The Baltimore Orioles are back at .500, thanks to a seeing-eye single from a guy better known for his power.

Vladimir Guerrero's hit drove in Robert Andino in the 12th inning, allowing the Orioles to beat the visiting Kansas City Royals, 6-5, yesterday for their season-high fifth straight victory.

Nolan Reimold had four hits, including two homers, and four RBI for the Orioles, who squandered a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the 11th before coming through an inning later.

"It feels real good," Reimold said. "You never know really what to expect for the game. I was happy to have a good game, very happy that we got the win. So I'll just enjoy it."

At 24-24, the Orioles are at .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 on May 1, and their hot streak coincides with Reimold's return. Since being recalled from Triple A Norfolk on May 20, he is 6-for-11 with three home runs.

"We've got a little win streak going, so it feels very good," Reimold said. "Now we've got to get on the road and keep it going."

Andino led off the 12th with a single off Louis Coleman (0-2), the sixth Kansas City pitcher. Adam Jones popped out trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt and Nick Markakis was intentionally walked before Guerrero hit a bouncing single up the middle for the winning run.

"I was trying to look for a good pitch to hit and get a base hit," Guerrero said through translator Rudy Arias, an Orioles staff assistant. "Nothing to pull or home runs, just trying to get good contact."

Guerrero's hit bounded over second base just out of the reach of shortstop Alcides Escobar and second baseman Chris Getz, who were charging toward the middle of the diamond after playing the slugger straight up.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Guerrero is tough for opponents to defend because of his bat control.

"You play [Guerrero] to pull in the hole, because he hits so many balls in that hole, but also because he's so strong, he topspins a lot of balls up the middle of the diamond," Showalter said.

Jeremy Accardo (3-1) worked two perfect innings for the win. The Royals lost their fifth straight.

In other games:

* At Toronto, Juan Pierre's ninth-inning infield single drove in the tiebreaking run and the Chicago White Sox beat the Blue Jays, 3-1. Pierre went 2-for-4 with two RBI and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Yunel Escobar homered, his fifth, for the Blue Jays, who have lost three straight and six of nine.

* At Detroit, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer in a five-run second inning, and the Boston Red Sox went on to rout the Tigers, 14-1, in an eight-inning, rain-shortened game.

The Red Sox, who beat Cleveland, 14-2, on Wednesday, scored at least 14 runs in back-to-back games for the first time since 1998. Boston has won 11 of 13 and trails the AL East-leading New York Yankees by percentage points.

* At Anaheim, Brett Anderson (3-4) tossed three-hit ball over eight scoreless innings and Andy LaRoche drove in three runs to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels, 4-3.

The Angels fell to 4-7 in their past 11 games.

Noteworthy

* Indians outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was optioned to Triple A Columbus, a move made to clear the way for Grady Sizemore's return from the disabled list, possibly today. Sizemore has been out with a bruised right kneecap, injured in a hard slide.

* The Angels placed infielder Howie Kendrick on the 15-day disabled list with right hamstring tightness. Also, the team signed 35-year-old infielder Russell Branyan to a contract for the rest of the season. He was designated for assignment last week by Arizona and released Wednesday. *