KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kauffman Stadium offered no home-field advantage for the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Mike Aviles' long drive turned into a ground-rule double and cost the Royals a valuable run in the eighth inning in a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Alcides Escobar was on first with one out and raced home as Aviles' shot rolled to the center-field fence. But the ball lodged underneath the padding and Orioles center fielder Adam Jones raised his hands.
Umpire Tim Welke checked to make sure the ball was lodged and ruled it a double.
``I was actually in awe it got stuck,' Aviles said. ``I've been here since 2008 and I've never once seen a ball get stuck in the fence. I was planning on being on third base there with Escobar scoring. It's a whole different ball game. The next play they'd have the infield come in and I think the ball Melky (Cabrera) hits gets through and it's a tie ball game.'
Aviles said ``without a doubt' he would have wound up on third base.
``The way Jones is playing to right-center, soon as I hit the ball, I saw where he was and saw how far he had to go. I was taking third all the way,' Aviles said.
While the Royals are 13-6 at Kauffman, this time the stadium bit the hometown team.
``It's not supposed to, but it got us tonight,' Aviles said.
He called it ``a smart, heads-up play' by Jones
``He could go out there and pick up the ball and we're setting there with a run scored and a man on third,' Aviles said. ``It's a different ballgame. Him putting his hands up, it's a risky play. He's been around quite a bit. He knows if it's going to be a double or not. He looks at the ball and sees it's stuck, chances are the umpire is going to make the right call and call it a double.'
Royals manager Ned Yost went out, not so much to argue, but for an explanation.
``Sometimes you get breaks and sometimes you don't,' Yost said. ``That was a break we didn't get. Mike smoked it to the point it lodged underneath the fence. The ground rule says if a ball gets lodged and an outfielder throws up his hands up, he is not required to go out and get it. The umpire goes out and checks and makes sure it's lodged and it's a ground rule double. It's a smart play. If he digs it out, we've got a triple. But that's the rule. They've got to know the rules and he knew them.'
Nick Markakis homered and Jake Arrieta pitched seven strong innings for the Orioles. It was the 14th victory of the season for the Orioles, who did not ring up No. 14 last year until May 21. It was also road win No. 7, putting them six weeks ahead of last year's pace.
Arrieta (4-1) gave up only three hits and one run, a homer by Jeff Francoeur. He walked two and struck out eight.
Counting the last two decisions of his rookie campaign in 2010, the 25-year-old right-hander is 6-1 in his past seven decisions. Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven opportunities.
Kyle Davies (1-4) went a season-long 6 1-3 innings and was charged with three runs on seven hits. He had three walks, three strikeouts, gave up a home run and hit two batters.
Brian Roberts doubled into right-center leading off the game, moved up on Markakis' deep flyball and scored on Derrek Lee's sacrifice fly. In the second, Mark Reynolds singled, went to second when Davies hit No. 9 hitter Robert Andino and scored on Markakis' single. Markakis homered with one out in the seventh.
Aviles led off the Royals first with a single and Francoeur homered leading off the second, making it 2-1. But after issuing a pair of two-out walks in the second, Arrieta struck out Aviles and retired 11 straight batters until Gordon singled up the middle with one out in the sixth.
NOTES: Francoeur has three home runs in his last five home games. ... Royals are increasing the number of public address announcements telling fans to be wary. A 64-year-old woman was struck in the face by a shattered bat on opening day and a 4-year-old girl was hurt last week by a foul ball. ... Davies lowered his ERA to 7.32. ... Johnson had to get a new glove after Matt Treanor's grounder went for a 1-6-3 out in the eighth. ... Reynolds was 3 for 3 with a walk.
The Associated Press News Service
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