Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales belted his 14th homer of the season and Mike Moustakas had two hits and an RBI as the Royals held on for a 3-2 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Baltimore suffered its season-high sixth straight loss, the club's longest skid since Sept. 19-24, 2013.

Kansas City maintained a 13-game lead over Minnesota in the American League Central.

Left-hander Danny Duffy gave the Royals 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two runs. He struck out five to pick up his seventh win. Wade Davis, not closer Greg Holland, pitched the ninth and got his 12th save.

Davis notches 12th save

Afterward, manager Ned Yost said Holland, who has arm soreness, could have pitched, but he wanted to give Holland another day. Holland will be ready on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Duffy said he was pleased with his outing.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," Duffy said. "I thought I was working on my fastball pretty well. Had a lot of life today. It's crazy, when I get in trouble, if I really make sure I get behind my fastball, seems like a lot of good things happen. It'd be nice to throw a few more strikes with my offspeed, but I thought it was pretty good today as well. I'm happy with the start. I'm just happy we got the win."

Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez wobbled through 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs. He also walked three.

Herrera turns up heat: The Royals were in danger of losing the lead in the seventh when Gerardo Parra doubled with two out off Luke Hochevar. Up came Adam Jones. Yost went to the mound and talked the situation over with Hochevar, catcher Salvador Perez and the rest of the infield. Within a few moments, Yost signaled for Kelvin Herrera from the bullpen. He struck out Jones on three fastballs -- 97, 99, 99 (mph). More >

Herrera fans Jones

"Just three great sinkers, two-seamers," Yost said.

Kendrys' blast: Morales got the Royals going off Gonzalez in the second inning when he turned on a fastball and launched it deep into right-center -- the ball splashed midway through the fountains. Statcast™ projected it at 469 feet with an exit velocity of 112 mph. It was Morales' 14th homer this season and team-leading 86th RBI.

Gonzalez keeps sliding: The righty has been unable to go more than 5 1/3 innings in nine of the 12 starts since coming back from a right groin strain. Gonzalez's struggles were on full display in Tuesday's outing, as he allowed nine baserunners over 4 1/3 frames. Gonzalez now has a 4.78 ERA. More >

Gonzalez starts double play

"I've just been a little off," Gonzalez said. "I need to keep working on that with [pitching coach] Dave [Wallace] and Dom [Chiti]. They've been doing a really good job keeping me to stay focused and not worry about things, and not think too much out there. I think that's been the struggle. Obviously, it hasn't been the way we want to, but we've just got to keep working hard."

Paging Baltimore's bats: The Orioles have scored three runs or fewer in seven of their last eight games. They left eight on base on Tuesday and recorded just one extra-base hit -- out-hitting Kansas City in the loss. Baltimore's 1-4 hitters went 1-for-17 with seven strikeouts, including Jones' eighth-inning punchout that stranded Steve Pearce.

"What happens, too is, you get out of the strike zone. There's two parts to it. It's getting a pitch you can do something with and putting a good swing on it," manager Buck Showalter said. "Everybody's trying to be the guy. That's not always easy to do."

"We can't hang on the one time we get runners in scoring position. We've got to create more opportunities, and when we put multiple guys on base multiple innings in a row, you give yourself more room for error there. It's tough when you get runners on base one or two times in an inning every game that guy up there is creating sawdust in the batter's box trying to get the guy in. It's not for a lack of effort. Everybody in this clubhouse is working their tails off trying to make a push here." -- Caleb Joseph, on the Orioles' struggles at the plate.

Joseph's RBI double

With Alex Rios' sixth-inning strikeout, rookie Mychal Givens is now tied for third (with Steve Johnson) among Orioles relievers all time, in recording at least one strikeout in 10 consecutive appearances.

With the victory, Yost became a .500 manager with the Royals -- he is 450-450.

"I guess it does mean something," he said. "I think it's cool. Did I ever sit and want to get to .500? Yeah, I guess. I mean, we were 53 games or so under .500 at one point [when rebuilding]. It means something."

Yost on victory

Orioles: Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start the third of this four-game road set on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Chen yielded just one run over six innings in his last start on Friday in a no-decision against the Twins.

Royals: Ace Johnny Cueto will get the ball on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT as this series continues at Kauffman Stadium. The right-hander is coming off one of his worst starts, allowing a career-high 13 hits along with six earned runs in a loss the Red Sox on Friday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.