Given a 7-3 lead, Orioles starter Garrett Olson walked the leadoff batter, Jose Guillen, on four pitches in the sixth inning. Big mistake. The Royals went on to score seven runs, aided by Kevin Millar's error at first base that prevented the second out from being recorded. Olson left the game, and six more runs scored while he sat in the dugout. Adam Loewen gave up three straight singles, and Chad Bradford allowed a run-scoring single, sacrifice fly and two-run single.
The Orioles had one base runner through four innings - Aubrey Huff doubled in the first. Royals starter Kyle Davies retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, with three strikeouts, before Huff belted his 16th home run to cut the lead to 3-1. And the Orioles were just getting started. They scored four more runs in the fourth, two coming on Adam Jones' triple. Brandon Fahey followed with an RBI triple. The Orioles hadn't gotten back-to-back triples since Ivanon Coffie and Luis Matos turned the trick against Tampa Bay on Aug. 4, 2000. They did it in the top of the third inning. The game lasted 15.
Nobody is booing Huff these days. That seems like ancient history. Huff added his team-leading 17th homer in the fifth inning, a two-run shot that increased the Orioles' lead to 7-3 and knocked out Davies. It was the second two-homer game for Huff this season and the eighth of his career. In his past 20 games, Huff has totaled eight home runs and 21 RBIs. He is also making a late bid for inclusion in the All-Star Game.
The Orioles begin a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, with a Fourth of July starting time of 4:35 p.m. The Rangers' presence in Camden Yards will conjure up memories of their historic 30-3 victory on Aug. 22 in their most recent visit to Baltimore. Jeremy Guthrie starts tonight for the Orioles, his first appearance since holding the Washington Nationals to one run in seven innings Sunday afternoon and not getting a decision. Guthrie has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 18 starts, but he is saddled with a 4-7 record. Vicente Padilla (10-4, 4.13 ERA) starts for the Rangers. Padilla is 2-3 with a 5.70 ERA in five career games against the Orioles.