The Orioles beat the White Sox 5-4 to win their first series since July 10-12 against the Blue Jays. Jason Berken battled through poor defense in the first inning and pitched 5.2 innings to earn his third win. Home runs by Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold and a 3 hit game from Brian Roberts fueled the offense, while Kam continued to be the man. Jim Johnson took a page out of Flat Breezy's book but in the end there was never a doubt as he earned his 6th save.
Jason Berken pitched one of his best games this year, although it didn't start out so well. In the first inning he induced a routine ground ball by Scott Podsednik that was booted by back up shortstop Robert Andino. That was followed by another routine ground ball by Gordon Beckham. Mora picked the ball cleanly but airmailed the throw into the camera well. Podsednik, who had stolen 2nd base, scored on the error and Beckham went to 2nd. Berken didn't get rattled as he retired the next three batters, but instead of getting out of the inning 3 up-3 down in 14 pitches, he had to get five outs on 22 pitches, and a run scored.
After the first inning, Berken went on to pitch the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th without any trouble or any defensive miscues. He retired the first two batters in the fifth, but then lost his control, walking the number 9 hitter Brent Lillibridge.
The offense had a good day against White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, and they started in the first inning. Brian Roberts hit his major league leading 47th 2B of the year and scored on a single by Adam Jones to take a 1-0 lead, and in the 4th inning Brian again led off the inning with a hit, this time a single. He stole 2nd, moved to third on a groundout by Robert Andino, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Felix Pie (Pie entered the game for Jones in the 2nd as Adam was having back spasms). Two batters later, with Nick Markakis on base via a single, Nolan Reimold took Buehrle deep for his 12th HR of the year. Buehrle would give up one more run on HR by Felix Pie in the 5th. Buehrle exited the game after 5.2 innings and the White Sox bullpen allowed just one more hit, a double to Chad Moeller in the 9th.
After Berken exited the game, Kam Mickolio took over and again impressed us all, going 1.1 innings without allowing a hit. His season line is now up to: 9.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 11 K. Danys Baez followed Kam with a perfect 8th inning, leaving it to Jim Johnson to close out.
JJ was shaky, allowing a leadoff double to Paul Konerko. He struck out Carlos Quentin and then Alexei Ramirez singled, putting runners on first and third with one out. JJ bucked down, though. Pinch hitter AJ Pierzynski grounded to shortstop, scoring Konerko, and Mark Kotsay struck out to end the game. Never a doubt, Jimmy!
O's win to take the season series from the White Sox 5-4, their first series win against them since 2001. Tomorrow night they start a 3 game series with the Twins to conclude their 9 game road trip.