BALTIMORE (AP) — It had been a while since the Baltimore Orioles celebrated a victory, so forgive them for getting carried away after finally nabbing their 40th win of a very long season.
Rookie Hunter Harvey got a ride in a laundry cart and wheeled into the shower, where he got drenched in the wake of his first big league victory.
The celebration was put into motion after the Orioles used Hanser Alberto’s tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning to beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Tuesday night, ending an eight-game skid.
Royals reliever Jacob Barnes (1-2) sandwiched a pair of walks around two outs before Alberto hit a 1-1 pitch into the Baltimore bullpen for his eighth home run. As the ball cleared the wall, Alberto raised his right arm in the air and smiled broadly approaching second base.
“I saw that big gap between left and center field. I just want to hit the ball over the shortstop,” Alberto said. “Obviously, I put in a little more power and I get the home run.”
Harvey (1-0) worked a perfect eighth, notching two strikeouts in his first appearance at Camden Yards.
Drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, Harvey endured Tommy John surgery and a variety of before finally making his major league debut last week in Boston. After working a scoreless inning in Fenway Park, the right-hander came up with a heck of an encore against the Royals.
“He’s thrown twice and it’s been electric stuff both times,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
“It was awesome,” Harvey said. “When Hanser hit that home run I kind of got little chill bumps and a little wave went over me for a second because it didn’t even feel real.”
Mychal Givens got three outs for his 10th save.
Baltimore had lost 13 of its previous 14 games, including the series opener to Kansas City on Monday.
“It’s been tough. It’s not a secret,” Alberto said. “Hopefully, things changed from tonight, and tomorrow we can win the game and win the series.”
Both starters were very sharp, and neither factored in the decision.
Dylan Bundy allowed the Royals one run and five hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts.
Brad Keller didn’t let a runner get past first base until the sixth, when Chance Sisco drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a single. With one out, right fielder Bubba Starling ran far to his right to make a diving catch of a sinking liner by Anthony Santander, and Keller finished his outing by retiring Renato Núñez on a fly ball.
“I had a good game plan going in. I really just stuck with my fastball today,” the right-hander said.
Keller gave up three hits and left with a 1-0 lead, but his bid to earn his first win since July 24 ended when reliever Richard Lovelady allowed a game-tying single to Rio Ruiz in the seventh.
Royals manager Ned Yost wants to limit Keller’s activity to preserve his arm for when Kansas City’s rebuild pays off.
“He is one of our main guys moving forward. He’s already 20-something innings past what he threw last year and we’re not even into September yet,” Yost said. “I’m not going to push him for the rest of this year.”
RUTSCHMAN ON RISE
Catcher Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, is moving quickly up Baltimore’s minor league chain.
Less than 24 hours after going 5 for 5 for short-season Class A Aberdeen, Rutschman received a promotion to Class A Delmarva on Tuesday. The 21-year-old is expected to join the Shorebirds on Wednesday.
Royals: RHP Danny Duffy (left hamstring strain) threw 65 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday. “We’ll see (Wednesday) how he feels and we’ll evaluate after that,” manager Ned Yost said. Duffy hasn’t pitched since Aug. 3. … SS Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha by playing DH and striking out his first three trips to the plate.
Orioles: OF Mark Trumbo has missed the entire season while recovering from knee surgery but still has hopes of returning when rosters expand in September. “Probably have to send him out to play some (rehab) games prior to that, but as of right now everything is one track,” manager Brandon Hyde said. … OF Dwight Smith Jr. (left calf strain) went 3 for 5 for Triple-A Norfolk on Monday to open his rehab assignment. “There’s no problem at all. He came out healthy,” Hyde said. Smith went 1 for 2 at the DH Tuesday night and will move to the outfield Wednesday.
Royals: Mike Montgomery (3-5, 4.63 ERA) pitches in the series finale Wednesday night. He’s 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in his last three starts and 2-3 with KC after being traded from the Cubs.
Orioles: Aaron Brooks (2-7, 6.49) remains in search of his first win since April 11, when he beat Baltimore for Oakland. The right-hander is winless in seven starts with the Orioles since being claimed on waivers on July 6.