KANSAS CITY, Mo. Allen Robinson Jersey . -- Nelson Cruz has only two hits in 15 at-bats against the Kansas City Royals this season. Both are home runs. Cruz hit a two-run homer and the first-place Baltimore Orioles beat the Royals 2-1 on Thursday night to snap a four-game losing streak. Cruz homered in the fourth after Chris Davis drew a walk to lead off the inning. It was Cruzs 12th home run, which is second in the American League to the 15 of Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu. Cruzs 35 RBIs are tied for second in the AL. "Hes one of the best power hitters in the American League over the past five or six years," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Hes hit in a good hitters park in Texas, but hes got power to all fields." Wei-Yin Chen (5-2) limited the Royals to one run and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Chen, who is 5-1 in his past seven starts, was removed in the sixth after Salvador Perez walked and Alex Gordon singled with one out. Darren ODay replaced Chen and struck out Danny Valencia and retried Johnny Giavotella on a fly to right. Royals rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura (2-3) struck out nine and walked one in 6 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. After Cruzs home run, Ventura retired the next 10 batters, striking out seven, including six straight at one stretch. "He made a mistake to Nelson Cruz and it wasnt even a mistake," Yost said. "I think he threw a good fastball to Nelson. It was up and over the middle of the plate and he ambushed it." Cruz hit the first pitch out to right-centre from Ventura, who has a fastball that routinely hits triple digits on radar guns. "We know hes got a great fastball," Cruz said. "He can get you quick. Hes got great stuff. It was one of those at-bats that I got what I was looking for. We were trying to be aggressive and he was throwing a lot of first-pitch fastballs. I was looking for a fastball." With a northwest wind blowing 15 mph and gusting up to 28, it was less than ideal conditions to hit a home run. "You could have made some money off me if youd have bet me that somebody could have gotten a ball out of here tonight," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. Valencias sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fourth scored Eric Hosmer for the only run off Chen. "Ventura pitched great," Giavotella said. "We just couldnt back him up with any runs." Left-hander Zach Britton, who had not allowed a run in 7 1-3 innings in his past eight appearances, worked a perfect ninth for his first major league save. Showalter elected to go to Britton after closer Tommy Hunter blew his past two save chances. "Guys graduate," Showalter said. "It was a good start and its good to know that if we need him for a given night hell be ready. Well see how it goes from here." The Royals did not have a baserunner off four Baltimore relievers, who retired 11 straight. "Our pitchers did a really good job and we really needed this win," Cruz said. "Anytime you can win a game by one run its huge. We feel like we can get something going." The Orioles, who went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, threatened in the seventh and eighth innings, but came away empty. Gordon, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, threw out J.J. Hardy at the plate to end the seventh for his fourth outfield assist this season and his 58th since moving to the outfield in 2011. Hardy attempted to score from second on Nick Markakis single. Manny Machado and Adam Jones led off the Orioles eighth with singles off Louis Coleman, the third Kansas City pitcher. Kelvin Herrera replaced Coleman and struck out Davis and Cruz and retired Steve Clevenger on a grounder to strand the runners. NOTES: The Orioles recalled RHP Evan Meek from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RHP Kevin Gausman, who lost a Wednesday start to Detroit, to the same club. ... 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