Royals can't hold lead in ninth, lose in 15

Royals can't hold lead in ninth, lose in 15

Royals can't hold lead in ninth, lose in 15
KANSAS CITY -- Nine innings just weren't enough for the Royals and Orioles on Wednesday. Neither were 10. Or 11. Or 12. Well, you get the idea.

The two teams went 15 innings at Kauffman Stadium, and the Orioles came out on top with the 4-3 extra-inning victory.

With one out in the top of the 15th inning and the game knotted at 3-3, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones crushed a 2-2 Nate Adcock pitch 431 feet into the left field seats to give Baltimore the win.

The six innings of free baseball were all made possible because of Jonathan Broxton's blown save in the top of the ninth inning. Handed a 3-1 lead, Broxton gave up a solo home run to Wilson Betemit, which cut the lead to 3-2. Chris Davis followed with a single, and pinch runner Ryan Flaherty came around to score from second on a J.J. Hardy single three batters later, tying the game.

"I didn't get the job done," Broxton said. "That's all that matters. Threw too many breaking balls that caught too much plate. I just didn't get the job done. I wasted a good start from [Felipe] Paulino. He threw the ball excellent, and we scored an extra run in the eighth. I didn't close the deal."

It was Broxton's second blown save of the season. He blew a save in his third appearance of the year against Oakland on April 11, but he had converted seven save opportunities in a row until Wednesday.

"He didn't have his best stuff tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "But the stuff was good enough to pitch. They did a nice job of scraping together two runs."

Broxton's outing erased the great performance by Paulino, who threw seven scoreless innings, striking out nine. It was, statistically, Paulino's best outing of the year. His record stays at 1-1 with the no decision, but the seven innings -- a season high -- and the zero runs lowered his ERA to 1.93.

"My pitches were pretty good. I commanded my pitches really well," Paulino said. "They gave me a couple runs of support. That was great. It doesn't matter in the end. We lost today."

Paulino was nearly matched by Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter, who surrendered just two runs on seven hits over seven innings.

The Royals led much of regulation. Kansas City opened the scoring on a two-run single by Humberto Quintero in the bottom of the fifth, grabbing a 2-0 lead that remained intact until the eighth.

That's when reliever Kelvin Herrera allowed back-to-back doubles to Hardy and Nick Markakis to cut the lead in half. Alex Gordon doubled in a run in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 3-1, but the insurance run was not enough.

After the game went into extras, the two bullpens shut down opposing hitters. For Baltimore, Dana Eveland, Kevin Gregg and Jim Johnson combined to throw six scoreless innings. For Kansas City, Tim Collins threw a scoreless 10th, and then it was Adcock, who tossed four scoreless innings before giving up the home run to Jones in the 15th.

Despite picking up the loss, there was plenty of praise for Adcock, who ate up the extra innings, keeping the Orioles at bay and saving the rest of the bullpen from too much stress.

"Nate did a great job. He had good stuff today," Yost said. "Besides [the home run pitch to Jones], his sinker was really good today, getting a lot of ground balls. He was on the attack, throwing strikes, holding them right there and giving us opportunity after opportunity to come in and try to find a way to score a run."

"You can't say enough about the job Adcock did for us to give us those innings, quick ground ball outs and everything," Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "And we couldn't muster up anything either."

The 15-inning affair was the longest game for the Royals since June 4, 2008, when they fell in 15 innings to the White Sox. It's not even the longest game of the month for the Orioles, who played a 17-inning game on May 6 in Boston.

"They're so tough because guys get tired," Francoeur said. "Usually, who wins those? Someone makes an error, or someone hits one out."

Wednesday, it was the latter.

Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.