BALTIMORE (AP) — Bruce Zimmermann threw six effective innings and Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 to earn a doubleheader split on Sunday.
The Royals won the opener 6-4 when Michael Taylor hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth after a pair of two-out Baltimore errors.
In the second game, Zimmermann (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
“That’s the No. 1 goal for all of the starters is to have a quality start, try to go six innings, and try to take the pressure off the bullpen every single night,” Zimmermann said. “I’m feeling really good about being able to go six innings today.”
The Orioles pounced early, scoring three runs in the first off Daniel Lynch (2-2) on a passed ball, an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle and a sacrifice fly by Ramón Urías.
The Royals pulled to within 3-1 when Hunter Dozier hit a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Whit Merrifield.
Tyler Nevin added an RBI single in the fourth that boosted the Orioles’ lead to 4-1. Dozier cut the margin to 4-2 with a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Keegan Akin pitched two scoreless innings for the Orioles and Dillon Tate closed out the ninth to pick up his first save and fourth of his career.
Orioles outfielder Austin Hays went 5 for 7 over the two games and leads the team with nine multi-hit games.
“When he swings at strikes, he hits the ball,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Right now, I feel like he’s a little more patient, he’s getting in good counts and he’s taking some walks. He’s not trying to do too much.”
In the opener with the score 4-all, Jorge Lopez (3-2) retired the first two batters in the ninth. Nicky Lopez then reached when second baseman Rougned Odor misplayed a sharp grounder and took third on a wild pickoff throw by the Orioles reliever.
Taylor’s single put the Royals ahead and Salvador Perez provided an insurance run with another RBI single off Cionel Pérez.
Kansas City manager Mike Matheny recorded his 700th career win in the majors with the Royals and St. Louis.
“It’s pretty cool,” Matheny said. “I like it.”
Jordan Lyles allowed three earned runs and seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk over 71/3 innings for the Orioles. It was Lyle’s deepest start since May 15, 2018, and he is the first Orioles pitcher to throw seven innings this season.
Taylor Clarke (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth, and Scott Barlow earned his second save after standing two runners.
Royals starter Zack Greinke allowed two runs on a season-high 10 hits with three strikeouts and no walks over 5/2/3 innings.
“I just tried to make pitches,” Greinke said. “I kept thinking when guys were on base, ‘Don’t make a mistake now.’ Keep making pitches and it won’t be that bad.”
NICE CATCH, MOM
A female fan got a nice Mother’s Day present when she was able to make a one-handed snag on the ground-rule double by Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins. She received a round of high-fives, including one from her daughter.
Royals: RF Edward Olivares had to leave the first game with a right quad strain and did not play in the nightcap.
Orioles: OF Tyler Nevin (right groin) was back in the lineup for the second game.
Royals: Carlos Hernandez (0-1, 6.00 ERA) took the loss in a 3-0 setback to the New York Yankees in his last outing. He allowed three runs (two earned) with four hits, five walks and three strikeouts in four innings.
Orioles: Since allowing four runs in his first start, Orioles starter Tyler Wells (0-1, 4.50 ERA) has not given up any more than two runs in his next four appearances (16.1 innings).
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