Orioles top Royals, complete three-game sweep
ORIOLES 6, ROYALS 0
BALTIMORE — Jeremy Hellickson threw seven outstanding innings in his Orioles debut, Caleb Joseph homered and Baltimore beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Playing in his second game with Baltimore, Tim Beckham doubled, tripled and drove in two runs.
The Orioles' five-game winning streak is their longest since early May, and they now stand just 2½ games behind Kansas City for the second AL wild-card slot.
The Royals had won 10 of 11 before coming up flat at Camden Yards, scoring only three runs in 27 innings. They showed their frustration in the ninth inning, when Mike Moustakas was tossed after complaining about a third-strike call and manager Ned Yost was ejected for joining the argument.
Hellickson (1-0) was obtained Saturday from Philadelphia, the first of two significant trades by the Orioles to fortify the roster for a potential playoff run. The righthander paid immediate returns, limiting Kansas City to five hits, issuing one walk and allowing only one runner to reach third base.
After going 6-5 with the Phillies,
Hellickson turned in his best performance of the season to earn his second win in 12 starts since May 19.
He received offensive backing from Beckham, acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on Monday just before the non-waiver trade deadline expired.
Mychal Givens worked a perfect eighth and Darren O'Day completed Baltimore's seventh shutout.
Baltimore went up 3-0 in the second inning against Jason Vargas (13-5) when Beckham doubled in a run and Joseph followed with a two-out drive into the left-field seats.
After Hellickson retired the first two batters in the third, a sudden rain shower forced a 35-minute delay. When play resumed, Hellickson gave up a single and hit a batter before retiring Eric Hosmer on a fly ball.
It would be the only time until the sixth inning that Kansas City got a runner to second base.
RANGERS 5, MARINERS 1 Joey Gallo hit another impressively long home run, Andrew Cashner won his third straight start and the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners to snap a four-game losing streak. Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus also homered for the Rangers, who wrapped up a 3-6 homestand during which Adrian Beltre joined the 3,000-hit club and ace pitcher Yu Darvish was traded away.
RAYS 3, ASTROS 0 Rookie Austin Pruitt and three relievers combined on a five-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays handed Dallas Keuchel his first loss of the season, beating the Houston Astros. Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer. He also connected Tuesday night, snapping his season-long 12-game homerless streak.
CARDINALS 5, BREWERS 4 Yadier Molina hit two solo home runs, Kolten Wong added a two-run double, Luke Weaver pitched into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Weaver (1-1) made one mistake in the first and Eric Thames hit it for his 25th home run of the season. Weaver regrouped and held the Brewers scoreless until Hernan Perez’s one-out RBI single in the seventh.
Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas (right) argues a called strike with home plate umpire John Tumpane on Wednesday in Baltimore.