After falling behind 3-0 during last night's game, the Orioles scored seven times and looked like they were going to cruise to another comeback victory.
They scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and then added two more in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead. But the Kansas City Royals scored seven runs in the sixth inning to beat the Orioles, 10-7, in the series finale at Camden Yards.
Starting pitcher Garrett Olson gave up six runs total (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Adam Loewen relieved Olson with one out in the sixth inning and surrendered three consecutive hits before he was replaced by Chad Bradford. The Royals added two more singles and a sacrifice fly against Bradford.
The Orioles will now face the Texas Rangers for a three games to conclude the homestand. Texas won two out of three games against the New York Yankees in their last series, but the Yankees beat the Rangers, 18-7, in Wednesday's series finale.
The Rangers are 44-42 and currently in third place in the American League West. They trail the Los Angeles Angels by 7 1/2 games.
Probable pitching matchups
Friday 7/4: Jeremy Guthrie (4-7, 3.50) vs. Vincente Padilla (10-4, 4.13)
Saturday 7/5: Brian Burres (6-5, 5.09) vs. Eric Hurley (1-1, 3.57)
Sunday 7/6: Radhames Liz (3-0, 5.46) vs. Kevin Millwood (5-4, 4.90)
Who you should play from the Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B – It's obvious to fantasy baseball owners that Rangers outfielders Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley should be playing during the weekend series against the Orioles, but neither player has been putting up big numbers recently. Kinsler has been one of the hottest hitters in the major leagues over the past few weeks. He currently has a 16-game hitting streak and the second baseman is 27-for-66 (.409) during that span. Overall, Kinsler is hitting .323 with 13 home runs, 50 RBIs, 74 runs scored and 23 stolen bases. He's able to help your fantasy team in several categories.
Who you should bench from the Rangers
David Murphy, OF – Murphy has been a decent fantasy performer so far this season. He's hitting .266 with 10 home runs, 52 RBIs and 45 runs scored. Neverthless, you shouldn't play him this weekend against the Orioles if he's on your fantasy team because he's been struggling recently. In his past 17 games, Murphy is 8-for-56 with no home runs and six RBIs. He's a solid addition to your fantasy team in deeper leagues, but it's probably a good idea to keep Murphy on your bench until he escapes the slump.
Who you should play from the Orioles
Aubrey Huff, DH – Huff is absolutely on fire right now. It's a pretty good sign when you practically knew he was going to hit the second home run in last night's game before the pitch was even thrown. He is now hitting .283 with 17 home runs and 52 RBIs this season. During the four-game series against the Royals, Huff was 7-for-17 with three home runs, seven RBIs, two doubles and four runs scored. Throughout his career, he's known to be a much better hitter in the second half of the season, so look for his numbers to continue to improve from now until the end of the year.
Who you should bench from the Orioles
Luke Scott, LF – Scott provides fantasy owners with a solid power option in their team's lineup. However, he's been struggling a little bit lately and it might be good to play someone else if you have other options. Scott was 2-for-15 with one RBI and one runs scored in the four-game series against Kansas City. In eight career games against the Rangers, Scott is hitting .160 (4-for-25) with one home run and three RBIs.