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SCOREBOARD

Pasquantino, Melendez homer as Royals stop Orioles' four-game winning streak

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez homered to help the Kansas City Royals beat Baltimore 9-4 on Friday night and stop the Orioles’ four-game winning streak.

Adley Rutschman hit his first career grand slam for the Orioles, a seventh-inning homer off Will Smith.

Dean Kremer (0-2) retired his first 11 batters before Pasquantino drove a 1-1 splitter into the right-field bullpen for his fourth homer.

Pasquantino has four homers and 11 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.

“Vinnie did a great job getting us going with that homer,” Michael Massey said. “It felt like one of those nights where we had to scratch and claw, and it broke open late for us.”

Returning from the injured list in his season debut, Massey had two hits and two RBIs.

MJ Melendez sparked a five-run sixth with an RBI single that ended an 0-for-23 slide. Massey and Hunter Renfroe each had two-run hits for a 6-0 lead.

“We were able to find some good at-bats late when we needed to and have a big inning,” Melendez said.

Maikel Garcia stopped an 0-for-26 slide with a leadoff single in the seventh and Melendez hit a three-run homer off Dillon Tate.

“A sinker, middle of the plate,” said Melendez. “Didn’t miss it.”

Kansas City won its ninth straight home game, their longest home winning streak since May 27-June 15, 2016.

Marsh (3-0) escaped jams in the first and fourth innings, working around a pair of Rutschman singles. Marsh allowed three hits and two walks, striking out six in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

“We made a couple of mistakes there in the first with the scoring opportunity, and then with the bases loaded off a guy we’ve had a tough time with,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Just didn’t push any runs across.”

Kremer allowed three runs, two hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Three Baltimore relievers surrendered six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

“Dean threw the ball great,” Hyde said. “A couple of walks in the sixth, but left with two outs in a 1-0 game. We’ve got to do a batter job of shutting the door for him. We just didn’t pitch great out of the pen.”

Baltimore stopped a five-game streak of hitting at least three home runs, falling one shy of the major league record set by the 1987 Orioles.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Massey was 2 for 4 after recovering from lower back tightness that had sidelined him since spring training. Kansas City optioned infielder Nick Loftin to Triple-A Omaha.

UP NEXT

Orioles RHP Corbin Burnes (2-0, 2.28 ERA) opposes Royals LHP Cole Ragans (0-1, 1.93) on Saturday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb