Wright on top of his game in return to rotation

O's righty logs 7 strong innings, gives up 1 unearned run vs. KC

Wright on top of his game in return to rotation

BALTIMORE -- After a whirlwind week in which he was sent down to Triple-A and recalled a day later, Mike Wright came out with something to prove in his second chance to start for the Orioles. He didn't disappoint.

The righty, who entered with a 5.88 ERA, went seven innings while giving up just one unearned run on five hits to lead the Orioles to a 4-1 win over the Royals on Monday night at Camden Yards.

"He came out here with a vengeance," O's shortstop Manny Machado said. "Nobody wants to get sent down. He had something to prove, that he wanted to be up here and wanted to stay here. The next start he has to come out and do the same thing. We know what he's capable of."

Five days ago, Wright matched his career high with six runs allowed as he lasted just 2 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. A day later, he was demoted to Norfolk where he was expected to work out his issues. But a hamstring injury to reliever Darren O'Day opened a roster spot and allowed Wright to be called up within the typical 10-day frame.

"He got a do-over. Not many people do," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's kind of like he took all the things we've been talking that he's capable of doing better, and he did them tonight. We'll see what the future holds."

The morning he was sent down, Showalter said Wright watched every pitch he'd thrown this season -- all 875 of them. During the film session, Wright noticed his best results came when he was keeping the ball down. So when he took the mound on Monday, that's what he aimed to do.

And against a struggling Royals offense that had scored two runs in their previous three games, Wright got the results he was seeking. After allowing a leadoff single in the second, he retired 12 of the next 13 batters.

"It didn't matter what team was in the box today, I was going to try to do well," Wright said. "That's my feeling every day, but today in particular."

When Wright found himself in jams -- Kansas City had runners on first and second with one out on two occasions -- he avoided the big inning. The Royals' lone run came on a fielder's choice in the seventh when second baseman Jonathan Schoop tried to stop his throw to first and the ball slipped out of his hands and struck Cheslor Cuthbert, who was sliding into second, on his right elbow. The error allowed Paulo Orlando to score from third.

However, the end result was Wright's first time going at least seven innings without an earned run since his first two career starts in May 2015.

Now with a second chance in the rotation, he'll try to prove it wasn't a fluke.

"You got to take the situation, take your opportunities and run with them," Wright said.

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.