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Long ball, miscues doom O’s in second game. White Sox sweep double header

An unlikely candidate and a usual suspect provided Chicago all the offense they would need. John Means finally took his first loss of the season.

MLB: Game Two-Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the second game the double header, White Sox outfielder Billy Hamilton had hit 22 home runs in his nine year career. First baseman José Abreu had recorded 208 home runs over eight seasons. You can probably guess what I’m getting at.

Hamilton and Abreu both went deep to provide Chicago all the offense it would need. The Orioles made a few costly mistakes and ended up on the wrong end of a Saturday sweep. Baltimore dropped the second game 3-1 in seven innings.

John Means started for Baltimore and surrendered both of the blasts. Hamilton stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, and MASN analyst/Orioles hall-of-famer Jim Palmer felt it necessary to point out that the speedster was not a threat to go deep. Hamilton responded with a fly ball that landed in the first row of the left field seats. The dinger broke a scoreless tie.

Means returned to the mound in the fifth inning and produced two straight groundouts. Yoan Moncada blooped a ball into shallow left field, and Freddy Galvis had an opportunity to end the inning with a jumping catch. Unfortunately, the ball bounced off Galvis’s arm and landed safely in the grass.

The extra out allowed Abreu to come to the plate. Abreu turned a changeup into a no-doubt home run that provided the White Sox the only cushion they would need. Abreu had fallen behind 0-1 in the at bat, but took three pitches just outside the strike zone. Means clearly felt like he was getting squeezed— especially on the second pitch. An 0-2 count would have looked a lot better than what eventually became 3-and-1, but that’s baseball.

A Galvis catch to end the inning would have been nice, but few could fault him for not putting away a ball that was ruled a single. However, Galvis did deserve plenty of blame for a mistake in the sixth.

Galvis worked a leadoff walk to start the frame, and Anthony Santander followed with a single up the middle. Pinch-hitter Pat Valaika drew another walk to load the bases for Maikel Franco. Franco lined a ball sharply to shallow center field, but Hamilton made a diving play to record the first out. Galvis should have scored Baltimore’s first run with ease, but the veteran shortstop failed to tag up.

Chicago reliever Codi Heuer plunked Stevie Wilkerson to provide the Orioles their first run, but Ryan Mountcastle struck out swinging and Chance Sisco bounced out to end the threat. Liam Hendriks struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to record his second save of the day.

Means provided Baltimore a chance to win but took his first loss of the season. He walked a pair of batters and hit another during a 35-pitch inning but eventually settled in. He never really had his changeup working today, and his ERA increased to 2.05 after giving up the pair of homers.

White Sox starter Lance Lynn continued his dominant season with five scoreless innings. Baltimore picked up just three hits against the veteran, and Lynn struck out seven Baltimore batters without issuing a walk.

The Orioles nearly collected a run with some two-out magic in the fifth. Sisco blooped a single to center, and Ryan McKenna poked a ball the other way that appeared deep enough to plate the runner. The ball bounced over the wall for a ground rule double, and Sisco had to stop at third. Cedric Mullins chased a high fastball to end the inning.

Santander finished 1-3 and extended his hit streak to 11 games.

The Orioles fell to 17-35 and lost their 12th straight game. They appear ready and willing to contend for the number one pick in the 2022 MLB draft.