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Orioles fall to White Sox, 8-7; Zach Britton injured in loss

The O's lost a strange game on Saturday night, but that might not be the worst news. Closer Zach Britton left the game with a leg injury, leaving plenty of questions about his immediate future.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the first two games of the series against the White Sox, the Orioles figured a new way to lose a heartbreaker on Friday night. Kevin Gausman performed very well in his start, but it was ultimately the bullpen that dropped the O's record to 14-9.

There were ups, downs and one potentially costly injury. Here's how out all played out.

The recap

After getting to White Sox starter Mat Latos early with a Mark Trumbo RBI bloop single in the first, it took a few innings before things heated up on a strange, strange night.

In the third, the game got rather unusual on both sides. In the top of the frame, the Orioles defense decided it was time to gift the White Sox with a few runs. Both Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop had errors, the former with a throw and the latter with a missed weak pop-up. The White Sox went up 2-1, but not before more oddities decided to creep up.

With men on first and second with nobody out, Adam Jones rolled over into a 5-4 double play that saw Machado slide into second base, seemingly grabbing at Brett Lawrie's ankle before reaching back to the bag. It was ruled legal, even after a lengthy replay, but Robin Ventura was less than pleased.

He began barking, got tossed and Mark Trumbo ultimately grounded out to end the threat. All for naught, but an interesting sequence nonetheless.

Brett Lawrie blasted a HR to left in the fourth, but that paled in comparison to a very Orioles-like bottom of the inning. The O's launched two dingers out, solo shots from Jonathan Schoop (a rainmaker to left) and Pedro Alvarez to tie the game at three and help Latos feel human again.

After the excitement of the fourth, the Pedro Alvarez party continued. With two outs, he drilled a double (his third hit) to centerfield to score Matt Wieters, giving the O's the 4-3 lead and most importantly for you win/loss nerds, gave Gausman the opportunity to pick up the win. By this point, fans at Camden Yards were ready to crown Alvarez the league MVP.

From there, Gausman really settled down nicely and worked through the sixth. Still pumping the fastball in the high 90s, he mowed down the last six hitters to set up the 'pen to close out the win. Here's the final line:

6 4 3 2 1 3

Things were looking up... But unfortunately, after an Adam Jones RBI double advanced the lead to 5-3, the game abruptly fell off the tracks.

Up 5-4 heading into the top of the eighth inning, Darren O'Day entered and proceeded to crumble. After a double from Carlos Sanchez and a single from Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier absolutely crushed a long ball to center, quickly sucking the air from the home crowd. The game slipping to 7-5 White Sox, momentum almost certainly spelled out a loss.

Luckily for the Orioles, Matt Albers entered the game.

Reminiscent of his outings through his time in Baltimore, the right-hander practiced the art of gift-giving to the opposition. This time, the O's were the beneficiaries.

With two outs, Manny Machado reached on an error by the third baseman Todd Frazier, getting Jones, the tying run to the plate. Instead of throwing three consecutive low-and-away sliders to #10, Albers plunked him in the rear end on the first pitch. This got Chris Davis to the dish, the at-bat that at the time shifted the game's outcome.

Working back from an 0-2 count, Davis crushed a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a two-RBI double. Bobby Dickerson's windmill arm was fierce, scoring Jones from first and knotting the game at seven.

Two runs, both charged to Albers.

Joey Rickard pinch-hit with Davis at second and flied out, but that didn't crush the spirits of the home crowd ... that is, until Zach Britton broke their hearts.

With two outs, Adam Eaton hit a dribbler to the triangle between the mound, second and first. As he went to snag the ball and flip it to first, he appeared to injure his lower leg area around the ankle. He tried to walk back to the mound but couldn't muster the strength to even get back to attempt a pitch.

He limped off and went immediately down the dugout steps with an injury that looked ugly enough to seemingly be legitimately concerned. Consequently, Vance Worley entered the game and surrendered the lead.

He walked Carlos Sanchez and gave up the go-ahead run on a single to Jose Abreu, completely popping the ballon of excitement in OPACY once again. And this time, it was for good.

Wieters, Alvarez and Hardy went down in order to end the game, capping off a wild, ugly and disappointing loss for the O's.

The takeaways

  • Britton's injury looked scary. Jim Palmer brought up the achilles when he first looked at it, sinking the collective hearts of the Baltimore faithful. We likely won't know more until tomorrow, but "encouraged" isn't a word you'd use right now.
  • Getting the start in left, Kim picked up three hits, including a double. His season average is at .600. Think he'll be playing a bit more?
  • Mark Trumbo got his 19th April RBI tonight. Hitting .337, there might not be anyone in the league slugging the ball better that he is thus far.
  • Gausman walked just one over his six innings with an 8-2 groundout-flyball ratio.