KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Santana and MJ Melendez homered, leading the Kansas City Royals to a 7-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Santana hit a two-run homer to break a fifth-inning tie as the Royals won consecutive games for the first time since May 17-18.
The last-place teams have had 30 players age 25 or younger on their rosters already in 2022, including the Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. and Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, who were ranked as the top two prospects in the majors entering the season.
Former Gold Glove catcher and current Royals manager Mike Matheny had high praise for Rutschman’s glove work.
“He got off to kind of a rough start (at the plate),” Matheny said. “But you watch his mannerisms and it was almost like he kicked it up to another level when he got behind the plate. He’s a guy who understands the importance of that position.”
Witt and Melendez played large roles Thursday. Witt had two hits and stole two bases, while Melendez homered, drove in two and scored twice.
Witt’s double set up Salvador Perez’s two-run single. Melendez followed with his fifth homer for a 4-1 third-inning lead as Kansas City batted around against Jordan Lyles (3-5), who allowed six runs, eight hits and three walks over five innings.
The Orioless send nine batters to the plate in the fifth and chased Kris Bubic, tying the score.
Joel Payamps (2-1) worked out of a bases-load jam to pick up the win with four outs in relief while Scott Barlow earned his sixth save.
Orioles RHP Austin Voth, claimed off waivers from Washington on Tuesday, was activated. INF Chris Owings was designated for assignment. RHP Spenser Watkins was reinstated from the 15-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Orioles LHP Bruce Zimmermann (2-4, 4.87 ERA) takes the mound on Friday, and RHP Jonathan Heasley (0-3, 4.62 ERA) goes for the Royals.