After Baltimore's Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying grand slam in the
eighth inning, the Orioles picked up the 5-4 win over Chicago on a
wild pitch by right-hander Daniel Webb in the 12th on Wednesday.
Cruz is tied with Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion for the
major league lead with 24 home runs. He also earned the distinction
of becoming the first player in the Orioles' 60-year history to hit
a grand slam and ground into two double plays in the same game.
Baltimore (41-36) won two of three games in the series and pulled to
within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Blue Jays, who lost to the
Yankees 5-3 earlier Wednesday.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit a two-out, three-run homer in
the ninth on Monday for a 6-4 victory over the White Sox (36-43),
who have lost nine of their past 10 road games.
"I think we battled," Cruz said. "I think in the last three games,
we showed that no matter what the score, we can ... tie the game and
win the game. I think we showed a lot of heart from the whole group
of guys we have here. It feels good. I had the chance to do some
damage in a couple of at-bats before then, but I grounded into a
double play twice. It feels good to get that home run to tie the
Chicago right-hander Hector Noesi allowed just two runs on nine
hits, with two strikeouts and no walks, over seven innings. It was
an impressive turnaround for Noesi, who had allowed 13 runs on 21
hits over his past three starts.
Chicago rookie first baseman Jose Abreu got his 23rd homer,
extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Center fielder Adam Eaton
went 3-for-4 and has reached base in 20 consecutive games.
"The baseball gods must be upset with us in some way, shape or
form," Eaton said. "We're not going to have a pity party. No one is
going to feel sorry for us. We're going to have to pick ourselves up
and move forward."
Baltimore right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez remained winless in eight
starts at Camden Yards this season, with a 6.28 ERA. He allowed four
runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and two walks, over 6 1/3
Jimenez has not gotten much run support as the Orioles have scored
just five runs for him over his past seven starts.
Right fielder Nick Markakis had three hits for the Orioles (41-36).
Jimenez, who leads the majors with 51 walks, cruised through the
first three innings, holding the White Sox scoreless on 38 pitches,
with three hits and four strikeouts.
Abreu, however, managed to provide Chicago with a 1-0 lead in the
fourth when he lined Jimenez's first pitch over the left-field fence
for a home run.
After Jimenez allowed his first walk of the game to left fielder
Alejandro De Aza to open the fifth, Eston made him pay two batters
later with a triple to right that increased the margin to 2-0.
Chicago scored twice more in the seventh when Jimenez walked right
fielder Dayan Viciedo and allowed a double to left fielder Alejandro
De Aza to open the inning. Catcher Tyler Flowers followed with a
liner to left that scored both runners; Flowers was called out at
second after a brief replay review.
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After Hundley and Markakis singled to open the eighth, Noesi was
replaced by right-hander Zach Putnam, who got the next two batters
to pop out. Left-hander Scott Downs entered and walked Davis to load
the bases. Chicago right Javy Guerra then allowed the grand slam to
Cruz, tying the game.
"I thought one of the key at-bats the whole inning was Chris,"
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's one thing to get him 2-2,
3-2, but to finish it off. That won't go unnoticed. That was a key
at-bat to get the at-bat to Nelson. A lot of stuff happened after
that, too. I thought Webb's inning, facing that part of the order,
was big. I thought he was key, but Chris' at-bat was big."
After a scoreless ninth, the game was delayed one hour and nine
minutes because of rain. After two scoreless innings, Webb (4-2)
allowed a leadoff walk to catcher Nick Hundley and then a single to
Markakis. He then bounced his first pitch to Steve Pearce, scoring
pinch runner David Lough.
"Not a good start to a long road trip like this," Webb said. "We
lost some tough ones in Minnesota, and then to come in here and lose
the way we did tonight and the first night is tough to swallow. It's
part of the game. You're not going to have it your way every night.
Hopefully, we can go to Toronto and win that series."
Tommy Hunter (2-1) picked up the win for the Orioles, who improved
to 18-18 at Camden Yards.
"It's big," Lough said. "That's our second walk-off win against
these guys. They're a good team. Give credit to them and their
pitching staff for holding us. It's good to get these wins and keep
rolling with it."
NOTES: Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman will start the second game of
Friday's doubleheader against Tampa Bay, Orioles manager Buck
Showalter announced. ... Orioles RHP Bud Norris continues to battle
a groin injury. He threw a bullpen session before Wednesday's game.
However, there is no set time for Norris to make his next start. ...
White Sox RHP Scott Carroll will make his first start Friday since
May 19. He has pitched effectively out of the bullpen. ... Chicago
RHP Andre Rienzo was moved to the bullpen from the rotation after
losing his past five starts.
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