Alec Marsh throws 7 dominant innings, Maikel Garcia has 3 RBIs to lead Royals past Orioles 4-1

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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Alec Marsh throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Alec Marsh pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Maikel Garcia drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Tuesday night at wet and chilly Camden Yards.

Marsh (1-0) turned in the best performance of his budding career, dominating the defending AL East champions with an exceptional display of control. He struck out five, walked one and retired the side in order five times.

Now in his second season, Marsh previously hadn’t gone more than six innings and never allowed fewer than three hits in any outing longer than an inning. In this one, he threw 72 pitches, only 18 of which were called balls.

The right-hander received offensive support from Garcia, who hit a two-run double in the second inning and added an RBI triple in the fourth.

A persistent, light rain soaked the players and the announced crowd of 9,404. Temperatures dipped into the 40s soon after the game started, and a crisp breeze provided the stouthearted fans additional discomfort.

The Orioles gave their supporters little reason to stand up and cheer. Baltimore’s only run came in the third inning on successive doubles by Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser, but that only served to cut their deficit to 3-1.

Kansas City answered in the fourth with a walk and a triple by Garcia on a liner off the right-field wall. That was more than enough backing for Marsh, who earned the fifth spot in the Royals rotation with a strong showing in spring training.

As a rookie in 2023, Marsh lost his first eight decisions before finishing 3-9 with a 5.69 ERA.

After Marsh put in his seven innings, the bullpen finished up without incident. John Schreiber gave up a single in the eighth and Will Smith got three straight outs for his first save.

Orioles starter Cole Irvin (0-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings. The 30-year-old is attempting to bounce back from a disappointing season in which he went 1-4, endured three stints in the minor leagues and did not appear on Baltimore’s postseason roster.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals reliever Jake Brentz threw in the bullpen for the first time since going on the IL last month with a left hamstring strain. Brentz, 29, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since undergoing elbow surgery in July of 2022.

UP NEXT

The teams face a rainy forecast for Wednesday’s series finale, which matches Orioles ace Corbin Burnes (1-0, 1.50 ERA) and Royals opening day starter Cole Ragans (0-1, 3.00).

The Royals take on the Orioles again Wednesday afternoon with first pitch at 12:05 on KFEQ in St. Joseph.