The Baltimore Orioles have struggled on offense at times in the first part of their rebuilding season. But they found plenty of punch in their bats Tuesday and are hoping for more of the same in the series finale with the visiting Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
The Orioles banged out four homers in a 9-1 victory Tuesday. Chris Davis, Dwight Smith Jr., Joey Rickard and Renato Nunez each hit a homer -- and they all came in the first four innings off of Chicago starter Ivan Nova.
Baltimore put everything together in that game, something manager Brandon Hyde wants to see more of. The Orioles made several strong plays on defense -- including Smith robbing Adam Engel of a two-run homer with a leaping catch at the left-field wall early in the game.
Add that to the offense and Andrew Cashner's seven innings of one-run pitching, and it's easy to understand why Hyde was happy after the game. Plus, his team snapped its four-game losing streak.
"We played really well in all three phases," Hyde told the media. "I think we played the game really well. It's nice to play really well at home."
That's been a problem for the Orioles, who have won only two of 12 games at Camden Yards while going 7-6 on the road.
But the best news might have been the continued awakening of the bat of Chris Davis. He homered, had two hits, and moved his average up to .155. And the lefty-swinging Davis bashed that homer to left-center.
Davis has been at his best with the Orioles when he sends the ball the other way and doesn't always try to pull it. This was his first homer in Baltimore since August.
"I think now you are seeing a little bit more confidence at the plate," Hyde said. "It's great to see."
For the White Sox, Tim Anderson drove in the only run of the game. He came into the game with a .403 average and went 1-for-4.
That dropped his average to .395, still leading the American League. Chicago finished with just six hits in the game.
The White Sox are still without Eloy Jimenez, who is on bereavement leave after the death of his grandmother. The team is hoping he'll return for the weekend series with the Tigers.
Jose Abreu got another hit Tuesday after notching three, including a homer, on Monday in a win over the Orioles. Abreu has been known as a slow starter, and now he's batting .218 with 25 strikeouts, so this year is no exception.
But the White Sox are hoping he's starting to come out of it.
"A lot of guys early on don't end up getting into a rhythm," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said to the Chicago Tribune. "He ends up grinding through trying to keep himself afloat until he catches a little bit more, gets himself in sync."
The White Sox are hitting .249 average after 22 games, good for eighth in the American League.
They'll look to get back on track in Wednesday's game against Baltimore left-hander John Means (2-2, 1.72). The Orioles have used him in relief and as a starter, and he's probably been their most effective pitcher, often using a wicked changeup that's become an out pitch at times.
Means is going to be making his first career appearance versus Chicago. He'll be going against veteran Ervin Santana (0-1, 10.38), who has struggled in his two starts this year.
Santana is 5-5 with a 4.44 ERA in 16 career appearances -- all starts -- against the Orioles.
--Field Level Media