Rookie O’Hearn drives in 4 as Royals club Orioles

Kansas City first baseman Ryan O’Hearn homered and drove in four RBIs and Hunter Dozier and Cam Gallagher also homered to lead the Royals to a 9-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium on Friday.

Whit Merrifield had two hits and scored three times, Adalberto Mondesi also had two of the Royals’ 14 hits, and right-hander Brad Keller (7-5) won his third consecutive decision for the Royals, who won for the fifth time in six games. The Royals have scored at least five runs in six straight games for the first time since 2016.

Rookie center fielder Cedric Mullins had two of Baltimore’s four hits, including a game-opening homer, as the Orioles had their three-game winning streak broken.

The Royals (91 losses) and Orioles (94 losses) have the two worst records in the majors, on an inexorable path to 100 losses. The Royals have the worst home record in the majors at 23-45, and Baltimore has the worst road record, 16-51.

Keller, a rookie, gave up four hits and two runs, with four strikeouts and two walks. He tied a career high by going eight innings.

Merrifield also drove in a run, and he extended his on-base streak to 20 games with a first-inning double. He is 28-for-77 in that stretch, with eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs.

Baltimore right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-13) gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings, with one strikeout and three walks. He is one three Orioles’ pitchers with at least 13 losses.

Mullins, who also doubled, hit the second pitch of the game for his third homer of the season to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Rookie Mullins is hitting .317 with nine extra-base hits, including six doubles, since his Aug. 10 debut

The Royals tied it at 1 in their half of the first when Merrifield doubled, took third on Alex Gordon’s single and scored when Dozier grounded into a double play.

Merrifield hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, after the Royals loaded the bases on two walks and a single by Brett Phillips. Dozier homered in the fifth before Mullins doubled and scored on Trey Mancini’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 in the sixth.

Gallagher homered with one out in the sixth inning, and O’Hearn’s two-run single drove in Merrifield and Dozier to cap a three-run inning. Gallagher was recalled from Triple-A Omaha before the game after the Royals traded Drew Butera to Colorado.

O’Hearn’s three-run homer capped a four-run eighth inning.

–Field Level Media

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