BALTIMORE — Mike Minor was on his way to a win in his team-leading 28th start of the season on Wednesday night after recording his third quality start in five outings.
Instead, he finished with a no-decision as the Royals’ bullpen relinquished a five-run lead in a 9-8 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards, after Baltimore mounted a nine-run bottom of the eighth inning off a combined 68 pitches from relievers Joel Payamps, Josh Staumont and Jake Brentz.
Minor flashed his stuff over six scoreless innings, allowing five hits while striking out three. The first two of those strikeouts came in the third inning, when the Orioles loaded the bases only for Minor to strike out Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays to end the threat.
The veteran starter kept the momentum going for Kansas City, which in turn treated him to an early lead after pulling ahead in the first inning — a lead they maintained through the seventh by stringing together hits. Salvador Perez’s 42nd home run of the year in the seventh inning also helped. Andrew Benintendi was the only other Royal to homer, with a three-run blast in the ninth, giving him five RBIs in the loss.
While Minor maintained the momentum started by the Royals’ offense, the bullpen fell behind as the O’s picked up where Kansas City left off, allowing those nine runs on six hits, one error and two walks in the eighth inning.