Gibbons makes up for missed opportunity with winning hit

Hero: Gibbons, whose winning hit was part of a 3-for-5 night.

Figure this: Only 13,229 showed up on a chilly night in Baltimore, the second-smallest crowd in the 16-year history of Camden Yards.

Quotable: "I did fail. Thanks for bringing that up. I was trying not to think about that in the 10th." -- Gibbons

-- ESPN.com news services

Orioles 2, Royals 1

BALTIMORE -- The bases were loaded with two outs in the 10th inning when Jay Gibbons brought his bat and a positive attitude to the plate against Kansas City right-hander Jason Standridge.

Two innings earlier, Gibbons fouled out with two on and two outs. It wasn't the first time this season he stranded runners on base late in the game, and the last thing he needed was to botch another opportunity.

Gibbons delivered, driving in the winning run with a single to give the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 victory Thursday night.

Asked in the jubilant clubhouse if he felt redemption for failing to deliver in the eighth, Gibbons replied, "I did fail. Thanks for bringing that up. I was trying not to think about that in the 10th. It's just been kind of a rough start; I've had a lot of situations like that and didn't come through, so it felt good to hit that ball in play."

Only 13,229 showed up on a chilly night, the second-smallest crowd in the 16-year history of Camden Yards. Kansas City entered in last place in the AL Central; Baltimore owned the same spot in the AL East.

Brian Roberts led off the 10th with a double and took third on a bunt by Melvin Mora. After Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada received intentional walks from Standridge (0-1), Aubrey Huff hit into a forceout at the plate before Gibbons got his third hit of the game, an opposite-field liner to left.

Chris Ray (1-1) worked a perfect 10th to earn the win.

Kansas City starter Gil Meche left with a mild right hamstring strain after blanking the Orioles on seven hits over six innings. That, more than the defeat, bothered Royals manager Buddy Bell.

"There's a couple reasons why it's disappointing. We lost, but we're not quite sure what's going on with Gil right now," Bell said. "His hamstring, we're anxious to see where that is. We think it's fairly mild, but we'll get a better diagnosis (Friday)."

Meche said he felt a twinge while throwing a sixth-inning curveball to Huff, who struck out and ended the inning.

"I just felt a little stiff. It's very unfamiliar to me," said Meche, who agreed to a $55 million, five-year contract in December. "I've never had anything to do with my hamstrings, ever. I was making good pitches for the most part. I just couldn't risk going back out there and maybe doing some bad damage to it."

Meche left with a 1-0 lead, and the bullpen gave up the advantage as soon as he left.

Gibbons hit a leadoff single off Jimmy Gobble in the seventh, and Kevin Millar followed with a liner in the gap in left-center. Esteban German retrieved the ball and threw it to shortstop Tony Pena, who cut down Gibbons with a solid throw to the plate.

After Corey Patterson hit a popup, Paul Bako looped an opposite-field double about 15 feet beyond the infield and just inside the foul line, scoring Millar with the tying run.

Baltimore got runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth against Joel Peralta before Gibbons fouled out.

But Gibbons made amends in the 10th.

"When you keep failing it's hard not to press," Gibbons said, "but I had a good swing my at-bat before and I just went up there with the same approach."

Steve Trachsel gave up one run and three hits in seven innings, but couldn't get enough support to earn his first win with Baltimore. Trachsel, who has a 2.63 ERA in two starts, kept Kansas City hitless until Ross Gload led off the fifth with a bloop single to center.

John Buck opened the sixth with the Royals' second hit, a double. He remained there until Mark Grudzielanek blooped a two-out RBI single for a 1-0 lead.

It was the seventh straight game in which an Orioles starter allowed three runs or fewer; Baltimore is 4-3 over that span. The Orioles had 12 hits but struck out six times -- including three by Huff -- and bounced into three double plays.

Baltimore got two runners on in the first, third and fourth innings but failed to score.

Game notes
The Orioles put RHP Jaret Wright on the 15-day DL and recalled LHP Brian Burres. Jeremy Guthrie is expected to start Sunday in place of Wright, who hopes to return by the end of the month. ... KC's Mark Teahen went 0-for-4 and is mired in an 0-for-15 skid. ... Gibbons went 2-for-3 against Meche and is 7-for-20 (.350) against the right-hander.