Baltimore Facing Billy Butler with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, rookie Brad Bergesen got the out he desperately coveted.
He just never figured it would be so darned painful.
Bergesen allowed one run in seven innings, then hobbled off the mound after being hit with a line drive on his final pitch, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals, 7-3, Thursday.
Bergesen (7-5) was struck in the shin by Butler’s sharp hit. Catcher Matt Wieters picked up the loose ball and threw out Butler to end the inning.
Bergesen, who had been knocked flat on the dirt, slapped gloves with Wieters before quickly limping toward the dugout. When he got to the steps he threw down his glove and headed toward the clubhouse.
“The pain was bad. I wanted to throw up, but I took the x-ray and there was no break on there and hopefully there isn’t,” Bergesen said. “They say worst-case scenario, sometimes a hairline fracture doesn’t show up until a couple of days because of the swelling. But I’m going to be really optimistic about it right now.”
The right-hander said he didn’t even remember his gesture of thanks toward Wieters.
“Right then, because it happened so quick, I’m glad just to get out of there with one run, with the bases loaded and Billy Butler up,” Bergesen said. “The guy is such a hot hitter and he scorches that ball. ... Right now I think I’m lucky that I got hit and not two more runs scored.”
Butler concurred, saying, “I hit the ball up the middle and it might have been a different game.”
Ty Wigginton homered, and Aubrey Huff hit a three-run double for the Orioles, who dropped nine of 11 before winning the final two games of the series.
John Buck homered for the Royals. Seeking its first series win since June 23-25, Kansas City instead lost for the 13th time in 16 games.
“It would have been nice to win one of these last two,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said.
Luke Hochevar (6-4) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in six innings. The right-hander was 4-0 in his previous five starts.
“I wasn’t getting my breaking ball over. I really didn’t even have a curveball today and my slider was flat,” Hochevar said. “When that happens, they just eliminate pitches.”
Wigginton put the Orioles up 1-0 in the second inning with a drive into the left-field seats. Five of his seven homers this season have been solo shots.
Baltimore pulled away with a four-run fifth. Hochevar ended a run of 82 straight batters without a walk by issuing a pass to Adam Jones to load the bases with two outs. Nick Markakis followed with an infield hit and Huff cleared the bases with a liner to the gap in right-center.
Successive doubles by Cesar Izturis and Brian Roberts, along with an RBI single by Felix Pie, made it 7-0 in the sixth.
David DeJesus hit an RBI single in the seventh for Kansas City, two batters before Butler’s bases-loaded grounder felled Bergesen.
“Makes you sick to your stomach. We love Bergesen. Everybody does,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He was down in the tunnel area there. It wasn’t a sight I’d rather relive and I don’t really want to talk about it.”
Buck hit a two-run drive in the eighth against Mark Hendrickson.
Notes: Baltimore DH Luke Scott singled in the eighth to end a 2-for-35 funk. ... KC’s Yuniesky Betancourt got an infield hit in the seventh to snap an 0-for-21 skid. ... Roberts’ double was the 400th extra-base hit of his career, 10th on the franchise list.