Jeremy Guthrie pitched 7 strong innings and the super hot Brian Roberts hit two home runs as the O's beat the White Sox 5-1. It was their second win in a row and the first time the Orioles have won back-to-back games since July 29-30 vs the Kansas City Royals.
Jeremy Guthrie loves pitching in Chicago, it seems. He pitched his best game tonight since his last game in Chicago on July 19th. In his 7 innings, Guts allowed just 6 hits and 2 walks, and the only run came on a 4th inning home run against Jim Thome. It was inevitable that Thome would hit a home run off of Guthrie, really. Going into tonight's game, Thome has 563 career home runs. He had three hits against Guthrie in his career, two of which were home runs. And Guthrie leads the league in home runs. You do the math. Thankfully Guthrie was able to limit the damage to just the Thome home run to keep the O's in the game until the offense could come through.
Gavin Floyd looked very good tonight, and you wouldn't be an Orioles fan if you didn't think, "It figures. We finally get a good outing from Guthrie and the offense is going to just roll over." Like Guthrie, Floyd made just one mistake in the early innings, allowing a solo home run to Brian Roberts in the third inning. Inning after inning, Floyd and Guthrie traded zeroes. As each inning passed without the Orioles scoring, the more convinced I became that Guthrie would be the one to crack. For once, though, he didn't.
Going into the 8th inning, the score was still tied 1-1. Gavin Floyd struck out Matt Wieters to start the inning, then gave up a single to Felix Pie, allowing Brian Roberts to strike again, this time with a runner on. He hit the third pitch of the AB over the fence to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
Brian Roberts has been simply ridiculous lately. Tonight he hit home runs number 13 and 14 on the year, in his third straight game with a home run. Brian has only had more than 14 home runs once in his career, in 2005 when he hit 18. Brian is in the midst of an 11 game hitting streak, during which he is 20-for-51 (.392) with 8 doubles, 5 home runs, and 4 stolen bases (zero caught stealing). Whatever's going on, I hope it doesn't change. But back to the game...
An RBI triple to Nick Markakis three batters later made the score 4-1, leading to a little chess game between Guillen and Trembley.
With the lefty Thornton on the mound, Guillen opted to walk Reimold intentionally to get to Luke Scott. Trembley sent Ty Wigginton into the on deck circle to hit for Luke, so Guillen pulled Thornton for RHP Tony Pena. The move didn't work for Ozzie as Wiggy singled to center to score Markakis from third. The 5-1 lead put Guthrie in line for his first win in over a month.
Danys Baez came on to pitch the 8th, giving up one hit but nothing else, and Chris Ray pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win. Chris Ray is looking great lately and tonight he looked untouchable. Since returning from the DL, Ray has pitched 11.2 innings over 8 appearances, allowing 1 run and 2 walks while striking out 8. Ray has tested our patience over the years but maybe, just maybe, he's back.
O's win! Tomorrow night David Hernandez takes the mound as the Orioles look to win three straight for the first time since their five game win streak from 17-21 June.