BALTIMORE (AP) — Very little went right for the Baltimore Orioles after they built a three-run lead against the Kansas City Royals.
At the top of the list was a 55-foot double.
Eric Hosmer scored the tying run in the seventh inning after reaching second base on a swinging bunt, and he singled in the go-ahead run one inning later to cap a comeback that provided Kansas City with a 4-3 victory Saturday.
With Baltimore up 3-2 in the seventh, Hosmer began the inning by hitting a roller up the third-base line. While Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit watched and hoped the ball would stray foul, Hosmer made it to second base before it came to a stop on the foul line.
“I thought it was going to go foul, but it stayed all the way on the line,” Betemit said. “I can’t do anything about it.”
Humberto Quintero followed with an RBI double down the left-field line.
“Usually, when the ball comes off the grass there at our park it goes foul,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “The only thing you can do is line it up where your body is facing the runner as opposed to behind him so you can see. But I’d say a high percentage of time that ball rolls foul. That was another example where things just didn’t go our way.”
Baltimore reliever Darren O’Day, who served up the pitch to Hosmer and also watched the slow roller to third, said, “I was shocked to see the ball stay fair. First of all, he’s a good runner. It’s a smart play for sure. It’s a lesson learned. Next time, I’ll get around to the other side of the ball and keep an eye on the runner, and hopefully keep him to first base. I can honestly say I’ve never had that play before in my 20 years of playing baseball, and now I know for the next 20.”
Baltimore stranded nine runners, went 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position and blew a 3-0 lead. Nick Johnson also had a drive twist outside the foul pole. But the worst part about the loss with that slow roller up the line.
“To lose like that, it’s tough,” Betemit said.
Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy hit solo home runs for the Orioles, and Adam Jones extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 with a third-inning triple. It was only the second time this season that Baltimore lost a game in which it homered.
In the Kansas City eighth, Mike Moustakas got a leadoff single off Pedro Strop (3-2), who came in with 13 straight scoreless appearances. A walk and a single loaded the bases for Hosmer, who lined a single to left.
Greg Holland (1-2) pitched the seventh, and Jonathan Broxton got three outs for his ninth save in 11 chances.
Kansas City starter Felipe Paulino gave up three runs, five hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings. He allowed only one homer in four starts this season before surrendering two to the hard-hitting Orioles, who lead the majors with 72.
Davis staked the Orioles to a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field drive to left in the second inning. It was his eighth homer of the season and second in two games.
Later in the inning, center fielder Jarrod Dyson collided with left fielder Alex Gordon after Gordon caught a line drive for the third out. Dyson limped to the dugout with a right hamstring bruise and was replaced by Mitch Maier.
Hardy led off the third with this 10th home run, Jones hit a one-out triple and Matt Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)