THE STREAK ENDS
The Orioles' inexplicable 12-game winning streak against the Royals, which dated to 2006, came to an end yesterday. It had been the longest such streak in the majors. Strangely, it's not the longest in Orioles history - or the longest in Orioles history against the Royals. In 1969, the Royals' first year in existence, Kansas City won the inaugural contest between the two teams. The Orioles won the next 23 meetings, lasting until Aug. 2, 1970. According to the Royals, that streak remains the major league record.
The Orioles were awarded four outs in the fifth inning, thanks to a questionable call by plate umpire Jim Joyce. With two outs, Guillermo Quiroz grounded out to Royals pitcher Brian Bannister. But Joyce ruled that catcher John Buck interfered with Quiroz's swing, and Quiroz was awarded first base. The Royals argued, but the call wasn't changed. Video replays showed no contact between Quiroz's bat and Buck's mitt. After the game, Quiroz said he couldn't feel any contact with the glove. Luis Hernandez subsequently flied out to end the inning.
RUNDOWN ON THE RUNDOWN
In the top of the sixth, Melvin Mora attempted to steal with one out and two strikes on Nick Markakis. Markakis swung and missed and Buck threw to second. Mora attempted to head back to first, starting an elaborate rundown in which Mora kept avoiding the tag like a kid on a playground. Eventually he was tagged by Royals shortstop Alberto Callaspo. The official putout was caught stealing, 2-6-3-4-6.
The Orioles finally get another scheduled day off today, just their second since April 2. They have three days off in the next eight days. When play resumes tomorrow at 7:05 p.m., the Orioles will host the divisional-rival Boston Red Sox. Jeremy Guthrie (1-3, 4.32) faces Boston ace Josh Beckett (4-2, 3.70). Guthrie has faced the Red Sox four times in his career and has pitched well (2.61 ERA). But he hasn't received a decision against Boston. Beckett is 4-1 with an ERA of 2.95 in six career starts against the Orioles.