BALTIMORE -- — Cole Irvin earned his first victory with Baltimore, Gunnar Henderson and Adam Frazier homered and the Orioles stretched the Kansas City Royals' losing streak to five with a 6-1 victory on Saturday.
Baltimore has won three in a row for the first time since a May 19-21 sweep of Toronto. At 40-24, the Orioles are 16 games over .500, tied for a season high.
Kansas City (18-46) has lost eight of nine and has the second-worst record on the majors, ahead of only Oakland (16-50).
Irvin (1-2) allowed one run and six hits — on Freddy Fermin’s RBI single in the fifth — over 5 1/3 innings while striking out five.
“I’m just happy to be in the win column — in this uniform, too,” Irvin said.
The right-hander, acquired in January from Oakland, was expected to be part of Baltimore’s rotation after pitching to a 3.98 ERA in 30 starts for the Athletics last season.
Instead, he was sent to Triple-A Norfolk after a 10.66 ERA in three April starts. He remained in the minors except for a one-game big league relief appearance on May 20.
“Humility goes a long way, and I think there some things I needed to address as a man and I felt like I did that down there,” Irvin said.
Recalled Saturday to make his first major league start since April 13, Irvin demonstrated much better control, walking none after issuing eight over 12 2/3 innings over his first three starts.
“His first couple starts here, he just had a lot of walks and was pitching behind in the count,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “Today, he was more aggressive in the strike zone and pitching to contact.”
Irvin was also helped by his defense. Rightfielder Anthony Santander robbed Maikel Garcia of extra bases to end the first, and centerfielder Aaron Hicks made a diving catch on Fermin’s fly to close the second.
Kansas City was 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and has five runs in its last four games.
“It's been a handful of days where we've struggled to score and nobody's going to be happy with that,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “These guys are all diligent workers and they give their best and when they're not getting the results, it's frustrating.”
Henderson, batting leadoff for the first time this season and the third time in 90 career games, hit Singer's first-pitch slider to left-center in the second for a 3-0 lead. Austin Hays added an RBI single to chase Singer with one out in the fifth.
Frazier hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Scott Barlow.
Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle (illness) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day. … OF Cedric Mullins (right groin strain), who was placed on the injured list May 30, has started baseball activities. … Baltimore optioned LHP Nick Vespi to Triple-A Rochester to make room on the roster for Irvin.
Royals: RHP Carlos Hernández (0-3, 4.31 ERA) will open for Kansas City in the finale of the three-game series. Hernández pitched a scoreless seventh in Friday's loss.
Orioles: RHP Kyle Gibson (7-3, 3.87) is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last four starts.
- Home Plate Umpire - Gabe Morales
- First Base Umpire - Adam Beck
- Second Base Umpire - Dan Iassogna
- Third Base Umpire - Scott Barry