Joe Saunders was excited about getting his chance to join his hometown team and pitch in a pennant race, but the feel good story ended early for him and the Orioles tonight.
Saunders, the Falls Church, Virginia native, gave up four runs in the first inning as Chicago beat the Orioles 8-1 in front of 13,098 at Camden Yards.
A win would have pulled the Orioles to within 2 1/2 games of first place New York, which lost this afternoon. A win would have also moved the Orioles 15 games over the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 1997 season.
For Chicago, Alex Rios had a two-run double and Alexei Ramirez a two-run single in the first inning as the Sox improved to 72-57 and won for the seventh time in the last nine games.
Saunders allowed 10 hits and seven runs (six earned) over 5 1/3 innings in his first game in the American League since the 2010 season. Over his last three starts - his last two with Arizona and tonight - he has given up 29 hits and 20 earned runs over 15 innings.
Omar Quintanilla had a sac fly in the last of the fourth to score the only run for the Orioles, who fall to 71-58 overall, 36-30 at home and 5-1 vs. Chicago.
In the series finale on Thursday at 12:35 p.m. Zach Britton (3-1, 5.59 ERA) faces Chicago lefty Jose Quintana (5-2, 2.86 ERA).