CHICAGO - Manny Machado homered and later was intentionally walked with no one on base. Trey Mancini had two outfield assists in one inning. But Mychal Givens may have had the most impressive night of all.
The righty reliever came on with the Orioles leading 3-2 and runners on second and third with no outs in the home sixth. He kept the lead, getting a popup and two strikeouts on 97 mph fastballs.
That relief outing and three solo homers led the Orioles past the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in front of 11,628 at Gauranteed Rate Field to start a four-game series.
The Orioles are 15-32 and won on the road for just the second time in their last 17 away from Camden Yards. They are 5-19 on the road for the season. Chicago falls to 13-31 for the year and 6-17 at home.
Givens replaced Andrew Cashner in the sixth and got former Oriole Welington Castillo on the popout, then threw heaters by Tim Anderson and Adam Engel to keep Baltimore ahead.
Casher faltered badly the third time through the order, but Givens bailed him out and Cashner got the win to improve to 2-5 with an ERA of 4.72. Over five-plus innings, he gave up eight hits and two runs on 96 pitches, 63 for strikes.
The Orioles three runs came off solo homers as they took a 2-0 lead and then added to a 2-1 edge. Machado broke the 0-0 tie with a blast to left in the fourth for a 1-0 advantage. He hit a Héctor Santiago 2-1 changeup 411 feet for No. 15. The exit velocity of 112.6 mph was the hardest of the year for Machado on a home run. He’s now hit six homers his past 11 games and 12 in the last 29.
An inning later, Mark Trumbo hit No. 2 for a 2-0 lead. He led off and blasted a sinker 435 feet to left-center on an 0-1 count. After Chicago had cut that lead to 2-1 in the last of the fifth, Adam Jones’ eighth home run made it 3-1 in the sixth. His 383-foot homer came on a sinker to extend Baltimore’s lead.
After Jones homer, Machado was walked intentionally with no one on and Chicago down by two runs. That is respect for the O’s shortstop, who drew his league-leading eighth intentional pass.
In the White Sox fifth, Mancini threw out Engel trying to stretch a single to a double. He ended the inning starting a 7-6-2 out at the plate on José Abreu’s RBI double into the left field corner. Machado’s relay throw home cut down the run that would have made it 2-2.
Mancini got his fifth and sixth outfield assists and is tied for the major league lead. He also has six of the O’s nine outfield assists for the season.
Richard Bleier pitched a scoreless eighth and Brad Brach got the final three outs for his seventh save in eight chances. But Brach had to strike out two of his last three batters with the bases loaded to end it.
The Orioles are 3-6 in one-run games, 7-5 their past 12 games and 2-3 on an 11-game road trip.
Manager Buck Showalter on Givens’ relief job: “You are hoping to get out of that with a run (allowed). He made a lot of good pitches to some good hitters. Where we are in the bullpen, I was hoping Cash (Cashner) could get us through the sixth, but he needed some help. That was more than help right there.”
Cashner on the bullpen and the win: “I think the bullpen was huge. I couldn’t get out of the sixth and Givens was huge, coming in with a one-run game with runners on second and third. Pretty cool to see. All we need to do is win each day. If you are picking up the next guy, that is huge. It is such a grind, you don’t realize how hard this game is, so to pick each other up is huge.”
Brach on the intentional walk to Abreu in the ninth, putting the winning run on second base with two outs: “I knew Trayce Thompson was coming up and I faced him a couple of times with a couple of strikeouts. I knew I just wanted to attack him and use the aggression against him. Sitting on the bench all night, it is tough to go out there with the game on the line. I just went right at him with fastballs. I know Buck, he’s got the numbers and he’s going to put you in good spots. So I know he won’t put someone on to load the bases and put the winning run on second base unless he’s got full confidence in me to get the guy out.”
Jones on the victory: “It was a total team win. When we play fundamentally sound baseball like that, good things can happen. Two plays that stick out are the ball Trey threw to second. Engel was aggressive - too aggressive, in my opinion - but Trey made a fundamentally sound play. And then the play down the line. You had two guys that can run and Trey made a great throw to Machado and Machado has a great arm. Great throw home and a great tag. When you use every facet of your team, you generally do well, so that was good to see.”