Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez entered Sunday’s game with a 0.46 ERA in May, but that all came to an end after he was roughed up for five runs in five innings of work. Baltimore lost, 8-6. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The first seven weeks of Baltimore’s season have been defined, maybe more than anything, by the club’s inability to get on a roll offensively and on the mound simultaneously.

This weekend at Kauffman Stadium was Exhibit A for that frustration.

The Orioles won the first two games Thursday and Friday by holding the Kansas City Royals to just one run in two games.

But instead of sweeping the four-game series or at least winning three, the Orioles were nearly no-hit Saturday and then couldn’t hold an early lead or mount enough of a comeback Sunday as the Royals won, 8-6, to secure a split.

The consecutive losses this weekend dropped the Orioles (22-20) out of first place in a tight American League East that the New York Yankees now lead by half a game.

“It’s still a split. You’re playing against another very, very good team,” said Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning. “It’s not like they are going to lie down and let us come and beat them.”

The loss in the series finale — the Orioles ended up 3-4 against Kansas City (22-21) this year — also padded a statistical oddity: After winning April 6 on the road against the Detroit Tigers, the Orioles have lost six straight Sunday games this season.

The Orioles’ much-maligned offense had 12 hits and scored more than five runs for the first time since May 1.

And Baltimore still lost because starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who had been so good in May before Sunday, and reliever Troy Patton, who had allowed just one run in seven games, each served up a three-run home run to Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon.

“If you make two mistakes to a good hitter, they are going to make you pay for it,” Showalter said. “The problem was, there were people out there [on the bases] when they did.”

Gordon now has 13 homers and 35 RBI against the Orioles in his career — the most against any team not in the AL Central.

— Baltimore Sun