Moustakas' HR sets tone as Royals clip O's

Moustakas' HR sets tone as Royals clip O's

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Chris Young, after two shaky starts, bounced back with six strong innings of two-run ball, and Mike Moustakas homered and doubled twice for the Royals in a 4-2 win over the Orioles on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Young (1-3) gave up four hits, walked one and struck out 10, his high as a Royal, and his high-water mark since striking out 10 Giants in April 2008, when he was with the Padres.

"He was fantastic," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had life and command on his fastball -- 10 punchouts. Got us to the seventh inning. Just pitched a great ballgame."

Young strikes out 10 in win

Yost said he had a message for Young the day before.

"I told him I'm going to get here early and get a good seat to see your first win," Yost said.

The Royals scored four quick runs in the first two innings against Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo, who left after two innings with right shoulder discomfort.

"It's definitely frustrating," said Gallardo, who will head back to Baltimore Saturday for tests. "The last start I had in Texas, made it into the seventh inning, started to feel that rhythm, and then something like this happens."

O's third baseman Manny Machado homered in the sixth inning and now has a career-high 15-game hitting streak.

Moose on the loose: Moustakas has been a pain to the Orioles since the 2014 American League Championship Series, when he homered twice. Last season, he hit .429 against the O's with four homers. On Friday, Moustakas hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat, then doubled in each of his next two at-bats. More >

Moustakas' RBI double

Gallardo's short start: Gallardo, tagged for three runs in the first, recorded just six outs in his shortest start since April 27, 2012, at St. Louis. The righty has not had a quality start in four games this season and is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA. More >

"My shoulder just didn't feel right. To be honest, it was one of those feelings that I've never had my whole career," Gallardo said. "I've never had any issues with my shoulder and I hadn't been. For some reason, in the bullpen it just didn't feel right. I wasn't able to extend to get that release point. I think that's why the ball was just up and all over the place. Felt like the ball was coming out of my hand and the strength wasn't there. Hopefully it wasn't anything serious."

The ambush: The Royals, as they often do, swung aggressively i the first inning. The first three hitters -- Alcides Escobar, Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain -- all swung at the first pitch from Gallardo. Escobar singled, Moustakas homered and Cain singled. Cain later scored on a double by Kendrys Morales.

Morales' RBI double

"We're an aggressive team," Yost said. "It's who we are."

TJ to the rescue: Entering the game after Gallardo's injury, lefty reliever T.J. McFarland went five scoreless innings and did an impressive job keeping Kansas City off the scoreboard. McFarland allowed just three hits and threw 66 pitches.

McFarland's scoreless relief

"I don't want to come in in the second or third inning, but that is why I'm down there to give length to the bullpen," he said. "I was just happy and fortunate enough to get out of there without any runs and keep our team close."

"I very rarely look at stats. To me it's just about one thing: Are you helping us win?" -- Royals manager Ned Yost

"I tell y'all a lot, the other team tells you how a guy is doing. But he's scuffled a little bit early on and then found his step and gave us a good chance to win, so you kept waiting for that to happen. He just never really looked comfortable." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on Gallardo's injury

Orioles: Right-hander Tyler Wilson will come out of the bullpen to make a spot start against the Royals on Saturday in the series rematch at 7:15 p.m. ET. Wilson went 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA in nine games, five starts, in his first season in the Majors last year.

Royals: Right-hander Kris Medlen (1-0, 2.38 ERA) starts the middle game against the O's on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. CT. Medlen gave up just two hits and one earned run in his previous outing against the A's last Sunday..

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. 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.