Remember those words from general manager Dayton Moore roughly a week ago about believing the Royals can mount a push after returning from the All-Star break?

Well the Royals with Thursday’s 7-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles closed out a 5-2 homestand at Kauffman Stadium against two clubs that if the season ended today would be in the postseason.

“It was a good homestand” said left fielder Alex Gordon who drove in two runs. “It’s just too bad we finished the All-Star break like we did (with three losses in Cleveland).

“But this definitely helped. We knew we had to do this. Hopefully we can carry this over to this long road trip.”

The Royals at 48-51 are now within arm’s reach of .500 as they head out on a nine-game trip to face some of the game’s lesser powers: the White Sox Twins and Mets.

Opportunity beckons.

“Now we have a more favorable stretch they say” designated hitter Billy Butler agreed. “But those are big-league teams that we’re playing every night. We just want to play the same way we’re playing right now.

“If we do that it should be fun.”

This was fun: The Royals put together a balanced 10-hit attack that struck for two runs in the first inning against Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez. They added one in the second before taking control with a three-run fifth.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie an Oriole from 2007-11 held his former club to one run and six hits in six innings before handing a 6-1 lead to Aaron Crow who worked around a two-on one-out jam in the seventh.

“A lot of people asked me about the Royals over the break” Guthrie said. “I said we need to win five of seven or we’d be in big trouble. I thought about that (Wednesday) night.

“We need to continue to win series like we’ve done these first seven games. There’s a whole lot more to go but coming out the break it was important to do well against them.”

Butler closed the scoring and extended the lead to 7-1 with a one-out homer later in the inning against new Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

Kelvin Herrera and Louis Coleman followed Crow and closed out the victory which enabled the Royals to win for the third time in four games against the Orioles after winning two of three from Detroit.

Gonzalez fell to 8-4 in what statistically was his worst start of the season: six runs and eight hits in just 42/3 innings.

“By the look of it everybody’s probably going to be saying that but I thought I felt pretty good out there” he said. “I just left a couple baseballs up and guys took advantage of it.”

The victory meant the Royals went 10-10 in a 20-game stretch against clubs with winning records. They trail first-place Detroit by seven games but still have 11 games left against the Tigers.