Orioles explode for 8 runs in 4th inning to rout Royals

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles were scurrying around the bases at a dizzying pace, and the feeling in the dugout was euphoric during their biggest inning in nearly two years.

"It's kind of like sharks on a feeding frenzy," Luke Scott said. "There was a lot of excitement. A lot of positive energy, everyone pulling for each other."

Adam Jones had two hits and two RBIs in an eight-run fourth inning, and the Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Double, single, RBI groundout. Walk, double, walk, single, walk, single, single.

The hits just kept on coming in the magical fourth, Baltimore's most productive inning since an eight-run sixth against Washington on June 26, 2009.

"It was about time when we get one of those instances where you bat twice in an inning," said Jones, who started it all with a double and later added a two-run single. "You get men on base, you get back-to-back hits, you get timely hits. That's all the making of a rally."

Baltimore sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth against Luke Hochevar (3-5), who yielded six hits, walked three and threw a wild pitch.

After beating the Nationals twice over the weekend and taking the first two games of this three-game series, Baltimore is riding its longest winning streak since opening the season 4-0.

"We are playing better of late," said Jones, who hit a game-winning homer Tuesday night. "We are not trying to get ahead of ourselves and think about three days in advance."

Jake Arrieta (6-2) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking three. He's 2-0 against Kansas City this season and 5-0 in five starts against the AL Central.

But he failed to have a perfect inning and was pulled after 106 pitches.

"He's fortunate to get through six innings. He worked himself into some trouble," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Would you take six innings and two runs every night? Probably. But he's kind of a victim of his potential to do even better. He's 6-2 and he's only had a couple bad outings where he didn't give us a good chance to win."

Melky Cabrera homered for the Royals, who have lost four straight and nine of 11. Kansas City is 5-13 on the road, the worst record in the majors.

"You know, we're not really playing bad," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "We'll snap out of it."

Hochevar went seven innings, five of them perfect. But the fourth inning was one he won't soon forget.

Jones led off with a double, advanced on a single by Nick Markakis and scored on a groundout by Vladimir Guerrero. After Matt Wieters walked, Scott doubled in a run and Wieters scored on a wild pitch.

J.J. Hardy followed with an RBI single, Ryan Adams walked and Felix Pie singled in a run. Jones followed with a two-run single, and after Markakis popped out, a throwing error by shortstop Alcides Escobar let in the final run.

Hochevar didn't allow a runner over the next three innings, but the damage was done.

"That was really, really bad execution by me in the fourth," Hochevar said. "Everywhere I wanted to throw the ball, I just didn't throw it there. There is really no excuse for it. I am a lot better than that. That was just really bad.

"I don't think I ever have had a game where I had an inning that was that terrible."

In five career starts against Baltimore, Hochevar is 0-4 with a 7.98 ERA.

Cabrera homered in the fifth after a walk to Chris Getz to get the Royals to 8-2.

"You give up eight runs in one inning," Butler said, "we got a little too far behind."

Mark Reynolds connected for Baltimore in the eighth off Robinson Tejada.

Game notes
After the game, the Orioles optioned infielder Brandon Snyder to Triple-A Norfolk. Catcher Craig Tatum is expected to be called up before Thursday's game. ... There was a moment of silence before the game for Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Royals history, who died of cancer Wednesday at age 64. ... Guerrero and Markakis have 10-game hitting streaks. ... Arrieta has surrendered a home run in seven straight games. He has given up nine HRs, tied with Jeremy Guthrie for most on the team. ... Cabrera has 15 RBIs and has scored 11 runs in 19 games since May 3.