Baltimore (25-13) at Kansas City (11-28)

Cloudy Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Wed May 18, 2005
  • TV: CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Rafael Palmeiro appears ready to do whatever it takes to keep the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East.

The 40-year-old first baseman will try to build on his best performance of the season when the Orioles resume their three-game series with the league-worst Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Palmeiro, in his 20th big league season, had been 7-for-40 over his previous 14 games, dropping his average to .222. However, he went 4-for-5 with his 555th career homer and five RBIs in Tuesday’s come-from-behind 12-8 win over the Royals.

Palmeiro had just three home runs and 10 RBIs in his first 37 games.

“I’ve always been a good hitter. I knew eventually I’ll figure it out,” Palmeiro said. “Tonight everything just felt good. I’ve been pretty decent the last few weeks, but tonight everything fell right in place.”

Palmeiro had nine home runs and 23 RBIs the final month of last season, but that momentum didn’t carry over into April and the first two weeks of May.

“The power has always been there over the last 15 years. It has never gone away,” he said. “If my mechanics are right and my rhythm is right, I’m going to hit. It’s that simple.

“Mechanically, I haven’t been right. I was right in September of last year, but for some reason it didn’t carry over into this year. It’s not too late. There’s a whole season ahead of us. There’s no doubt in my mind I’m going to contribute and I’m going to hit.”

Palmeiro had his first four-hit game since Sept. 28, 2001. His homer leading off the Orioles’ six-run fourth was his 41st against the Royals, the most by any player against Kansas City.

Brian Roberts added his 11th home run and Sal Fasano had a pinch-hit shot for the Orioles, who moved 12 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season—the last year they captured the AL East title.

The Royals jumped out to an early six-run lead before five Orioles relievers combined to hold them scoreless on four hits for 7 2-3 innings. B.J. Ryan finished for his 11th save in 12 chances.

Six different players drove in one run for the Royals, who have not won three straight since July 11-16, 2004.

The Orioles are 23-10 against the Royals since 2001.

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B. Chen Cle vs. D. Carrasco Atl
13-10 Record 6-8
3.83 ERA 4.79
133 K 49
63 BB 51
1.27 WHIP 1.57