Orioles 7, White Sox 6, 10 innings
BALTIMORE (AP)—They were down by three runs before coming to bat for the first time. They trailed by four runs in the sixth inning, and needed two runs in the ninth against All-Star closer Bobby Jenks.
Throw in the fact that Baltimore was 1-43 when trailing after eight innings, and there seemed to be no way the Orioles were going to beat the Chicago White Sox.
And yet, they did.
Nick Markakis singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning, capping a late comeback that carried the Orioles to a 7-6 victory Saturday night.
“This team never quits. I’m happy for the team because they certainly have earned it,” interim manager Dave Trembley said. “They hung right in there. This was a big win.”
Facing Charlie Haeger (0-1), Corey Patterson led off the 10th with a single, stole second and advanced on a fly ball before Brian Roberts received an intentional walk. With the infield drawn in, Chris Gomez grounded out. Markakis then grounded a single between shortstop and third to send home Patterson.
“The game was on the line right there and I had a chance to win it. I just went up there looking to hit the ball where it’s pitched,” Markakis said. “I didn’t try to do too much off him. You never know what you’re going to get off a knuckleballer, so you just have to go with the pitch.”
Chris Ray (5-6) worked the 10th for the Orioles, who have won eight games this season in their final at-bat—including five in extra innings.
After getting the last out in the eighth, Jenks gave up an infield hit to Gomez and a single to Markakis to start the ninth. One out later, Aubrey Huff dropped an RBI single into an outfield playing deep to prevent an extra-base hit. Markakis then went to third on a fly ball by Ramon Hernandez, and sprinted home on a wild pitch to tie it.
“I don’t know how lucky one team can be, but you got the outfielders playing (for) no doubles and everything’s falling in front of them. It was just the kind of day it was for me,” Jenks said. “This has to be the worst blown save I’ve ever had as far as more nubs, more bleeders, more you’re-kidding-me base hits. … What can you do?”
Baltimore launched its comeback with a three-run sixth against starter Javier Vazquez. Millar hit a one-out homer, Hernandez doubled with two outs and Payton followed with a homer to center.
That chased Vazquez, who was trying to become the first White Sox pitcher to throw three consecutive complete games since Bartolo Colon in 2003. Instead, he left after his shortest outing in 16 starts since April 13.
“Javy was on today. He pitched good enough. He battled,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It’s a crazy game, a game you should win.”
Vazquez lost the chance to win his fourth straight start when Jenks blew a save opportunity for the fourth time in 28 tries. Haeger then completed the collapse in the 10th.
“They did not do the job,” Guillen said of the bullpen.
After Baltimore closed to 5-4, Owens reached on a two-out bunt single in the eighth, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Alex Cintron. But the lead didn’t last.
Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera allowed 11 of his first 16 batters to reach, but the Orioles’ ninth-inning rally enabled him to avoid his AL-high 11th loss. The right-hander gave up five runs, eight hits and four walks over six innings.
Six of Chicago’s first seven batters reached in a three-run first inning. Owens led off with a walk and Cintron singled before Jim Thome struck out. Konerko followed with an RBI double, A.J. Pierzynski walked and Jermaine Dye singled in a run. After Rob Mackowiak drew a bases-loaded walk, Josh Fields bounced into a double play.
Doubles by Roberts and Markakis produced a run in the bottom half, but Konerko hit an RBI single in the second for a 4-1 lead and Fields drove in a run with a grounder in the third.
The Orioles placed 3B Melvin Mora (sprained foot) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled OF Jon Knott from Triple-A Norfolk. … Chicago has used seven leadoff hitters this season, but Owens is the only one to score three runs in a game; he’s done it twice. … Orioles RHP Steve Trachsel, on the DL with a strained gluteus muscle, pitched seven innings Saturday for Class-A Frederick in his first rehab assignment. He allowed two earned runs, seven hits and a walk against Lynchburg.