The lead and game that almost got away, but didn't as O's beat the White Sox

CHICAGO – There was nothing easy about it although for a while it looked that it might be. But the Orioles' latest win featured another slog of a night and one that got dicey late in the game.

The Orioles won but other ways to say it are they held off, outlasted or survived their game with the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

The White Sox (15-36) had scored two runs or less 25 times this year, or in half of their games, as the Orioles arrived for the series opener.

The struggling O’s offense broke out for eight runs and 13 hits, including two huge homers in the top of the fourth. That seemed like it would be enough, and it was in the end. But barely.

Right-hander Jonathan Heasley, recalled from Triple-A to take the roster spot of injured lefty John Means, pitched a scoreless eighth inning as the O’s led 8-2.

But when he walked the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters to start the last of the ninth, it led to trouble. Big trouble. Four straight hitters would then reach as the White Sox pulled within 8-6 and the O’s had to go to closer Craig Kimbrel needing two more outs.

He would get both on one pitch, getting Andrew Benintendi to pop to short and the game ended on a bizarre interference call that turned that into officially an unassisted double play.

Crew chief Adrian Johnson told a pool reporter that "the ball was hit, and infield fly was ruled on the play. (Third base umpire] Junior (Valentine) came in with interference on Andrew Vaughn, the runner on second base. Actually, the shortstop made contact with him, so with the interference, that's an out. And you still have the infield fly, and that's an out, also."

Valentine explained that there doesn't actually have to be contact.

"If he hinders the fielder in the attempt to field a batted ball, intent is not required and it's interference," he said.

"If you see the interference, you call it."

The White Sox almost interfered with the Orioles' 30th win. Heading into this series having lost three in a row, four of five and six of their past nine, the Birds needed to win. Even if it was not the prettiest or a tidy one.

They did and the resurgence, at least on this night, of the offense, was the best development of the night.

Jorge Mateo's 434-foot, three-run homer gave them a 5-2 lead in the fourth and followed by a few batters Anthony Santander's game-tying solo homer.

For the O's it was homers No. 70 and No. 71, and they are now 20-3 this year when they hit two or more in a game. They are 10-1 when hitting two homers, 9-2 when blasted three and 1-0 when hitting four.

Ryan Mountcastle, who had been 2-for-25 his previous six games, went 4-for-5 and raised his average from .256 to .272. It was his first four-hit game since Aug. 3, 2023. Austin Hays went 2-for-2 after pinch-hitting in the sixth for his first two-hit game this year. Adley Rutschman drove in three runs and Mateo drove in three with one swing.

The Orioles scored eight runs or more for the eighth time this year and had 13 hits or more for the sixth time.

So the O's start this four-game series with a crazy win. They need two more over the next three days to win this series. They have won four straight series over the White Sox. An O's club has not won five straight series versus the Sox since from 1977-1979. 



Kremer put on injured list and Heasley optioned
Leftovers for breakfast

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