07/04/08 12:02 AM ET
Royals use big inning to defeat O's
KC puts together six-hit, seven-run sixth inning in series finale
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
"It looks like we're learning how to not give up, huh?" he said.
It sure did look that way on Thursday night as the Royals, for the second time in this series, wiped out a four-run deficit to beat the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
This time a seven-run inning -- their biggest this season -- vaulted them to a 10-7 victory and a split in the four-game series.
The Royals got five innings of shutout pitching from the bullpen trio of Joel Peralta, Ron Mahay and Joakim Soria. They got three RBIs from Guillen, four hits from Mark Grudzielanek and home runs from Billy Butler and Tony Pena.
The seven-run sixth was the Royals' biggest inning in more than a year, since June 14, 2007, when they had an eight-run inning against St. Louis.
"Good, we need a couple more of those," Grudzielanek said. "And we hung on to win. That's a beautiful thing."
The Royals got starter Kyle Davies an early 3-0 lead with Butler and Pena each banging a solo homer against left-hander Garrett Olson.
Pena, back in the lineup after a long layoff while rookie Mike Aviles played shortstop, got his first homer of the season just over the left-field fence.
"I got good wood on it," Pena said. "I knew the ball carried good here so I knew it had a chance."
Butler reached the left-field seats on Olson's first pitch of the second inning.
But Davies, after breezing through three innings, faltered in the fourth.
Aubrey Huff smacked a solo home run.
"Even with the home run, you've got to shut 'em down right there," Davies said.
But he couldn't do it, and a five-run inning that included back-to-back triples by Adam Jones and Brandon Fahey unfolded. Then, in the fifth, Huff belted another homer -- good for two runs. Davies, now behind 7-3, was pulled for Peralta.
Guillen began the Royals' seven-run explosion with a walk and ended it with a two-run single. In between, there was a double by Butler, a costly error by first baseman Kevin Millar and four straight singles. One by David DeJesus extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
"They just came back and kept chipping away like I always say," Mahay said. "They chip, chip away."
Oh, it was a messy sight for the orange-hued crowd of 16,782. Wonderful, though, for the Royals.
"We don't put too many seven spots up," manager Trey Hillman said. "Probably four unearned runs. We had some help, but we took advantage of it."
And the bullpen prevailed with Peralta and Mahay each pitching two scoreless innings.
"After that, Soria," Peralta said. "Everybody knows about that."
They should by now. Soria got his 23rd save. He had another 1-2-3 ninth -- getting two strikeouts and even catching a popup himself -- and has retired 28 of the last 29 batters he's faced.
Peralta got his first victory since May 20, 2007, at Colorado where he helped himself by banging a two-run double.
"Joel came in and gave us a little transition that we needed to calm those bats down," Hillman said.
The Royals, in the series opener, had overcome a 5-1 deficit and won, 6-5, in 11 innings before losing the middle two games.
"It's nice to split," Grudzielanek said. "Whenever you're on the road, we'll take a split any time."
"Very encouraging," Hillman said. "Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the series against the first-place team in the East."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.