Royals get homers from Santana and Melendez to beat Orioles


Kansas City Royals’ Carlos Santana reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


Nights like Thursday only bolster the Kansas City Royals’ belief that they have the ingredients of a productive major-league lineup. The recipe came together splendidly with a second consecutive game of seven runs or more with contributions from a blend of veterans and rookies.

Veteran first baseman Carlos Santana blasted a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning to break a tie and set the Royals on path to a 7-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles in front of an announced 15,594 in the first game of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals (19-37) won back-to-back games for the first time since May 17-18.

Santana went 1 for 4 with two RBIs. He is 8 for 24 with a home run, three RBIs and five walks in his past seven games. He’s started the last three games as Hunter Dozier has dealt with tightness in his right side.

Rookie slugger MJ Melendez, who was on base for Santana’s homer, went 1 for 2 with two runs scored and smashed a home run of his own. Fellow rookie Bobby Witt Jr. went 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Whit Merrifield went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, and Salvador Perez (1 for 4) drove in a pair of runs.

Royals starting pitcher Kris Bubic allowed four runs, six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He also struck out five in his second start since being recalled from the minors on June 4.

This story will be updated.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.

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