The Orioles’ Chris Davis had three RBI on Monday to move into the major league lead with 97. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t do much wrong in the first three games of the second half, winning on the road with consistent hitting, quality starting pitching and stellar defense.

That formula didn’t change Monday night. Fresh off a three-game sweep in Texas, the Orioles took the opener of their four-game series against the Kansas City Royals, 9-2, before an announced 16,362 at Kauffman Stadium.

After tying a season high with 18 hits, the Orioles have averaged 15 hits per game over their past three. For the first time this season, the Orioles received back-to-back eight-inning starts. The Orioles also have made just one error in their four games since the all-star break.

The Orioles (57-43) won their fifth straight to move 14 games over .500 — a mark they didn’t reach last season until Aug. 28. They have won 28 games on the road, most in the American League, and their .549 road winning percentage is second best in the AL.

Perhaps most importantly, the Orioles are now just 21 / 2 games behind division-leading Boston after the Red Sox’ 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Seven of the nine Orioles starters had multiple hits, including a three-hit game for Cuban rookie Henry Urrutia in his second major league start.

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis drove in three runs, giving him 97 on the season to take over the major league lead from the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. J.J. Hardy also drove in three runs, including two on a home run — his 17th of the season and the 150th of his career — in the Orioles’ four-run sixth inning.

— Baltimore Sun