The Orioles finally got a good outing by a starting pitcher but weren't able to capitalize as one swing from Billy Butler in the eighth inning put the Royals ahead 4-3 and cost Brad Bergesen and the Orioles the win.
Bergesen, who said that it's hard to pitch when he feels like every game might get him sent to the minors, showed no signs of fear tonight, as he faced only six batters through the first two innings. Mitch Maier homered to lead off the second inning, but after that the Royals didn't get another hit until there was one out in the sixth inning, a Chris Getz double that the Royals couldn't build on. Visibly tired, Bergesen gave up three consecutive one out singles in the seventh to bring the Royals to within one, but after a visit from the pitching coach, Bergy struck out Willie Bloomgquist and induced a ground out to third by Yuniesky Betancourt.
Bergesen didn't return for the eighth inning, and pitched to a final line of 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. He outpitched Zack Greinke and unlike Jake Arrieta the night before, actually did give his team a chance to win.
Hitting against Greinke is never fun, and for five innings it looked like the Orioles wouldn't be able to get to him at all. They had a good chance in the top of the second, when Adam Jones and Felix Pie led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but Matt Wieters lined out to the shortstop, who doubled off Adam Jones at second, and Greinke picked off Pie to end the inning. Greinke allowed just two walks over the next three innings, but the Orioles finally scored in the sixth.
Julio Lugo and Brian Roberts led off with singles, and Nick Markakis hit his 34th double of the year to score both. Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott couldn't get the job done, but Adam Jones singled to right field to knock in Markakis and put the Orioles up 3-1.
David Hernandez took the ball from Bergesen in the 8th with a one run lead, and he looked pretty terrible from the start. The first batter, Chris Getz, hit what should have been a double or triple in the right-center gap, but Markakis made an absolutely outstanding diving play for the catch (watch it here). Jason Kendall followed with a single, and then Billy Butler took a poorly placed fastball over the left field fence to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.
Joaquin Soria came on to pitch the final inning for the Royals, and the Orioles managed only a two out single by Pie, as Wieters swung at the first pitch and grounded out to end the game.
The final game of the series is tomorrow at 2:10 PM, with Kevin Millwood pitching for the Orioles and our old friend Bruce Chen taking the mound for the Royals.