Four-run ninth helps Orioles sweep Royals

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles issued 12 walks to fall
behind, then benefited from three free passes in the ninth inning
to win a game that was wild in virtually every sense of the word.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Millar capped a four-run ninth with a two-out
RBI single, and the Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 8-7 Sunday
for a three-game sweep.

Trailing 7-4, the Orioles rallied against Kansas City closer
Ambiorix Burgos (1-1), who began the inning by walking the bases
loaded. Jeff Conine followed with a sacrifice fly, and after Corey
Patterson struck out, Javy Lopez and Nick Markakis hit run-scoring
singles to tie it.

Jimmy Gobble replaced Burgos, and Millar blooped a 3-2 pitch to
right to score Lopez on a close play at the plate to complete the 3
hour, 54-minute marathon.

"The walks always end up haunting you," Conine said, "and
luckily we haunted them last."

John Halama (2-1) worked the ninth for the Orioles, who earned
their first sweep of the season. It was their first home sweep of a
three-game series against Kansas City since 1999.

"A win is a win. We'll take it," Baltimore manager Sam
Perlozzo said. "They might be ugly, but you'll take every win you
can get."

Especially in this unexpected fashion. The Orioles were 1-19
when trailing after eight innings; the Royals were 9-0 when ahead
after eight.

"We find all kinds of ways (to lose)," Kansas City manager
Buddy Bell said. "I can't explain it."

Baltimore ended up taking advantage of walks, as did the Royals
earlier in the game. The 12 walks were the most Kansas City
received since drawing 12 at Seattle on June 12, 1995.

Angel Berroa had three hits and drove in a run for Kansas City,
which fell to 2-17 on the road and 0-9 against the AL East.

"I don't really have all that much to say about it," Bell
said. "Burgy usually comes in and throws strikes. It's
unexplainable. It's a tough loss."

Miguel Tejada went 3-for-4 with a homer, and Lopez also had
three hits for Baltimore.

With the score tied 4-all in the eighth, Mark Grudzielanek hit
an RBI single and Doug Mientkiewicz followed with a run-scoring

Berroa added an RBI single in the ninth, but the lead wouldn't
last, thanks to Burgos' lack of control.

"Their pitcher didn't have the best day and we kind of took
advantage of it by being patient," Lopez said.

Even though Millar didn't draw a walk, he worked the count full
before delivering.

"He's played in the World Series and everything else. If there
is somebody you want up there, he's the guy," Perlozzo said. "He
laid off some pitches, he was real patient. He took what he gave
him and got the job done for us."

Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera struggled with his control before
leaving with tightness in his right shoulder after taking the mound
to start the fifth. The right-hander allowed two runs, two hits and
seven walks. His first seven pitches missed the strike zone, and
half of his 90 pitches were balls.

Cabrera, who will undergo an MRI on Monday, has issued 39 walks
in 41 1-3 innings this season. He didn't blame his wildness Sunday
on his aching shoulder.

"No, because I walk people all the time. I'm tired of hearing
it all the time," Cabrera said. "Walks, walks. I walk people all
the time. That's nothing different to me."

Kansas City starter Denny Bautista also was yanked after four
innings. The former Oriole gave up three runs, six hits, a walk and
hit a batter.

Trailing 3-2, the Royals pulled even in the sixth against Julio
Manon. Tony Graffanino walked, stole second and scored on a two-out
single by John Buck.

Kansas City took the lead in the seventh when Todd Williams
walked Aaron Guiel to force in an unearned run after Tejada dropped
a toss from second baseman Brandon Fahey on a potential double-play

Tejada made amends in the bottom half, tying it at 4 with his
11th homer -- the second in two games.

Game notes
The Orioles don't expect to activate 2B Brian Roberts
(groin) from the disabled list until Friday. He is eligible to
return Monday. ... Kansas City enjoyed its seventh straight
errorless game, but failed to hit a homer for the first time in
seven games.