Maikel Garcia's 3-RBI day leads Royals to victory
Maikel Garcia's 3-RBI day leads Royals to victory (Credit: )

BALTIMORE -- — Alec Marsh pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Maikel Garcia drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Tuesday night at wet and chilly Camden Yards. Marsh (1-0) turned in the best performance of his budding career, dominating the defending AL East champions with an exceptional display of control. He struck out five, walked one and retired the side in order five times. “He was outstanding,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said of Marsh. “Adverse conditions to pitch in against a really good lineup, and he did nothing but attack, right from the get-go.” Now in his second season, Marsh previously hadn't gone more than six innings and never allowed fewer than three hits in any outing longer than an inning. In this one, the right-hander threw 72 pitches, only 18 of which were called balls. “You couldn't ask for anything more,” Quatraro said. Marsh received offensive support from Garcia, who hit a two-run double in the second inning and added an RBI triple in the fourth. A persistent, light rain soaked the players and the announced crowd of 9,404. Temperatures dipped into the 40s soon after the game started, and a crisp breeze provided the stouthearted fans additional discomfort. The Orioles gave their supporters little reason to stand up and cheer. Baltimore's only run came in the third inning on successive doubles by Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser, but that only served to cut the deficit to 3-1. Kansas City answered in the fourth with a walk and a triple by Garcia on a liner off the right-field wall. That was more than enough backing for Marsh, who earned the fifth spot in the Royals rotation with a strong showing in spring training. As a rookie in 2023, Marsh lost his first eight decisions before ending up 3-9 with a 5.69 ERA. The solid finish, along with his productive spring, gave Marsh some momentum heading into the 2024 season. “He's been on a mission,” Quatraro said. “That's one game. We don't want to proclaim this to be a finished product. He's a very young pitcher in his big league career, but there's a lot of upside and we're excited about it.” When the Orioles got good wood on the ball, there always seemed to be someone there to catch it. “Good fastball, curveball had a lot of depth on it,” Baltimore's Ryan O’Hearn said. “It was one of those nights. I feel like we had a lot of balls hit right at guys. Sometimes it happens that way.” After Marsh put in his seven innings, the bullpen finished up without incident. John Schreiber gave up a single in the eighth and Will Smith got three straight outs for his first save. Orioles starter Cole Irvin (0-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings. The 30-year-old is attempting to bounce back from a disappointing season in which he went 1-4, endured three stints in the minor leagues and did not appear on Baltimore's postseason roster. TRAINER'S ROOM Royals reliever Jake Brentz threw in the bullpen for the first time since going on the IL last month with a left hamstring strain. Brentz, 29, hasn't pitched in the big leagues since undergoing elbow surgery in July of 2022. UP NEXT The teams face a rainy forecast for Wednesday's series finale, which matches Orioles ace Corbin Burnes (1-0, 1.50 ERA) and Royals opening day starter Cole Ragans (0-1, 3.00). ------ AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB