Saturday baseball: O's at Chicago

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Orioles (50-72) at Chicago White Sox (62-60)

Led by a Brian Roberts home run binge, the Orioles have now won back-to-back games on their current road trip and could win their first series since the All-Star break with a victory tonight.

Roberts hit his 4th career Grand Slam, leading the O's past Tampa on Thursday. Last night he homered twice as the O's beat Chicago 5-1 in the opener of a three-game series.

Over the last three games, Roberts is 6 for 14 with four homers and 8 RBI. He has hit five homers in the last six games and 14 on the season.

During his current 11-game hitting streak, Roberts is batting .385-5-13. He hit a career-high 18 homers in 2005.

His power surge has helped the O's to just their second two-game win streak of the second-half.

The last time the Orioles won three in a row was when they swept a weekend series at Philadelphia from June 19-21.

Tonight, at 7:05 p.m. in game two of the series in Chicago, David Hernandez (4-5, 4.20) pitches for the O's vs. John Danks (10-8, 3.96).

The O's are 0-9-1 in series since the All-Star break.

With Friday's loss, Chicago lost a game in the standings to the Tigers and now trail Detroit by 3 ½ games for the AL Central lead. Chicago is 7 ½ games out in the wild-card race.

The Sox had been a hot-hitting club at home until Jeremy Guthrie slowed them down Friday. Over their last 29 games at home, the Sox are 19-10 and batting .285 as a team and scoring 5.8 runs per game.

The Sox are 2-2 on this homestand and have won eight of their past nine home series.

For Chicago, 15 of 34 games in the second-half have been decided by one run and Chicago is 7-8 in those contests.

The White Sox are 35-29 at home on the season and 13-13 vs. AL East clubs.

Chicago leads the Majors with 18 Grand Slams the past two years. The Sox hit 12 in 2008 and have six this season.

The Orioles lead the season series, 4-3 over Chicago and have out-scored the White Sox 44-32 this year.

White Sox hitters, 2009 vs. O's:
Beckham: 5-14/0/2
Castro: 0-2/0/0
Dye: 6-26/1/4
Konerko: 6-29/1/2
Kotsay: 0-0
Lillibridge: 0-0
Nix: 1-4/0/0
Pierzynski: 5-25/0/1
Podsednik: 5-13/0/0
Quentin: 1-11/0/1
Ramirez: 4-23/0/2
Rios: 15-45/3/6
Thome: 9-23/4/11

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