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Nova: 'I missed the location on all of my pitches'

Righty allows four homers in loss to Orioles
April 24, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Through four uneven starts, the good news for White Sox right-hander Ivan Nova was he had kept the ball in the ballpark. The bad news? His next stop was Camden Yards. Nova surrendered four home runs for the third time in his career on Tuesday night, continuing his

BALTIMORE -- Through four uneven starts, the good news for White Sox right-hander Ivan Nova was he had kept the ball in the ballpark. The bad news? His next stop was Camden Yards.

Nova surrendered four home runs for the third time in his career on Tuesday night, continuing his struggles in Baltimore as the Orioles evened the series with a 9-1 victory.

Renato Nunez, Chris Davis, Dwight Smith Jr. and Joey Rickard all went deep off Nova, who saw his already chunky ERA rise more than two runs to 8.42. The 32-year-old is nearing the end of a three-year, $26-million deal he signed prior to the 2017 season with the Pirates, who traded him to Chicago last December.

Nova allowed all the Orioles runs over four innings of work and conceded 11 hits for a second consecutive outing. He also walked a season-high three batters.

“I missed the location on all of my pitches,” Nova said. “It was something different. I think that’s the worst one since Spring Training.”

Nova has now yielded 15 round-trippers in his career in Baltimore -- more than in any other visiting park -- and his career ERA here is 6.36. Renato Nunez, Chris Davis, Dwight Smith Jr. and Joey Rickard all went deep to push his 2019 ERA up more than two runs to 8.42.

The 32-year-old is nearing the end of a three-year, $26-million deal he signed prior to the 2017 season with the Pirates, who traded him to Chicago last December. He remains in search of his first win since last September.

“I’m still confident and ready to go,” Nova said. “I’m still healthy. Things are not going well in the last two starts, but I’m confident that I can get out of this.”

While Nova has made 10 career appearances in Baltimore, including eight with the Yankees, his long-ball struggles have snowballed in his three most recent visits.

The Orioles homered twice off him with New York in 2016, and three times against him with the Pirates a season later.

“I think any park is probably hard, especially if you get the ball up,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. “Every Major League hitter at any moment can drive a ball out, and I don’t want to say that this park makes any difference.”

Yet where the dimensions allow little room for error, only Nunez’s solo shot was a no-doubter.

Davis’ opposite-field, two-run blast landed only two rows deep in the left-field power alley, maybe 10 paces to the right of the 364-foot sign. Rickard’s high-arcing shot, the last of the evening, hooked just fair, 333 feet down the left-field line, dropping into the first row of seats.

“He’s a little frustrated at himself,” Renteria said of Nova. “He’ll be fine. He’ll go back to the drawing board and look at what he’s doing and get back on track, and hopefully give us those innings that we need.”

No such luck

Meanwhile, Adam Engel thought maybe he would get the similar benefit of the Camden Yards dimensions when he hooked Andrew Cashner’s offering to left with a man aboard in the 2nd. Instead, Dwight Smith Jr. made a running, leaping grab, pulling the ball back over the fence.

Good night, good nights

The defeat was the White Sox first in six night games this season. They were the last undefeated team at night remaining in big leagues.

Harold’s here

Soon-to-be White Sox Hall of Famer Harold Baines was in attendance Tuesday in Baltimore and received a warm reception from the Camden Yards crowd. In addition to playing portions of 14 seasons with Chicago, Baines also played parts of seven years with the Orioles. Baines grew up and played high school ball in St. Michael’s, Md.