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Royals fall flat in rubber match vs. Baltimore

When it rains, it pours.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals dropped their 17th game in 26 tries on Monday afternoon, as the Orioles used a six-run fifth inning to blow by Kansas City with a 6-1 win. It was the Royals’ eighth road loss of the season.

In front of a nearly empty Oriole Park, the Royals struck first in the top of the first inning. Following a lead-off single from Bobby Witt Jr and a stolen base, clean-up hitter Ryan O’Hearn snuck one through the right side to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.

For the first time this season, Carlos Hernandez climbed the bump and pitched with a lead. Throughout the first four innings, it appeared that fueled his confidence and effectiveness. However, in the home half of the fifth, all hell broke loose.

Baltimore, who’d been relatively silent for the first four innings, opened the flood gates in the fifth. Thanks to a pair of singles and defensive gaffs from MJ Melendez, the Orioles tagged Hernandez for six earned runs. The big right-hander was relieved by Amir Garrett before he could record the final out of the inning. Despite a strong start to the game, Hernandez’s ERA ballons to 7.15.

Kansas City had its best chance to crawl back into the game in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Hunter Dozier strolled to the plate. Unfortunately, he dribbled a grounder out to Jorge Mateo at shortstop, who promptly completed the inning-ending 6-3.

The Royals, 9-17, continue their road trip in Arlington starting on Tuesday night. Brad Keller will square off with Martin Perez and the Rangers. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT at Globe Life Field.