While the Baltimore Orioles own the best home record in the majors, they had their six-game winning streak snapped in the opener of a scheduled eight-game road trip. Following Thursday’s rainout at rival Washington, the Orioles continue the trek with the first of three games at the American League-worst Kansas City Royals.
Baltimore ace Dylan Bundy, Thursday’s scheduled starter, will be on the mound for the series opener and is 4-0 with seven runs allowed over his last five starts. Mark Trumbo, who led the majors in homers last year, is starting to heat up, clubbing a two-run blast on Wednesday and delivering a walk-off single in extra innings the previous night. The Royals return home after winning three of four at Tampa Bay, which followed a dismal stretch in which they were 3-13. Left-hander Danny Duffy, who went 12-3 last year, is 2-2 with a 2.37 ERA against the Orioles and has quieted some of their bigger bats, holding Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis to a combined 2-for-36 with 19 strikeouts.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (5-1, 2.17 ERA) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (2-3, 3.50)
Bundy continues to churn out quality starts, making it 7-for-7 this season after giving up three runs on six hits over six innings in a win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. He matched his season high with seven innings at Boston in his previous turn and has not permitted more than seven hits in a start. In three road starts, Bundy has yielded five earned runs in 19 1/3 innings.
Duffy lost his third start in a row despite a strong effort versus Cleveland on Sunday, giving up one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. Duffy was pounded in his previous two starts, allowing 12 runs and 21 hits over 9 2/3 innings in a pair of losses to the White Sox. Those rocky ouings came on the heels of a three-start stretch in which he yielded three runs in 21 1/3 innings.
1. Royals OF Alex Gordon is 1-for-26 over his past eight games.
2. Trumbo has hit safely in seven consecutive games.
3. Royals C Salvador Perez is 11-for-24 during a seven-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Royals 4, Orioles 3