BALTIMORE -- For a welcome change, the Baltimore Orioles were on the positive end of a comeback victory.
Nick Markakis singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, giving the Orioles a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals and a split of the two-game series.Luke Scott hit two solo home runs and Corey Patterson also connected for the Orioles, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Baltimore trailed 3-0 in the fifth inning and 3-2 in the eighth.The Orioles had previously lost five games when leading after seven innings and four more when ahead after eight, including a disaster against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday in which the Indians scored eight runs in the ninth to erase a 2-0 deficit."It's a huge boost. We've lost a few games when we've given up the lead late in the game and it's taken a toll on us," Scott said. "It's been difficult. It feels good to kind of do the same thing to someone else and have the ball roll in our favor for once."On a night when temperatures dipped into the low 50s, the matchup between last-place teams attracted only 9,715 fans, the third-smallest crowd in the 19-year history of Camden Yards. The second-smallest crowd gathered one night earlier.Julio Lugo got Baltimore started in the 10th with a one-out single off Bryan Bullington (0-1). Patterson walked, and an error by first baseman Billy Butler loaded the bases for Markakis, who hit a liner well over the head of center fielder Mitch Maier."I was going for a ground ball against Patterson," said Bullington, the top overall pick in 2002 amateur draft. "[Markakis] is tough in that situation. Obviously, you're trying to get a ground ball or a strikeout. I threw a lot of fastballs and he got it up in the air."Said Markakis: "I wasn't going to hit a ground ball. I was going to hit something in the air. That was my approach. I got a good pitch to hit, I drove the ball and good things happened."Alfredo Simon (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the Orioles, who denied the Royals their first sweep at Camden Yards since 1998."We didn't let them back in; they earned their way back in," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "They hit three home runs. That's the way the game goes. We had opportunities, but they made great pitches when they needed to."Orioles manager Dave Trembley has had the same lament on several occasions this season. On this night, however, Trembley spoke excitedly about how his team rallied to win."It is a nice way to end a week where we could have won a couple more ballgames and we didn't," he said, alluding to a 4-4 homestand that included the ninth-inning disaster against the Indians.Baltimore trailed 3-2 before Patterson hit a solo homer in the eighth off rookie Blake Wood, who had not surrendered a run in his previous four appearances.Royals starter Zack Greinke allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner yielded two homers to Scott but did not allow another runner past second base.Greinke left with a 3-2 lead, but Wood gave it away.Orioles starter Kevin Millwood gave up three runs and 10 hits in eight innings. Although the right-hander has gone nine starts without a victory in his first season with the Orioles, he's got a respectable 3.65 ERA and has been victimized by a lack of offensive support."It's a win for the team and that's what matters," Millwood said.Millwood retired the first 13 batters before Jose Guillen singled up the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Four of the next five batters hit singles, including RBI hits by Maier, Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik.Scott homered in the bottom half and again in the seventh. He has nine homers, including six in his last nine games.
Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, 3-0 lifetime against Texas, will face the Rangers on the road for the first time since July 2007 in the opener of a two-game series Wednesday night. ... Greinke is 1-4 but has a 2.72 ERA and has left with the Royals ahead in four of his nine starts.