BALTIMORE (AP) — Gunnar Henderson homered for the second consecutive day, and the Baltimore Orioles defeated Kansas City 11-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and extend the Royals’ losing streak to six.
Starter Kyle Gibson earned his fourth consecutive victory for Baltimore, while Ramón Urías had four hits and Ryan O’Hearn homered as part of a three-hit day that also included two walks and four runs scored. The Orioles (41-24) have won four in a row for the first time since May 9-13 and are 17 games over .500 for the first time since July 26, 2016.
It was Baltimore’s fourth series sweep of the season and first since May 19-21 at Toronto.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde moved Henderson into the leadoff spot Saturday for the first time this year, and the infielder responded with a second-inning home run as part of a two-hit day.
Henderson already had two hits and a run Sunday when he smashed reliever Jackson Kowar’s slider 462 feet to right for a three-run blast onto Eutaw Street in the seventh inning.
“That was loud coming off the bat,” Hyde said.
In nine games since May 30, Henderson is hitting .406 (13 for 32) and has raised his batting average from .199 to .236.
“It just goes to show me that no matter what you’re going through, you’re going to get through it,” Henderson said. “Just keep swinging and just keep trusting the process. It’s hard to do. I’ll be the first one to tell you it’s really hard to do in the moment.”
Salvador Perez homered for Kansas City, which has dropped nine of 10. The Royals (18-47) have the second-worst record in the majors, ahead of only Oakland, and have scored eight runs in their last five games.
Kansas City was 2 for 17 with runners in scoring position during the series. The Royals were swept for the seventh time this season, matching their 2022 total.
“I don’t think there’s one magic button you push to all of the sudden spark a lineup or anything,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. “I think it’s consistency of the work and preparation, the quality of the at-bats and hope that we start to string some of them together.”
The Orioles took the lead for good in the third against Mike Mayers (1-2), who loaded the bases before recording the inning’s first out. Josh Lester then singled up the middle to score two runs, and James McCann followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.
Aaron Hicks added an RBI double in the fourth against Mayers, who yielded four runs in five innings of relief for the Royals.
Gibson (8-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. The 35-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA over his last five starts.
The Orioles took a 3-1 lead against opener Carlos Hernández thanks to Austin Hays’ sacrifice fly and Urías’ two-run double. Kansas City tied it in the third on Perez’s two-run homer to left-center off Gibson.
Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle (illness) remained out of the lineup. Mountcastle has missed four of the last five games after appearing in all but one of Baltimore’s first 60 games. … C Adley Rutschman had a routine day off.
Royals: RHP Zack Greinke (1-6, 4.59 ERA) starts Monday as Kansas City returns home to begin a series with Cincinnati. Greinke is 8-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 14 career starts against the Reds.
Orioles: Baltimore is off Monday. Baltimore has not announced its pitching plans for Tuesday, when its homestand continues against Toronto.
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