KANSAS CITY — A little extra work between starts helped Steve Trachsel pitch an unusual complete game.
Handed a big lead by Ramon Hernandez’s grand slam, Trachsel pitched a five-hitter for his first nine-inning complete game in four years, leading the Baltimore Orioles over the Kansas City Royals 9-1 Monday night without a single strikeout.
“The way they were attacking the ball, I didn’t get into many counts where I was looking for strikeouts,” Trachsel said. “They weren’t overly selective. I’ll have to look, but I’m sure it was unusual.”
It was the fifth loss in a row for the Royals, who have been outscored 45-11 during their skid.
Trachsel (4-3) won for the third straight start. Unhappy with his mechanics, he’d been working harder than normal the previous few days.
“Once we got the early lead, I was able to mix up my pitches and throw strikes to all of them,” he said. “They were swinging at 1-0 curveballs and hitting a lot of balls on the ground.”
Trachsel also benefited from several outstanding defensive plays, including two by second baseman Brian Roberts on the first two hitters.
“Brian was outstanding,” said Jay Payton, who had two RBIs. “If those two balls get past him for hits, who knows how that could have changed the game?”
Hernandez victimized Scott Elarton (1-1) for his fifth career grand slam in the fourth inning, giving Trachsel a 6-0 lead. The Royals have allowed six slams this year, the most in the majors, and two in three games.
“I was trying to get a good pitch to hit and a good count to hit and I got it,” Hernandez said. “I was trying to hit the ball hard and get at least one in. Luckily, it went out of the park.”