Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora also homered for the Orioles, who
hadn't won two in a row since April 28-29. The victory, combined
with Friday night's win, assured Baltimore its first series win in
"This is the type of game that the team needs to get us
going," Lopez said. "This is a time we need to get back on track
and closer to the (first-place New York) Yankees."
Baltimore, which stayed 5½ games behind the Yankees, simply
overwhelmed the woeful Royals.
"Today, everything came together," Hernandez said. "We hit
when we had to, pitched well and played good defense. Everything
Tejada hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to put the
Orioles up 5-1. Hernandez, Lopez and Mora connected in a six-run
eighth against Chris Booker.
Hernandez started the eighth with a solo shot. Lopez, activated
off the 15-day disabled list before the game, added a three-run
drive and Mora homered with a man on. The last time the Orioles hit
three home runs in an inning was exactly two years earlier, on May
13, 2004, at Chicago.
Lopez was delighted to be so productive on his first day back.
"That was a big relief for me. I'm glad it happened for me on
the first day. That way I can get my confidence back," he said.
"As you know, being back from the disabled list, the toughest day
is the first day."
Benson (5-3) gave up four hits, struck out five and walked one.
The right-hander was coming off a miserable performance in Boston,
where he allowed nine runs in 4 1-3 innings.
"Kris had command of all his pitches. Fastball, slider,
changeup, curve. He used all of them," said Hernandez, the
starting catcher. "He was ahead in the count early, then made them
chase his pitches."
Benson permitted only one runner past first base before Matt
Stairs homered in the seventh.
"The tempo of the game was set by Kris. He pitched extremely
well and allowed the offense to go to work," said Orioles manager
Sam Perlozzo, who arrived at the ballpark about 20 minutes before
the first pitch after attending the college graduation of his son.
"It was a good day all around," Perlozzo said.
Stairs and Mark Grudzielanek both had two hits, but the rest of
the Royals offered little support for starter Mark Redman (0-3),
who remained winless since July 24, when he beat Colorado as a
member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"He was all right. He had some problems early again, in the
first inning," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "But until the
Tejada home run we were still in the game."
Kansas City fell to 2-16 on the road and 0-8 against the AL
"It's just two games. We played good baseball yesterday,
unfortunately we didn't pitch well today and didn't swing the bats
as well," Redman said. "But we should just put that behind us and
come out tomorrow and end this series on a good note."
Baltimore went up 2-0 in the first inning on a two-out double by
Redman retired nine straight batters before the Orioles struck
with two outs in fourth. Corey Patterson reached on a bunt before
Lopez drew a walk. Luis Matos followed with an RBI single for a 3-0
In the fifth, Mora led off with a double before Tejada hit his
10th homer. Tejada entered the game batting .352, but was in a
4-for-35 slump before connecting.
"When you try to pitch inside you've got to get it in there,"
Redman said. "The first pitch was inside and the next one I tried
to get it in on his hands, but I left it too much over the plate
and I got burned by it."
To make room for Lopez on the 25-man roster, the Orioles
designated OF Luis Terrero for assignment. ... Benson is the first
Baltimore starter to earn a win in nine games. He was the last one
to do it, on May 2 vs. Toronto. ... The Royals have homered in six