BALTIMORE – Maybe the Baltimore Orioles got this trade deadline thing right, after all.
Dylan Bundy allowed three hits over a career-high eight innings, newcomer Tim Beckham had two hits and scored twice and the resurgent Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.
The winning streak began over the weekend and gained momentum late Monday after the front office decided to be buyers at the non-waiver trade deadline, obtaining Beckham from Tampa Bay for a minor league pitcher.
The acquisition of Beckham followed the trade for right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who will start Wednesday night. Although the Orioles still have some distance to make up in the AL East and the wild-card race, they're within two games of .500 (52-54) for the first time since July 3.
"A couple more days and I might start looking at the standings again," manager Buck Showalter said. "So, we'll see. So far so good. Until we take care of our business, it doesn't matter where we are in the standings."
If Baltimore is to make a serious move, it will need more pitching performances like the one it got from Bundy (10-8). The right-hander struck out five, walked one and retired the last 13 batters he faced.
Bundy did not pitch more than seven innings in any of his previous 34 major league starts. All three hits he allowed were singles – none after the third inning – and the only run he surrendered was unearned.
"Dylan was outstanding," Showalter said. "That was fun to watch."
Seth Smith drove in three runs and Manny Machado had three hits for the Orioles, who pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Royals for the final AL wild-card spot.
Kansas City will seek to avoid a three-game sweep on Wednesday. The Royals came to town having won 10 of 11, but they've only scored three runs in these two games at Camden Yards.
"We have to do a better job of getting pitches in the zone and capitalizing," said Whit Merrifield, who had one of KC's two RBIs .
Ian Kennedy (4-7) gave up four runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He was 4-0 in nine starts since June 5.
"The down-and-away fastball was not working and I had to go to something else and try to get outs," Kennedy said. "What really hurt me was getting deep in counts."
Making his debut with Baltimore on Tuesday after playing his first 238 major league games with the Rays, Beckham singled and scored in the fifth inning and doubled in the seventh before coming home on a single by Smith.
Baltimore took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, bunching together four straight hits – including an RBI single by Jonathan Schoop and a run-scoring double by rookie Trey Mancini .
After Kansas City scored in the third, Adam Jones made it 3-1 in the fourth with a two-out RBI single.
Buck and Earl
The victory was the 1,481st of Showalter's career, pushing him into sole possession of 24th place on the all-time list ahead of former Orioles manager Earl Weaver.
Playing in his second game for KC since being traded from the White Sox, Melky Cabrera went 1 for 4. Chicago will send $2,663,934 to the Royals on Sept. 1, covering a little more than half the $5,081,967 remaining in Cabrera's $15 million salary this year.
Royals: INF Cheslor Cuthbert (left wrist sprain) resumed his rehabilitation assignment Tuesday, going 1 for 5 with a solo home run for Triple-A Omaha while playing the full game at third base. It was Cuthbert's first action since July 25. In 10 games at Omaha, Cuthbert is hitting .211 with two homers and four RBIs.
Orioles: An MRI on Mark Trumbo's oblique strain provided "very positive news," Showalter said, adding that the slugger might be ready to come off the DL after a 10-day stay.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00 ERA), who has not lost in his last five road starts, pitches Wednesday night in the series finale.
Orioles: Hellickson makes his Orioles debut after being traded from Philadelphia. He's 3-2 with a 5.01 ERA in nine career appearances at Camden Yards.