Cruz slam ties game (O’s win 5-4 in 12 innings)

It happened. The Orioles got into the White Sox bullpen and it happened.

Nelson Cruz’s two-out grand slam off reliever Javy Guerra in the bottom of the eighth inning tied the game 4-4.

It’s Cruz’s eighth career slam and his second this season, the other coming April 23 in Toronto. He’s hit 24 homers and driven in 64 runs this season

Sounds like an All-Star to me.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura used three relievers in the eighth. It wasn’t enough. Or perhaps it was too many.

Nick Hundley led off the inning with his second hit tonight. Nick Markakis singled, leaving him 110 hits behind Boog Powell for fifth on the club’s all-time list, but Steve Pearce and Adam Jones flied out.

Chris Davis drew a nine-pitch walk off left-hander Scott Downs, and Guerra entered the game to face Cruz.

In hindsight, not a good idea.

Cruz redirected a 95 mph fastball to right-center field, the ball barely eluding Moises Sierra’s glove as he made a leaping attempt.

According to the Orioles’ PR staff, Cruz is the first player in club history to hit a grand slam and ground into two double plays in the same game. Yes, someone kept track.

In Game 2 of an April 27, 1969 doubleheader, Brooks Robinson became the first Oriole with two double plays, at least one home run and four RBIs in the same game.

Zach Britton retired the White Sox in order in the top of the ninth. We’re still tied.

There’s lightning in the distance and the grounds crew is lined up behind the rolled up tarp. Time is precious.

Update: A walk-off wild pitch? Why not? Pinch-runner David Lough raced home with no outs in the bottom of the 12th on Daniel Webb’s wild pitch to give the Orioles a 5-4 win over the White Sox at rain-soaked Camden Yards.

Nick Hundley led off the inning with a walk and pinch-runner David Lough raced to third on Nick Markakis’ fourth hit. Lough slipped and fell rounding third, but got back safely. White Sox manager Robin Ventura argued that third base coach Bobby Dickerson touched Lough, but to no avail.

Webb uncorked a wild pitch with Steve Pearce at the plate, and the Orioles improved to 41-36 overall and 18-18 at home.

Tommy Hunter struck out Paul Konerko in the top of the 12th to strand two runners that he inherited from Brian Matusz. Konerko was 5-for-9 lifetime against Hunter. The Orioles bullpen tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The Orioles trail the Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games in the American League East.

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