By Jeffrey Flanagan and Robert Falkoff
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas hit a three-run home run, and Jorge Soler and Drew Butera homered as well as the Royals wiped out a 5-0 deficit to rally for a wild 9-8 win over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
It was the highest run total of the season for the Royals, who completed a three-game sweep of the Orioles and now have won six of seven.
The Orioles had the tying run at third base and the lead run at second base with one out in the ninth. But Royals closer Kelvin Herrera struck out Seth Smith and got Jonathan Schoop to fly out, ending the game.
"It's Royals baseball," Butera said. "Look at the last couple of years. We've always been able to battle back with a never-give-up attitude. So it was a lot of fun to say let's do it again."
Moustakas' home run came during a five-run fourth inning, tying the score at 5. Soler's home run traveled an estimated 464 feet, according to Statcast™, the longest by a Royal this season.
"It was good to get that first one out of the way," Soler said of his first home run as a Royal.
Moustakas' home run was special on Mother's Day: He lost his mother, Connie, to cancer in 2015.
"It's nice on a day like today," Moustakas said. "It makes me miss my mom even more. But I miss my mom every day. But yeah, it's special to do it today. Pretty cool."
Chris Davis hit a solo homer for the Orioles, and hot-hitting Caleb Joseph hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Joseph is 11 for his last 21.
"Unacceptable," Gausman said. "We got five, and I have to shut the door. It's frustrating. They didn't really miss any pitches in the strike zone."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter saw trouble brewing when Gausman went back to the mound after being given a 5-0 lead and promptly walked leadoff hitter Brandon Moss in the fourth.
"Walked the first guy and that's something that he's better than," Showalter said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Brutal sun: Balls hit to the left side of the field were an adventure all day because of a tough high sun. Moustakas lost a popup in the sun in the second inning that gave Ryan Flaherty a hit, and shortstop Alcides Escobar nearly lost one an inning later. The Orioles then had two on and two out in the fifth when Joey Rickard skied a fly ball to deep left-center. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain couldn't find the ball but at the last second, left fielder Alex Gordon raced over to make the play, saving at least two runs.
"Me and Lorenzo actually know the time of the day on day games when it's going to be bad for either of us," Gordon said. "Early in the game, I'll say 'Ball in the gap is yours.' Then as the sun moves, it's my ball in the gap. We just know." More >
Nobody there: In a 5-5 game, the Orioles got their wires crossed on a fifth inning bunt-play snafu that cost them two runs. With runners at first and second and nobody out, Escobar bunted hard to third baseman Manny Machado, with shortstop Flaherty covering third. Instead of throwing to third for what looked like an easy forceout, Machado fired to an unoccupied second base. A run scored and another runner went to third, scoring shortly thereafter on Moustakas' groundout.
"Just a miscommunication," Showalter said.
"It's hard to describe. You don't really 'feel' it." -- Soler, on what it feels like to hit a ball 464 feet according to Statcast™ with an exit velocity of 114 mph
"I don't think I've seen a ball hit harder than that in this park. It was on a dead line over the center-field wall. It was smoked," Royals manager Ned Yost added.
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Gordon extended his club record for hit by pitches with 81 after getting plunked in the fifth inning.
The Royals challenged an out call at second on Eric Hosmer's slow tap in the fourth inning. The call of a forceout at second on a sliding Cain was confirmed.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Left-hander Wade Miley (1-1, 2.45 ERA) will try to get the Orioles off and running at Comerica Park as they open a three-game series Tuesday against the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. ET. Miley's ERA ranks 10th in the American League.
Royals: After an off-day Monday, the Royals return to action Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium to play the Yankees at 7:15 p.m CT. Jason Hammel (1-4, 5.97 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals.