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Orioles win fourth straight game for first time since 2020 with 6-2 win over White Sox

Jorge Mateo got some revenge, Austin Hays blew it open with a clutch hit, and Spenser Watkins did fine.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After the last few seasons of bad baseball and especially bad pitching that we’ve seen around here, we’ve all gotten used to a certain kind of Orioles baseball. The 2022 team continues to remind us that things can be better than we’ve seen since 2018. They did it again on Saturday afternoon, notching a 6-2 victory over the White Sox.

For the Orioles, this game marked a fourth straight victory. They have not done this since they won six straight from August 7-13, 2020. It marked a third consecutive victory against a White Sox team that they did not beat at all last season, with a potential for a four-game sweep still alive tomorrow. This is... fun? Are the Orioles allowed to be fun already? Other than Adley Rutschman, who didn’t play today, the top prospects aren’t even here yet!

Of interest to my ongoing obsession with whether the Orioles can have a winning full month of baseball for the first time since August 2017, Saturday’s win guarantees a .500 month (first since July 2019) with only one more win needed in the next four games. I sure hope they can do it.

As for today’s game, the fact that the Orioles had to wait close to an hour and a half to get the game started due to pre-game rain was nothing to stop them. Neither was having a lineup that, frankly, looked terrible and had to face 2021 All-Star Lance Lynn. Ryan McKenna was the #5 hitter, for crying out loud, and it got worse from there.

Neither was their needing to have Spenser Watkins - owner of a 7.33 career ERA before today - come back up from the minors to start the game. These are the kinds of things that in past years would have led to 10-1 Orioles losses. Instead, they won.

The first eight Orioles batters went down in order against Lynn, giving me the early feeling that this was going to mark an abrupt end to the budding winning streak. That’s what I thought, and then the Jorge Mateo Revenge Tour arrived. Why DID they intentionally throw at Mateo yesterday? It was strange and it cost them. Perhaps today he was still mad. Mateo drove the second pitch he saw from Lynn into the seats in left-center. The boos could not stop him from crossing the plate for a 1-0 Orioles lead.

This lead did not last very long. Chicago’s #1 hitter Lenyn Sosa, making his first MLB start, hit an easy grounder with one out in the third inning that generated a wild throw by third baseman Tyler Nevin.

Sosa was still on first when Luis Robert hit a line drive that fell in just in front of Austin Hays in right field. Hays bobbled the ball a little mid-dive and then made a harder throw back into the infield than he needed to. Mateo could not corral the ball. Sosa had stopped running and scored once the throw bounced away from Mateo, tying the game. Two errors in the same inning is usually not going to lead to good things, but Watkins worked a two-strike count to José Abreu before getting him to line out to end the inning.

Moving along to the fifth inning, Mateo struck again with two outs, hitting a double. That would have been that, except shifted Sox shortstop Leury García bungled a Cedric Mullins grounder then kicked it into the outfield. Mateo got around third base to score so quickly that Chicago didn’t believe he’d actually touched third base. The umpires deemed that he did, so he was safe, scoring a second Orioles run.

While this was going on, Watkins was putting up zeroes on the scoreboard. Though the White Sox had multiple runners in base in three of five innings pitched by Watkins, they only scored when aided by the two errors. Watkins ended his day with a 1-2-3 inning when facing the 1-2-3 hitters in Chicago’s lineup for the third time in the game. He scattered five hits and a walk, allowing just an unearned run. That’ll work.

Lynn pitched into the seventh for the Sox. He was oh-so-close to getting through seven, but he faltered against the bottom of the Orioles lineup. After one out, he hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch. With two outs, he walked Mateo. The lineup turned over and still the White Sox left in Lynn. Mullins hit a grounder that he just barely managed to tap into play. This was placed so perfectly that no one could field it and throw out Mullins.

The bases were loaded for Trey Mancini, who probably would have liked a chance to do some damage. He got some damage, if not the kind he wanted. Mancini was hit by a pitch that came up and in. Stop hitting Trey! The good news is, he wasn’t caught swinging at this one. Mancini going to first forced in Mateo for the third O’s run.

Finally, that was enough for Lynn. Chicago brought reliever Jose Ruiz into the bases loaded situation, with the task of retiring Austin Hays. Well, no wonder they kept riding Lynn as long as they could, because Hays cleared the bases with a double and really blew the game open for the Orioles. They held a 6-1 lead after Hays’s three RBI double.

Following Watkins, Bryan Baker added a scoreless inning, then Nick Vespi did the same. Dillon Tate had a drama-free eighth inning, and with the big five-run cushion he was brought back out for the ninth. This resulted in a bit more drama, as Tate hit the first two batters he faced. A couple of groundouts later and the lead runner had crossed home plate. With a smaller lead this might have been concerning. As it was, the tying run never even reached the on-deck circle. Tate allowed a run but finished up the victory.

For the Orioles, Mateo, Mullins, and Hays all had multi-hit games. Mateo scored three of the six runs. It really was a fun Revenge Tour for him. Maybe he’ll play one more gig tomorrow before the Orioles skip town.

Saturday’s win improves the Orioles to 34-39. That’s five games below .500. In two previous Junes in the Mike Elias/Brandon Hyde era, the Orioles have never been better than 16 games below .500. The 2022 club started a 20-15 stretch with May 19’s walkoff win against the Yankees and have now been playing .500 baseball since they were 4-9 on April 21. They are on pace for a 75-87 finish this season and at this moment have a better record than 11 other MLB teams. One more win in their next four games and they’ve shaken the nearly five-year drought of winning months.

It would be fun if the Orioles can just pull out the brooms and do it tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be up to Jordan Lyles to keep the series of strong pitching efforts going to give the O’s a good chance of a sweep. The Orioles hitters, meanwhile, will have another tough test in Chicago’s Dylan Cease. Sunday’s finale is scheduled to begin at 2:10 Eastern.

Poll

Who was the Most Birdland Player for June 25, 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Jorge Mateo (three runs scored in revenge game
    (360 votes)
  • 17%
    Austin Hays (two hits, bases-clearing double to blow open game)
    (103 votes)
  • 22%
    Spenser Watkins (five innings, no earned runs)
    (131 votes)
594 votes total Vote Now