O's capitalize on White Sox mistakes in finale
CHICAGO -- Caleb Joseph drove in three runs and Jonathan Schoop returned to the Orioles' lineup with a home run and two RBIs as Baltimore cruised to a 9-1 victory over the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox four-game winning streak came to an end with Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez holding them to one run on four hits over six innings.
The White Sox defense certainly didn't help the cause. Conor Gillaspie committed two errors on Nolan Reimold's slow roller to third in the first, eventually leading to a run when Adam Jones doubled. Reliever Dan Jennings and Carlos Sanchez had miscues that contributed to a four-run seventh for the visitors.
"Just getting things going early today helped," Orioles outfielder Chris Davis said of the team's second win in its past seven games. "Obviously, Gonzo threw the ball well, but I think we did a good job as an offense of making [Carlos Rodon] throw the ball over the plate and putting good at-bats together. That's huge when you can get the lead early and get yourself a little bit of wiggle room."
Rodon made his first start since June 25 and pitched better than the statistics showed. Rodon allowed four runs on four hits over five-plus innings and 102 pitches, striking out seven and walking four. Two of the runs charged to Rodon came home when Joseph doubled to right-center against Daniel Webb during the sixth.
"You know, it's tough to win 2-1 every night," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We're going to have to start putting up some crooked numbers in the run column to be able to sustain anything."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
O's bats break out: After a rough few days that included a 26-inning scoreless streak, Baltimore's offense finally had a big day. Jones doubled in a run in a first inning filled with two errors, and the O's steadily added to that lead. A four-run seventh inning highlighted the afternoon, with three hits to go with two White Sox errors.
"Let's face it, they helped us a lot today and normally they wouldn't," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "We were fortunate to take advantage of it."
Rodon won't break: Manny Machado opened the fifth with a walk and then proceeded to swipe second and third, leaving him at third with nobody. Rodon was up for the challenge, though, striking out Reimold with a 97-mph fastball, Jones with a 99-mph fastball and Davis with a 97-mph fastball.
"I'm not really happy about much," Rodon said. "No one likes to lose. Yeah, one inning was tough when Machado stole second and third, just had to bear down and get after guys."
Gonzalez impresses: The righty gave the O's their fourth quality start in five games and rebounded from one of his worst starts of the season. Gonzalez held the White Sox to one run on four hits and a walk and struck out three over six innings.
"I think the last two games that we pitched here were great. We kept the hitters off balance, [Chris Tillman] and [Ubaldo Jimenez] did a good job," Gonzalez said. "That's what we're all about. As long as we give our team a chance to win, we're going to be OK."
Ill-advised advancement: Melky Cabrera drove in the only run over six innings against Gonzalez with a double to right in the sixth bringing home Jose Abreu, who had singled. But Cabrera seemed to hesitate a bit around second and was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
SCHOOP'S BIG RETURN
Making his first start since April 17, Schoop wasted no time, homering in his first at-bat. The second baseman had two RBIs in a solid return to the field.
"To be honest with you, I felt really good all day," Schoop said. "The nerves were all there, I was a little bit excited, but I feel really good. I was joking around with Manny and [J.J. Hardy], 'You guys help me a little bit because I'm still a rookie.'" More >
"No, man. Those things happen. That's baseball. You guys watch baseball forever, I've been doing this in the big leagues for what, two months now. I've played baseball since I was 3 or 4 years old, and I'd say it happens at all levels. Even the greats make errors. You gotta bear down, you gotta get guys out, pick up your teammates." --Rodon, on any frustration coming from poor defense
"It was a toss-up between him and me and J.J. His teammates more than anything. Manny and him have a great rapport, basically grew up in baseball, professionally together. Just puts a little extra oil in the joints, so to speak." -- Showalter, on who was the most excited to see Schoop out on the field
Orioles: Lefty Wei-Yin Chen is coming off Wednesday's win against the Rangers in which he allowed two runs on four hits and one walk with two strikeouts in eight innings. He will take on the Twins in Monday's series opener at Target Field at 8:10 p.m. ET.
White Sox: Chris Sale goes for his ninth straight game with double-digit strikeouts when the White Sox open a four-game series Monday against the Blue Jays with a first pitch of 7:10 p.m. CT. Mark Buehrle, Sale's former teammate and mentor, gets the start for the Blue Jays, as the White Sox begin their final home set before the All-Star break.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.