For a while, this game looked like it would be an easy one to recap - Jeff Samardzija was cruising with a no-hitter through five innings, and it seemed like the Birds were destined for a shutout loss. Instead Manny Machado turned this one into a an exciting game, but the White Sox prevailed anyway.
While Samardzija was rolling, Chris Tillman was not. Tillman allowed ten hits and a walk over 4.2 innings, and it was remarkable that Chicago could only manage two runs: an RBI single by Avisail Garcia in the first inning scored Jose Abreu, and a sac fly by Melky Cabrera scored Abreu again in the fifth. Other than that, Tillman was able to work out of jams, and while it certainly wasn't a great start from Tilly, he kept the O's in the game.
Meanwhile, Ryan Flaherty broke up Samardzija's no hitter in the sixth inning, but the O's couldn't muster any runs off of the Shark until he was removed from the game in the eighth. After Flaherty walked, Robin Ventura pulled his starter and replaced him with Zach Putnam. That turned out to be a bad call. The first batter he faced, Manny Machado, ripped a ball into the left field stands to tie the game at two.
Unfortunately the bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Bud Norris, who was moved to the bullpen on Friday and replaced by Kevin Gausman in the rotation, actually pitched pretty well. Norris finished off the fifth, worked a perfect sixth, and actually recorded four outs in the seventh thanks to a throwing error by Matt Wieters on a dropped third strike. In the eighth, he walked Gordon Beckham, and after a sac bunt by Alexei Ramirez the Orioles went with Darren O'Day to put out the fire.
He didn't put out the fire. J.B. Shuck doubled on the first pitch he saw from O'Day to bring around the go-ahead run to put the Orioles down once again, 3-2.
The Orioles were very, very close to tying the game up again in the top of the ninth inning. Chris Davis gave a pitch a ride to right field, and then this happened:
That's probably one of the web gems of the year, not that it's much consolation for an Orioles team that could have really used a better chance to win this game.
Despite the loss, some good things happened in this game. Bud Norris took the loss, but gave up no hits and allowed only the one baserunner in 2.2 innings of work. Also, Machado just continues to be awesome. Tough loss today.
My apologies for the short recap - it's the 4th of July after all. Time to go back outside. Here's to a great holiday for everyone in Birdland.