Orioles 10, White Sox 3
Roberts’ four runs was a personal best, and his four steals tied the team record, set in 1998 by Brady Anderson and matched in 2000 by Luis Matos.
“Anytime you’re in the record book with Brady Anderson, it’s tremendous,” he said. “But you focus more on the team than you do on individual accomplishments. Those records won’t last; somebody will break them later on, so you don’t even really worry about it.”
He might be the one to do it. Rookie manager Lee Mazzilli has given Roberts the green light to run, and the Orioles’ leadoff hitter has embraced, but not abused, the opportunity.
“For him to have confidence in me, to let me do that, is great,” Roberts said. “That’s how it’s been in college and most of the minor leagues, but when I’ve been up here at times it’s been a little different.”
Roberts was successful on all four attempts, and now has 13 steals in 15 tries.
“He’s an aggressive guy,” Mazzilli said. “He made good decisions at the right time.”
Miguel Tejada got his 1,000th career hit and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who had lost six of eight.
Baltimore built a 7-3 lead after four innings against Loaiza (4-1), who went 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts last year against the Orioles. On this night, however, the right-hander yielded eight runs, four earned, and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Part of the problem was that he couldn’t keep Roberts from running rampant.
“I was trying to hold him. Sometimes it seemed like he wasn’t running, then all of a sudden he took off,” Loaiza said. “It really got me by surprise.”
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen, who had 169 steals when he played the game, had mixed feelings about Roberts’ performance.
“You can’t stop that kid. He put on a show today,” Guillen said. “He was stealing the bases when Loaiza still had the ball in his hands. We have to do better than that. But I love to watch people play ball like that, even against me. That makes baseball exciting.”
Rodrigo Lopez (2-1) pitched four innings of one-hit relief to lower his ERA to 0.38. The right-hander walked one and struck out four.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Mazzilli said. “He basically won the game by keeping us in there like that.”
Lopez replaced Eric DuBose, who was pulled in the fifth after a 98-pitch struggle in which he issued a career-high seven walks, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches.
The Orioles pulled out of a tie by scoring four unearned runs in the fourth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Roberts hit a grounder that went through the legs of shortstop Kelly Dransfeldt, allowing two runs to score. Melvin Mora then walked and Tejada followed with his milestone hit, a two-run single to right.
Baltimore went up 8-3 in the sixth. Roberts hit a one-out single, stole second and scored on Rafael Palmeiro’s third single of the game. That ended the night for Loaiza, who was 5-0 in five starts against the Orioles since August 2002.
“Today the big key was the missed groundball, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.
Ordonez staked the White Sox to a 2-0 lead in the first, hitting his eighth homer on an 0-2 pitch with a man on. Tejada hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half after Roberts got a leadoff single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Miguel Olivo.
Olivo’s errant throw ended a run of 51 errorless innings by the White Sox, who had three in the game.
A run-scoring grounder by Mora and an RBI single by Palmeiro put the Orioles up 3-2 in the third, and Crede homered in the fourth to lift Chicago into a tiethat was quickly broken.
Chicago leads the AL with 40 homers. … Baltimore’s Jay Gibbonssnapped out of a 3-for-30 skid with two hits.