The Kansas City Royals are beginning to show some frustration during a six-game slide, and the Baltimore Orioles are not backing down from the fight. The fighting Orioles will try to wrap up a three-game sweep when they host the Royals in the series finale on Wednesday.
Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura upset Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado with some inside pitches in a second-inning at-bat on Tuesday and drilled him with a pitch in the next at-bat, leading the infielder to charge the mound and incite a benches-clearing brawl. Machado was ejected from the game and could be looking at a suspension, but the Orioles have plenty of power bats to cover the loss. Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis nailed back-to-back home runs directly after Ventura and Machado were tossed and Baltimore went on to grab a 9-1 victory – it’s sixth win in the last seven games. The Royals have scored one or no runs in each of the last five games and managed a total of eight during the six-game slide.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Edinson Volquez (5-5, 4.03 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Chris Tillman (7-1, 3.33)
Volquez has gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts but is coming off a loss at Cleveland on Friday. The Dominican Republic native was reached for five runs on seven hits – two homers – and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. Volquez is looking for his first career win in his fifth start against the Orioles and has given up a pair of home runs to Adam Jones (4-for-9) while struggling to retire Trumbo (2-for-3) and Matt Wieters (2-for-4, two doubles).
Tillman had a string of seven straight quality starts through May 24 but is having a little trouble keeping the ball in the park over his last two turns. The 28-year-old was reached for three homers in each of those two starts and allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 11 2/3 innings combined against Cleveland and the New York Yankees. Tillman started twice against Kansas City last season and went 0-1 while yielding eight runs and 13 hits in 11 1/3 frames.
PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Royals 3