Just five outs from gaining a game on the Boston Red Sox and pulling within 21 / 2 games of the American League East lead, the Baltimore Orioles saw their lead quickly disappear into the Kansas City night.

Not much later, they watched the Royals celebrate a 4-3 victory in the bottom of the ninth.

Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen dominated the Royals for seven innings before Eric Hosmer’s game-tying homer landed just in front of the fountains beyond the right-center field fence at Kauffman Stadium.

For the second straight night, the Orioles (57-45) wasted a quality start, as Alcides Escobar hit an RBI double with one out in the ninth in front of an announced crowd of 17,410.

After David Lough hit a one-out single up the middle off right-hander Darren O’Day in the ninth, Escobar lifted a ball that landed off the top of the left-field wall.

As Nate McLouth and Adam Jones chased the ball in the outfield, Lough raced around the bases, scoring from first base as the throw to the plate was too late.

“I thought we were going to settle in for a nice extra-inning game there,” O’Day said. “It was a single and I made one bad pitch. That’s the nature of relief pitching.”

The Orioles have dropped two straight in Kansas City after winning their first four games after the all-star break. The Orioles, who hit .340 (17 for 50) with runners in scoring position over their first four games since the all-star break, are 0 for 11 with 11 base runners left on over the past two.

— Baltimore Sun