Esteban Loaiza has always been a dominant pitcher in April. But until last year, he hadn’t been able to carry it over to the rest of the season.
Loaiza allowed four earned runs and seven hits in six innings of Thursday’s 6-4 win over Toronto, boosting his career record in April to 18-3 with a 2.98 ERA. Since coming to Chicago as a free agent before last season, he is 9-0 in the season’s first month.
“I’m not paying attention to that,” Loaiza said. “I had a great season last year and want to have another great one this year. I didn’t know about that (April) record until I read the newspapers, but I want to continue that streak.”
Loaiza traditionally struggled after April until last season, when he finished 21-9 with a strong 2.90 ERA. He added a cut fastball to his arsenal and dropped a troublesome slider before the breakout season began.
“I threw it and it didn’t hurt my arm,” Loaiza said, referring to the cutter. “So, I just kept throwing it and it has been great for me.”
The White Sox beat the Orioles 5-4 on Monday for their fifth win in six games. Joe Crede homered in the sixth inning, and Chicago added three runs in the seventh.
“It was hard for me to pick up the ball all night,” Crede said. “But (Baltimore starter Kurt Ainsworth) left the ball out over the plate. Fortunately, the ball was up enough where I could get some elevation.”
Chicago is a major league-leading 10-1 in one-run games this season.
Brian Roberts went 2-for-3 with a double for the Orioles, who have lost three straight and six of eight.