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Five-run first inning carries Orioles to 8-4 victory

Orioles pitchers allowed plenty of baserunners, but they held onto their early lead and salvaged a game against the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

In their final game against the White Sox this season, the Orioles didn’t score early and often. But at least they scored early. They got out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and went on to win 8-4, their third win in seven games against Chicago this season. The win improves their record to 43-106. The 1988 Orioles still have the distinction of having the most losses in club history for now.

The Birds should have coasted after their big first inning. But the White Sox consistently had traffic on the basepaths and the O’s offense went cold through the middle innings. The lead never felt very secure. But the bullpen didn’t give up a run and the offense put up insurance runs in the seventh and eighth.

David Hess started for the Orioles and squandered some nice early run support. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk in 4.1 innings. It took him 104 pitches, a season high, to record those thirteen outs. It was disappointing to see him not last long enough to qualify for a win.

A scary scene came in the top of the fourth inning. Welington Castillo fouled a pitch off of Chance Sisco’s mask that caused the mask to violently hit his face. Sisco immediately called for help and he appeared to have suffered a cut on his chin. We hope that it was only a cut. Austin Wynns replaced him behind the plate.

The Orioles’ early lead came thanks to good at bats and bad Chicago defense. Cedric Mullins and Joey Rickard reached to start the game on a double and fielders choice respectively. Jonathan Villar and Adam Jones each followed with RBI singles to give the O’s a 2-0 lead before Chicago starter Lucas Giolito (10-11) got an out. Trey Mancini struck out, but DJ Stewart reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Villar to score the third run of the game. Renato Nunez hit into what should have been the second out of the inning, but a Matt Davidson error allowed Jones to score and extended the inning. Breyvic Valera promptly drove in the fifth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.

The O’s added another run in the fourth inning, but it could have been more. Mullins led off with a single but was erased when Rickard grounded into a double play. Villar followed that up with a solo home run, his fourteenth of the season, to extend the lead to 6-1. They did not have a baserunner in the next two innings.

David Hess retired the side in order in the first inning on eleven pitches. But his outing went downhill from there and he couldn’t hang around long enough to win. He immediately gave a run back in the top of the second on a Daniel Palka home run. Two more White Sox reached base that inning but Hess used a ground ball double play to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs. Hess would have had a 1-2-3 third inning but a Villar error with two outs extended the inning. The next batter was hit by a pitch. He didn’t allow a run, but his pitch count got elevated. Chicago’s first two batters reached in the fourth inning but Hess proceeded to strike out the side.

Hess’ ability to get out of jams ended in the fifth inning and it all started with a Trey Mancini error on a ground ball that should have been fielded. Yolmer Sanchez, the next batter, homered to make it a 6-3 game. After striking out Jose Abreu, Hess allowed Daniel Palka’s second homer of the game to bring the Sox within two. Ryan Meisinger (1-0) relieved Hess and allowed a walk and a single, but got out of the inning before Chicago could score again. Meisinger would wind up getting the win, the first of his career.

Tanner Scott continued the trend of bending but not breaking in the sixth inning. He allowed a walk and a single, but struck out the side. Miguel Castro entered the game in the inning and retired the Sox in order for the first time since the first inning. The third out of that frame was provided by a Mullins diving catch in the left-center field gap. Castro recorded one out in the eighth before allowing a single and giving way to Paul Fry. Fry struck out both batters he faced.

The O’s picked up an insurance runs in the seventh and eighth. In the seventh, Adam Jones swatted his fifteenth home run of the season into the left field seats to extend the lead to three runs. The O’s played some small ball in the eighth. Nunez doubled and Breyvic Valera walked to start the inning. Both advanced on a Wynns sacrifice bunt. Mullins followed with a base hit through the drawn in infield to to give the O’s a 8-4 lead. It was Mullins’ fourth hit of the game, the first time in his career he’s done that. Rickard was hit by a high fastball to load the bases. But Villar struck out and Jones flied out to end the threat.

Paul Fry worked around a lead off walk to protect the lead and pick up his first save.

The O’s will open up a three game series tomorrow night at 7:05 against the Blue Jays. Ryan Borucki (3-4, 4.26) will start for Toronto. The Orioles are expected to name their starter very soon.


Who was the Most Birdland Player for Sunday, September 16?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Jonathan Villar (3 hits, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs)
    (19 votes)
  • 17%
    Adam Jones (2 hits, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs)
    (32 votes)
  • 69%
    Cedric Mullins (4 hits, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 amazing diving catch)
    (127 votes)
  • 3%
    Paul Fry (1.2 IP, 4 SO, 1 save)
    (6 votes)
184 votes total Vote Now