Even when the Orioles get deflated, they seem to win these days.
The Birds completed their best homestand of the year tonight when Brian Roberts hit a booming homer over the right-field scoreboard on a 1-0 pitch leading off the last of the tenth. It gave the O's a 3-2 win over the AL Central-leading White Sox.
It was the O's first walk-off homer of the year as the team concluded a 6-1 homestand for new skipper Buck Showalter. The last four wins all came by one run and the Orioles improved to 21-16 in one-run contests.
Roberts connected off J.J. Putz, who had just entered the game. It came an inning after what was a little deflating. Alfredo Simon gave up a solo homer on the first pitch of the top of the ninth to Paul Konerko as Chicago tied the game 2-2 and it denied Brian Matusz a win.
Matusz had a second straight strong start, giving up just one run and only three hits over six innings. He threw 99 pitches in recording his 12th quality start of the year which is second best on the team.
It was also the O's 7th straight quality start, all coming on this homestand for new manager Buck Showalter.
O's starters have worked to an ERA of 1.89 over this stretch (10 ER over 47 2/3). It is the first time the O's have recorded seven consecutive quality starts since July 9-21, 2003 when they made ten in a row.
Trailing 2-1 after an Alex Rios RBI double in the third, the O's scored two vs. Edwin Jackson in the sixth to gain the lead.
With one out, Ty Wigginton homered to left on a 1-0 pitch for his 18th homer of the season. After two singles and an error loaded the bases, Matt Wieters grounded to first with one out and Luke Scott scored from third on the play.
Paul Konerko fielded the ball but, instead of throwing home to get the lead runner or to second to try for a 3-6-3 double play, he stepped on first and then threw home too late as the go-ahead run scored for the Orioles.
The Orioles are now an AL-best 10-3 on the season in extra innings games and they have won two straight series for the first time since July of last year.
The Sox came to Baltimore with nine wins over the last 11 games and with a mark of 38-13 over 51 games, but dropped three of four in the series.