Major League Baseball

Struggling Royals, Orioles hope to end series on high note

ROYALS (45-81) AT ORIOLES (40-86)
7:05 p.m. ET; MASN2, FSKC, MLB.TV

Celebrations have been few and far between for both the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals this season.

The struggling teams will look to secure a series victory at the other’s expense on Wednesday in the rubber match of their three-game set in Baltimore.

Hanser Alberto belted a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning as the Orioles snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Royals on Tuesday.

“It’s been tough. It’s not a secret, so we go out there and want to win the game, but at the end of the night, we got the same result,” Alberto said.

“Hopefully, things changed from (Tuesday), and (Wednesday) we can win the game and win the series and continue putting some Ws on the board.”

Rookie right-hander Hunter Harvey, who recorded his first career win, was elated upon seeing Alberto’s ball leave the park.

“It was awesome,” the 24-year-old Harvey said of Alberto’s homer. “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.”

Alberto carries a nine-game hitting streak into the series finale for Baltimore, which has won just twice in its last 15 games.

The 26-year-old Alberto will test his mettle against left-hander Mike Montgomery (3-5, 4.63 ERA), who will look to record his third straight win when he takes the nod on Wednesday.

Montgomery followed up scattering four hits with 12 strikeouts over seven innings in a 7-0 romp at Detroit on Aug. 10 by permitting one unearned run in six frames of a 4-1 victory versus the New York Mets.

Jonathan Villar is just 2-for-12 against the 30-year-old Montgomery, who has yet to record a decision to go along with a 4.91 ERA in three career appearances (one start) versus Baltimore.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost had no qualms with his starting pitcher, Brad Keller, on Tuesday, although he called into question the collective performance of the bullpen.

“Other guys are going to have to pick up the slack,” Yost said. “Other guys are going to have to come in and get a job one. We’re giving everybody plenty of opportunity.”

Kansas City will vie for its first series win since a two-game sweep in Atlanta on July 23-24 when it faces right-hander Aaron Brooks (2-7, 6.49).

Brooks will bid for his first win with the Orioles since being acquired from Oakland prior to the trade deadline.

The 29-year-old Brooks fell to 0-4 with a 9.22 ERA in seven starts with Baltimore after allowing five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-1 setback at Boston on Friday.

Brooks, who made four appearances with Kansas City in 2014-15, will make his first career start against the Royals.

Alex Gordon has three hits in the series after going 4-for-55 in his previous 14 games.

Whit Merrifield has hit safely in three consecutive contests and 12 of his last 14 games.

–Field Level Media

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