched a career high for RBIs.
Orioles newcomer Chris Davis also homered in the ninth off Royals rookie left-hander Everett Teaford, who was just recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Reynolds, who played with the Arizona Diamondbacks before this year, said he has never played in a hotter game.
“It was definitely really, really hot,” Reynolds said. “We play in a dome in Arizona.”
Royals starter Bruce Chen labored through 4 2-3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks. He threw 115 pitches.
“It was hot,” Chen said. “But we all knew it was going to be that way and we’ve got a great training staff. They made sure we had plenty of fluids and electrolytes. I usually warm up for 15 minutes before the game, but I did most of my stuff inside before.”
Alfredo Simon (3-4) curbed the Royals on four hits for seven innings.
Simon gave up a run in the first on doubles by Melky Cabrera and Eric Hosmer, but blanked the Royals on two hits the next six innings. Simon, who moved into the Orioles’ rotation on July 16, walked one and struck out three.
The Orioles increased their lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Reynolds scored from second on Davis’ infield single. Before Davis’ hit, Matt Wieters drew a walk on 13 pitches, fouling off seven pitches.
Chen, who was roughed up for 10 runs and 10 hits in four innings in his previous start at Boston, did not make it out of the fifth.
Chen (5-5) is 0-3 in his past four starts.
Baltimore added a run in the sixth off rookie reliever Louis Coleman with Hardy’s double to left scoring Robert Andino, who led off the inning with bunt single.
Billy Butler’s sacrifice fly in the eighth scored Alex Gordon off reliever Tommy Hunter.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)