BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals committed three errors in the fifth inning that helped the Baltimore Orioles score three runs en route to a 5-3 victory Wednesday at Oriole Park.
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (3-1) pitched six innings for the Orioles (21-13), giving up three runs on five hits before giving way to the bullpen. Troy Patton, Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz and Jim Johnson closed out the game for the Orioles, giving them the series win and chance to sweep the Royals on Thursday night.
Johnson picked up his 13th save of the season and his 34th consecutive save in a row.
The Orioles got things started in the second inning off Royals starter Luis Mendoza (0-2) when Hardy hit a two-run home run to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
After the Royals (17-13) got one back on an Alex Gordon home run, Baltimore extended its lead in the fifth inning -- helped out by the three Kansas City miscues. Shortstop Alcides Escobar committed two errors while catcher George Kottaras was charged with one, as well. Plus, Mendoza threw a wild pitch, all of which allowed the Orioles to push across three runs with only two hits in the inning.
Kansas City did get two runs back on a two-run homer from Mike Moustakas in the sixth inning but couldn't do anything more.
Hardy put the Orioles on top 2-0 in the second inning with a two-run home run that brought in Matt Wieters. It was Hardy's sixth home run of the season and his third in the last four games.
Alex Gordon chopped the Baltimore lead in half in the fifth inning with a two-out solo home run to right off Tillman. That was Gordon's fifth homer of the season and second in this series.
The Orioles answered in the bottom half of the inning when Manny Machado singled, bringing in Chris Dickerson for a 3-1 lead. Nate McLouth moved to third on the play.
On the next pitch, Machado stole second and Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar dropped the ball, prompting McLouth to run for home. McLouth scored and catcher George Kottaras was charged with an error, giving Baltimore a 4-1 lead.
Escobar's throw home was off the mark, letting Machado get to third. Just one pitch later, Royals starter Luis Mendoza uncorked a wild pitch that let Machado score and put Baltimore up 5-1. The Orioles scored both runs with Nick Markakis at the plate, and he didn't have to do anything.
NOTES: Attendance was 12, 344. ... Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the first inning. He is now two games away from his season high and has reached safely in 32 of 34 games this season. ... Orioles second basemen Brian Roberts will undergo right hamstring surgery Thursday in Dallas and will be out six weeks for recovery. He will then report to Sarasota, Fla. Roberts injured the hamstring on April 4 against the Rays when he slid into second base. ... Mendoza made his fourth career start against the Orioles, whom he beat for his first-ever major-league win in 2007. ... Gordon led the majors coming into the game with a .454 batting average when hitting with two outs and he added to that with his two-out solo home run in the fifth. His 16 two-out RBI trail only Miguel Cabrera and Allen Craig.