The Orioles got their road trip started with a bang as the offense showed both power and patience en route to scoring ten runs off of John Danks and the ineffective White Sox bullpen.
Starter Jake Arrieta had a shaky night, lasting just five innings. In the second, he started things off with a ten-pitch at bat to Adam Dunn that resulted in a walk and then the next batter, A.J. Pierzysnki, took him deep to make the score 2-0. He also allowed a double to Mark Teahan, who scored on a single by Juan Pierre. The inning ended when Matt Wieters gunned down Pierre trying to steal second (when will these jokers learn?), but at that point Arrieta was already at fifty pitches.
After two 1-2-3 innings, Arrieta got himself into another bind in the fifth inning. Gordan Beckham singled with one out, then Andino couldn't hold a throw from Derrek Lee on a grounder by Pierre. After a pop up, Arrieta walked Carlos Quentin on four pitches to load the bases and Paul Konerko hit a ball to deep left that probably would have been a grand slam if not for the strong wind blowing all night.
For the first two innings of tonight's game it looked like John Danks was going to dominate the Orioles all night. Sure it was only two innings, but we've all watched enough Orioles games against tough lefties to recognize such a thing. Thankfully, that's not how things went tonight.In the third inning, the O's got singles from Mark Reynolds, Robert Andino, Brian Roberts, and Derrek Lee (Lee's was a lucky bloop, but we'll take it), resulting in two runs and cutting the White Sox lead to one.
That lead disappeared altogether in the fourth inning when Luke Scott started the inning with a home run to right field. Luke had just stolen a home run from Alexei Ramirez in the third inning with a fine jumping catch, so that was really +2 runs for Luke in that span.
The Orioles finally took the lead in the sixth inning with a little help from Sox catcher Pierzysnki. Danks struck out Reynolds for what would have been the third out, but the ball got away from Pierzynski and Reynolds was able to get to first without a throw. That set the stage for Matt Wieters, who hit a monster home run to left. Fly balls to left field had been knocked down all night so I can't even imagine how hard Matt hit that ball. That gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead and put Arrieta in position to earn the win.
With Arrieta out of the game after five, Buck Showalter called on the bullpen imp to pitch the sixth inning. Clay Rapada was not effective. You guys? I'm starting to think that maybe he's not a very good pitcher. What do you think? Rapada allowed the White Sox to make it a one run game on a home run from Brent Lillibridge, just two batters after Adam Dunn came within a few feet of doing the same.
In the top of the seventh inning, all hell broke loose for the White Sox. Jesse Crain relieved Danks and was completely lost out on the mound. Crain had been one of the bright spots for the White Sox in their bullpen but he didn't have it tonight. Crain didn't give up any hits, but he did manage to walk three batters and that, compounded with an error by Ramirez at shortstop to let Adam Jones reach, spelled doom for the White Sox. With the bases loaded and one run in, Crain was lifted in favor of Chris Sale. He was greeted rudely by Matt Wieters, who smoked a double to the left-center gap, scoring two more runs. He then walked Robert Andino to reload the bases for Brian Roberts, who hit a double of his own, knocking in two more. Nick Markakis followed that with a walk of his own before Derrek Lee grounded out to end the inning. All told the Orioles scored five runs on two hits and five walks. It was fun to see the O's run up the score, but it was also a little uncomfortable to watch by the end.
The scored remained 10-4 as Jim Johnson (he was warming up when it was just a one run lead, so Buck didn't want to waste him) and Jeremy Accardo finished off the game for the Orioles.
I love baseball, let's play again tomorrow!