BALTIMORE (AP)—Brian Roberts was working in the indoor batting cage, fully expecting a day off, when manager Dave Trembley told the second baseman that idea had been canceled because Alex Cintron developed food poisoning.
Roberts gave Baltimore the lead for good with a two-run single in the second, then drove in a run with his AL-leading 46th double in the fourth.
“I think Cintron was the player of the game,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, “because he’s supposed to be in the lineup. Roberts played, and he killed us. I think I’m going to blame Cintron for that one.”
Asked if it was difficult to play after planning for a day off, Roberts shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s not really that big a deal. They tell you have an off day but you’ve got to always prepare,” he said. “Alex got sick, and there I was back in the lineup. I’ve played enough games in my career so that I can jump back in and play.”
Aubrey Huff hit his 29th homer and drove in three runs, and Melvin Mora and Kevin Millar also homered for the Orioles, who put a positive finish on a 2-7 homestand that began with three games apiece against Boston and the New York Yankees.
“It hasn’t been the kind of homestand that we drew up on a blueprint,” Trembley said. “We played all very good teams that are all in contention. I think it just goes back to a real simple formula: If you don’t pitch good you don’t have a chance.”
Radhames Liz (5-3) gave up two runs, three hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings for the Orioles, who hadn’t held an opponent under four runs in their previous 10 games.
“Liz did enough to stay out of the big inning,” Trembley said. “He pitched around some walks. I thought this time his changeup was real key for him because they were sitting on the fastball.”
White Sox starter John Danks (10-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He was unbeaten in nine road starts since May 3.
“There’s just no other way of putting it: I was just flat out awful,” the left-hander said. “I couldn’t even give us a chance to win. I hope I can put this behind me pretty soon; it will be a long night.”
With the score 4-2 in the fourth, Baltimore missed a chance to pull away when Huff was retired on a fly ball with two outs and the bases loaded. That ended Danks’ night after 93 pitches.
“John, he not throw the ball the way (we’ve) see him throw the ball,” Guillen said.
Dye hit his 32nd homer leading off the eighth, Chicago’s major league-leading 198th of the season.
Huff hit a two-run drive in the bottom half and Millar added a solo shot to seal the blowout.
“Good one for us to win,” Trembley said. “The coffee will taste a little better tomorrow morning.”
After Baltimore used two singles and a sacrifice fly by Huff to take the lead in the first inning, Liz served up a belt-high fastball on a 3-1 count to Konerko, who hit it an estimated 415 feet into the seats in left.
The Orioles regained the lead in their half of the second. Lou Montanez drew a two-out walk and Castro doubled before Roberts hit a two-run single.
Markakis leads all major league outfielders with 15 assists. … Chicago won the season series 5-4. … The White Sox have a major league-leading 49 homers in August, two short of tying the franchise record for a month (July 2003 and August 2001). … Baltimore is 13-1 when scoring at least 10 runs.