Orioles-White Sox Preview


Matt Wieters is heating up the Baltimore Orioles.

The All-Star catcher looks for another big effort at the plate as the Orioles go for a fourth win in five tries against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Wieters had three hits and five RBIs - all coming on a pair of homers including a grand slam in the 10th inning Monday - to lift Baltimore over Chicago 10-4 in the opener of this four-game set. The Orioles erased a three-run deficit, and scored nine of their runs in the final three innings.

"It has kind of a snowball effect," Wieters said. "Once you get some runs going, you stop squeezing the bat as tight and it starts to come a little bit easier."

Wieters' performance at the plate Monday increased his season average 58 points to .344, while giving him nine RBIs on the season. He's 8 for 20 with four extra-base hits in his last five games against the White Sox (5-4).

Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones went 2 for 6 with a solo homer to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 10 games. He's homered in each of the last two games and three of four.

Coming off their best offensive showing of the young season, the Orioles (6-4) will turn to Taiwanese rookie Wei-Yin Chen on the mound.

The left-hander showed promise in his major league debut last Tuesday, allowing two earned runs with six strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4, 12-inning loss to the New York Yankees.

Chicago is trying to avoid its first three-game slide of 2012, through no fault of Paul Konerko's. He has at least one hit in all nine games this season, batting .371 with five doubles, one homer and nine RBIs - two Monday.

His start is reminiscent to the one he had last year, when he batted .421 with three homers and 11 RBIs in his first 10 games.

Konerko is batting .375 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last nine home games versus the Orioles.

The White Sox will give the ball to John Danks (1-1, 5.40 ERA), who will try to win back-to-back April starts for the first time since a three-game winning streak April 14-25, 2010.

After going 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA through his first 11 starts last season, the left-hander was relieved to be credited with a 10-6 win at Cleveland on Wednesday. However, he struggled throughout the contest, allowing four runs, seven hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings.

"At least I didn't have to wait until June to win," Danks said.

His poor start to last season included a 10-4 home loss to the Orioles on April 29, when he yielded five runs and eight hits - two homers - in six innings. He wasn't much better against Baltimore on Aug. 8, surrendering five runs in 6 1-3 innings but not getting a decision in a 7-6 win.

If needed for a save situation, rookie left-hander Hector Santiago is expected to get the call once again despite serving up a pair of solo homers in the ninth Monday. He had converted all three of his previous attempts.

"The way I look at it is how he bounces back," first-year White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I have confidence in him to take him out there and let him do it again (Tuesday)."