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Sloppy defense, warning-track power doom Orioles in Game 1

An extra out in the ninth allowed Kansas City to score the winning run in Game 1. Meanwhile, Ryan Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins were left wishing they ate their Wheaties this morning.

MLB: Game One-Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are still currently ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East, but today’s 6-4 loss felt like a meltdown worthy of a last place team. Baltimore squandered a one-run lead in the eighth before allowing the winning runs in the top of the ninth.

The Orioles should have entered the bottom of the ninth tied at four with an opportunity to walk it off. Jorge López retired the first two batters he faced before Nicky Lopez bounced a routine ball to second base. Unfortunately, Rougned Odor booted the ball and allowed the inning to continue.

López, potentially rattled by the event, fired an errant pickoff attempt that sailed by Ryan Mountcastle at first. Nicky Lopez advanced to third on the error and scored the winning run on a clutch single by Michael Taylor.

Cionel Pérez replaced López and immediately allowed a single to Andrew Benintendi. Salvador Perez drove in Kansas City’s sixth run with a single to right.

Austin Hays and Mountcastle both picked up their fourth hits of the game with a pair of two-out singles in the ninth, but Odor flew out to end the game.

Baltimore wasted a solid start from inning-eater Jordan Lyles. Lyles worked into the eighth and allowed just three earned runs. The 31-year-old delivered the type of start Baltimore needed during a doubleheader, but the team failed to capitalize.

The beast in left field known solely as “The Wall” made it’s latest and greatest appearance in the bottom of the fifth. Hays reached with a two out single and Mountcastle stepped up representing the tying run at the plate. Mountcastle blasted a ball to deep left field that initially appeared to leave the ballpark and bounce back into play.

Hays motored around to score, but Mountcastle stood dumbfounded at second base thinking that the ball left the yard. A video replay showed that the ball bounced off the very top of the wall and did not clear the fence. Mountcastle was left smiling and shaking his head and the Orioles still trailed by a run. The hit would have been a home run in every other park, but the play represented more bad luck for Mountcastle and the Birds after a difficult fifth inning.

Kansas City took control of the game with a pair of runs in the fifth. Bobby Witt Jr. kicked things off with a single to left but things got wonky after that. Isbel followed with a grounder to the hole at second base. Odor made an impressive stop and fired to first but a covering Lyles did not have his foot on the bag when he received the throw. Isbel received credit for an infield single.

Lyles bounced back and generated what could have been a double play ball to first, but Ryan Mountcastle plunked a running Isbel with his throw to second. The ball skipped into the outfield and Witt Jr. came around to score. Isbel eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Benintendi to provide the Royals a 3-1 lead.

The Orioles scored first with a run in the bottom of the second. Jorge Mateo singled to left, stole second, and came around to score on a ground-rule double by Cedric Mullins. Mullins hammered a ball that bounced on the warning track and into the hand of a woman sitting with children in the front row. The play made for a fun moment on Mother’s Day, but the Orioles would have rather had the ball land over the fence to begin with.

The Royals answered quickly in the top of the third. Isbel doubled to right field and eventually came around to score on an Edward Olivares single up the middle. Olivares left the game after the play with a right quad strain.

Hays and Mountcastle combined for eight of Baltimore’s 15 hits. Trey Mancini and Mullins both finished 2-for-5.

The Orioles will look to bounce back right away with Bruce Zimmermann on the mound against Daniel Lynch.