Felipe Paulino (59) and Salvador Perez Kansas City’s 7-1 win over Baltimore. The Orioles have lost three in a row after winning the first four games of their road trip. (Ed Zurga/AP)

As promising as the Baltimore Orioles’ seven-game road trip to Texas and Kansas City was through its first four games, this was not the way the Orioles wanted to end it.

After winning the first four games, the Orioles dropped their third straight game to the Royals Thursday night in a 7-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium in front of 17,675.

With division-leading Boston coming to Camden Yards this weekend for a three-game series that starts Friday night, the Orioles were scheduled to arrive back in Baltimore around 3:30 a.m. Friday while the Red Sox had long been resting comfortably in their hotel after their game against Tampa Bay was rained out.

With the loss, the Orioles (57-46) fell four games behind Boston.

For the first four games of the road trip, the Orioles were world beaters with runners in scoring position.

But they scored just seven runs in their final three games. Over those games, the Orioles were 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and 17 stranded baserunners.

On Thursday, the top five in the Orioles’ batting order were a combined 2-for-19 with seven strikeouts. MLB home run leader Chris Davis, who has gone seven games without a homer, was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Thursday and was 1-for-11 with seven strikeouts the past three nights.

Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who entered the night with a string of eight straight quality starts, allowed a season-high six runs and suffered his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 4 2/3 innings.

Gonzalez (8-4), who had given the Orioles remarkable consistency, recorded the second shortest outing of his major league career. In 31 of his 33 big league starts, Gonzalez has gone at least five innings.

The six runs the Royals (48-51) scored off Gonzalez matched his previous four starts combined over a span of 26 innings. And since returning from the disabled list with a right thumb blister on May 21, Gonzalez had been 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA.

Former Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie beat his former team for the second time this season.

— Baltimore Sun