Davis double gives Orioles the lead, and other notes (Roberts homers)

Chris Davis proved today that the Orioles don’t depend entirely on home runs to do their scoring.

Manny Machado raced home on Davis’ two-out double into left-center field in the first inning, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead against White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago.

Davis has 124 RBIs, tying Eddie Murray for fourth on the club’s all-time single-season list. Next up are Jim Gentile (141 in 1961), Rafael Palmeiro (142 in 1996) and Miguel Tejada (150 in 2004).

Danny Valencia led off the second inning with a double to right field, making him 25-for-69 (.362) against left-handers this season. He’s 5-for-30 (..167) against right-handers.

Valencia moved to third with one out on Nick Markakis’ ground ball to the right side, but he held as Michael Morse flied to shallow right field. Morse is 3-for-13 with the Orioles.

Catcher Chris Snyder walked with two outs - a free pass to the No. 9 hitter does happen once in a while - and Brian Roberts worked a nine-pitch walk after falling behind 0-2 to load the bases before Machado grounded into a force.

This game is moving at a brisk pace - said no one ever.

Roberts saw eight pitches in his first at-bat today before walking.

Roberts remains the leadoff hitter, and his ability to get deep in the count is one of his finer qualities. He also continues to play a strong second base, moving freely and getting to balls as he did before the concussion and assorted injuries - including the one to his right knee that kept him on the disabled list for almost three months this year.

“You can tell he doesn’t think about it anymore,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He’s going for it and whatever happens, happens. He’s been so engaged in all facets of the game.

“You can tell there’s a connection with him and J.J. (Hardy) because they’ve been on the field together consistently now for the first time in a long time. Knowing who’s going to be where and on what play. He’s just really engaged in the competition. He’s really enjoying it.”

Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has retired the first six batters today on 20 pitches.

In Chen’s major league career, the Orioles have scored just 38 runs (2.1 per game) in the 18 games when he’s been charged with the loss, and have scored 96 runs (5.1 per game) in the 19 when he recorded a win.

Update: The White Sox tied the game in the top of the fourth on Alexei Ramirez’s one-out double and Paul Konerko’s RBI single. Chen has allowed 12 runs in the fourth this season, most of any innings.

Valencia led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, making him 17-for-30 (.567) since Aug. 4. He has multiple hits in eight of his last nine games.

Valencia moved to second on another Markakis grounder to the right side, but Morse and Snyder struck out. Morse is now 3-for-14 as an Oriole.

Update II: Dayan Viciedo led off the top of the fifth with a home run to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Roberts led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to tie the game again.

Roberts has five home runs this season.

Machado followed with his 47th double and Adam Jones reached on a bunt single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Davis and J.J. Hardy popped up, and Valencia grounded to first.

The Orioles are 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the only hit being Jones’ bunt. They’ve stranded seven.

Chen has allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, with no walks, seven strikeouts and a home run. He’s thrown 80 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Chen’s season high for strikeouts is nine against the Astros on July 30.

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